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Should Small Brands Increase Digital Spend?

July 17, 2020
Author: Jasmine Waters

One aspect of post-COVID “normal” we would expect to see some sort of increase in is digital advertising and website spend. Our lives are still heavily experienced through a screen and are likely to continue to lean on digital for the foreseeable future. Despite this, digital ad spend is set to decline as the pandemic ends a decade of growth, although still not considered a ‘traditional’ advertising format. Should small brands continue to invest – or re-examine how they do?

What are the causes for concern?

We know that the digital sphere is where the consumer base is currently a sitting duck, with online and digital formats performing strongly over the past year. However, this is predicted to fall be 12.7% in the UK - the first significant dip in over a decade. In long-term projections, digital is expected to pick back up where it left off in 2021, but this doesn’t answer how we can best utilise virtual presence while navigating the unknown. Brand marketers will now need to try and plan ahead of the curve, with fast adaption and agility at the focus while spends are reconfigured. Experts are relaying the importance of staying connected to customers and to plan for the resumption of business, investing in capabilities that will help industries to get back to their 2019 growth. The Advertising Association is in the early stages of proposing a tax credit scheme with the aim of encouraging small businesses in particular to increase their ad spend. So is it more a case of investing smart, rather than not investing at all?

Should we invest?

In short – possibly. There are avenues brand new to 2020 that will not have been considered before, and certainly may not have been taken seriously. One such success story for brand advertising is TikTok. It has an interest-driven algorithm, meaning brands can target their ideal customers with an ease that hasn’t been seen on a platform before, fuelling marketing success. It can rapidly scale content up to be seen by the potential masses, the flow of content not being obstructed by an existing need for followers. Brands such as Gymshark have already seen success in this format, with high levels of engagement and long session times. For every voice and brand, an audience can be found – the spirit of co-creation remains at the heart of a platform. For a digital outlet that has existing for a fraction of the time its rivals has, it’s fair to say it is a serious contender. Perhaps this surprise tool in a brand’s belt stands as a lesson to not rule out digital ad spend investment in the face of supposed negativity, but instead be keeping a business ear to the floor to discover those all-important opening avenues.

photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/@pixabay


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