Advertising is a necessity for D2C retail brands and service providers, and a standard strategy includes elements like paid social ads, SEO/SEM, and digital display. Each of these channels allows brands to get in front of their target market; and in fact, for many retail marketers, it’s so second nature that it can feel like nothing more than a checklist.
But a status-quo marketing strategy comes at a cost; and this cost continues to rise. Last year, Facebook’s total advertising revenue rose 46% from the prior-year—highlighting increased competition and rising prices. As self-serve platforms like Facebook become more common throughout the advertising sector, more brands are competing in ad auctions, and as a result, ecommerce brands are facing more competition, and having to exhaust limited resources to keep up with ever-changing algorithms. At the same time, ongoing changes in privacy standards are making it more difficult for advertisers to accurately target their audiences. This perfect storm creates quite the challenge for marketers—finding a way to implement cost-friendly, efficient, and innovative advertising.
Fortunately, most brands already have access to an additional advertising tool that they are not taking advantage of—their gift card.
It may seem as though offering a digital gift card as just another product spot is all there is, but digital gift cards offer brands an extraordinary amount of promotional opportunities. Making the most of these opportunities first requires brands to take a step back and reevaluate what a digital gift card actually is: a piece of branded creative imagery that can connect a customer with stored value.
One of the easiest ways brands can begin utilizing their gift card as a piece of advertising space is by testing creative. This may mean testing a concept, colorways, or even something as simple as comparing branded creative with lifestyle creative. Testing gift card images on the brand’s website is a great first step as it doesn’t come with any added cost. In contrast, when brands want to test new creative through traditional advertising options, there’s a baseline cost associated with running any campaign. However, it is important to note that an audience on your brand’s website is likely different from the audience being served the ads—at the very least they’re one step closer in the buying cycle and may even already have some brand loyalty.
The next step in making a digital gift card a piece of your brand’s advertising strategy is to identify new partners and channels that will highlight your brand in front of larger audiences. By identifying platforms with wide audiences that will feature your brand’s gift card, you effectively create a shorter and more focused path to purchase. Once a consumer sees your brand and what it offers, they can select to spend with your brand right on the spot.
What’s the catch? Well, many of these platforms often require a specific discount or added incentive in order to participate. But because of the many benefits, such as overspend and immediate path to purchase, program incentives often have a higher ROI than paying for impressions or clicks.
At Prizeout, we encourage brands to leverage their digital gift cards as an advertising tool to reach a wider audience. Whether their goals are customer acquisition, retention, or wider brand awareness among a specific audience group, our ad-tech portal makes it easy to test, learn, and scale. And because we don’t charge our brands until there is a completed customer acquisition, brands are able to achieve maximum ROI and have the freedom to get creative with this unexpected ad space.