The secret to surviving rising digital advertising costs

Energy prices, train tickets, the cost of pints… prices are going up every which way you look. 

And it’s a same with digital advertising too. MSQ’s full-service digital agency twentysix took to our Bow Street fourth floor space to tackle the ever-important issue of how to spend your digital advertising costs wisely when said costs are rising at a rate more rapid than we’ve ever seen before. The event featured expert panellists with key insights into the evolving world of digital, from companies including Amazon, ITV, Impact and Global, who all have unique understandings on how to work with brands to deliver intelligent and cost-effective digital campaigns.

Embrace the rise of video

A massive takeaway from the session, that was split into a partner discussion on ‘thinking beyond Google and Meta’ and an open Q&A brand panel discussion, was the overwhelming influx in the rise of video media and the impact of this on your digital budget. Emerging channels such as Amazon and TikTok have certainly acted as strong contenders for prioritising, especially following massive industry shifts like the demise of 3rd party cookies. The panel discussed how it’s gotten to the point where video is at an all-time high, popularity-wise, and most roads point towards investing in video to be an important way for ensuring the best returns.

Amazon Advertising Account Executive Joseph Dorsett focuses on driving performance for clients through sponsored ads, shedding some light on the impact of this growing media trend. A massive 1 in 3 customers on Amazon go on to purchase after watching a brand video, which is a pretty self-explanatory statistic in terms of the effectiveness of a well spent budget within this region. 

Of course, we can’t discuss emerging digital trends without mentioning TikTok; the still relatively new social media platform uses advertising as a primary source of revenue generation. As Ryan Rummery, Commercial DAX Director at Global, mentioned, although TikTok’s 2021 profits of $4.6 billion seems fairly low in comparison to Amazon and Meta’s revenues (which are well into the hundreds of billions), the platform’s profit from last year showed a 142% increase year-on-year. And it’s evident that the platform is only going to keep growing. The smart money, the panel agreed, is still investing heavily in this area.

Adapt your strategy, but keep your principles

Although several many tips and tricks were traded amongst the panel’s discussion, there was an ultimate consensus that when it comes down to it, the digital budget you put in place isn’t necessarily always going to go to plan. And a big problem is still that you can’t dictate exactly where the budget comes from a lot of the time. It may be from the digital team, or it may be from the SEO team, or the content team, or several other teams still frustratingly operating in silos. Balance is crucial and this often means that your brand needs to be readily available to adapt to the circumstances given to them.

There’s no doubt that in today’s economy and with the overwhelmingly strong presence of a need for digital advertising now more than ever, we can probably expect to only continue to see a rise in how much our digital budgets are going to cost. Although being smart about where to spend this is key, when asked of one thing a brand should do over the coming 12 months to weather the storm that we’re inevitably due to face, the advice given from the panel was to ensure that you maintain your position in challenging moments. Sometimes solutions don’t always come in the ways you’ve initially intended, but ensuring a clear stance of your goal is vital on the route to get there.