There are numerous ways to get consumers’ eyes on your brand, but they’re not all equally effective. Between vibrant Instagram video campaigns and SEO optimization that land your products on the first page of a Google search, a good marketing strategy is essential for your brand to gain the visibility—and revenue—it deserves. But what really is “the best” marketing strategy? And what will provide the best return for brick-and-mortar retail advertising?
Let’s take a look:
TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… social media options seem almost limitless. And with consumers’ screen times increasing every day, social media marketing seems like a foolproof way to build your brand visibility. If everyone’s on social media, they’ll see and engage with your ads. You have a good chance of going viral, gaining thousands of followers each day. Right?
Yes, social media marketing has its benefits; you can connect with audiences online, track consumer feelings toward your brand, and even make yourself available for customer support via DMs. But it’s not quite as simple as it sounds.
First, you have to choose the social media platform and content most relevant to your target consumer base, which can be difficult. This is especially true if your demographic is broad, which is the case for most brick-and-mortar retailers. Plus, it’s likely that the same videos, sales, and promotions aren’t going to appeal to your base as a whole, which can alienate certain audiences.
In the same vein, social media marketing requires creating lots of original, quality content, as you’re likely going to have to post 2-3 times each day to avoid getting lost in the feed. Also, chances of going viral are slim to none. This can be time consuming and expensive — especially when you pay for an ad campaign that doesn’t deliver a satisfying ROI.
And sure, the number of social media users is always growing. However, a Pew Research study published in April 2021 found that 84% of people ages 18-29 use social media, while only 45% of people 65 years and older do so. What’s more, older generations are online far less frequently than millennials and Gen Z. Therefore, even a high-quality social marketing strategy might cause you to lose out on a potential consumer base.
Choosing a retail media marketing strategy can help your brand overcome these challenges. Instead of expending valuable resources promoting broad content across various social media channels, Swifty’s retail media strategy lets you tailor your content to the individual shopper. In other words, you can show individualized ads and promotional content to the 20-year-old who buys Oreos and the 60-year-old who loves Diet Coke; when you present content based on their past purchases and preferences, it gives you a better chance of boosting sales and building brand loyalty.
Search marketing is another common marketing tool. The point of search marketing is to gain better positioning on search engines like Google, so that when an individual searches “grocery stores” or “pancake mix” or “green beans,” you’re the retailer that comes up.
There are two ways you can do this. You can heavily utilize SEO, which means saturating your web content with popular keywords and phrases, or pay for your ads to appear in search engines. The latter generally functions on a “pay per click” basis, meaning you’ll be charged every time a user clicks on your ad.
Of course, search marking has its advantages. Most of us use Google daily (if not hourly), which means that appearing on Google can direct substantial traffic to your site.
However, search marketing has its drawbacks. While going the SEO route means you’re not operating on a “pay per click” system, a competitive SEO strategy requires hiring a competent and professional SEO team. And if you do go the “pay per click” route, you’ll likely drain your budget. Either way, search marketing can result in high long-term costs.
Search marketing is popular, and you won’t be the only grocery retailer competing for traffic from the same keywords. This can drive up the cost of purchasing ads while decreasing the odds of a good ROI.
Again, a retail media network powered by Swiftly can help you eliminate these problems. Instead of competing with other retailers for broad keywords and paying unnecessary amounts for a mediocre ROI, show your customers personalized ads based on what your data shows you they like. Shoppers are happiest when their needs are recognized and met by their retailers, which means a retail media network will give you a leg-up on your competition—even if they beat you in the keyword race.
Programmatic marketing, put simply, uses bots to buy space for online ads in real time. The bots use data regarding the consumer’s age, location, career, and more to launch individually targeted ads. For example, they might determine a user is mostly likely to log onto Twitter, so they’ll purchase ad space there.
Programmatic marketing can be an efficient marketing strategy that can return a decent ROI. Because all the work is done by bots, it certainly saves time.
With that said, the lack of human control can present problems. How do you really know if your busy bots are getting your money’s worth? In worst case scenarios, your ads can end up on websites that are poorly trafficked, or websites featuring inappropriate content or content that conflicts with your brand. You don’t want an ad for juicy burgers to end up on a website that offers vegetarian recipes, as you likely won’t garner clicks. In these circumstances, you’re paying for ad space that can go so far as to damage your brand image.
With Swiftly, however, you can ensure that your store’s ads end up in the right places at the right times. With our retail media networks’ use of contextual targeting, you’ll have built-in brand safety; you’ll always know which websites are hosting your customized ads, and you’ll always know they’re relevant to your shopper. That way, you’re eliminating the risk of poisoning your brand by associating it with something contrary to your values.
The bottom line? Retail media combines the best of social media, search, and programmatic marketing to give your shoppers personalized ad experiences relevant to their shopping behaviors—both in store and online.
A Swiftly-powered retail media network uses first-party data and the power of AI to connect you with your customers throughout their entire shopping journey, predicting their every move from the planning, purchasing, and post-purchasing stages. It allows you to build a relationship with your shoppers that will keep them coming back.
To learn more about how you can maximize your advertising return and bolster brand loyalty with a retail media network, contact Swiftly today.