Influencer Marketing: TV vs. Social Media

Megan Mosley
Digital Copywriter
Influencer Marketing

In 2020, retail giant Marks & Spencer ceased all TV advertising of their clothing items, turning instead to influencer marketing. This switch was not unprecedented, but rather marked a wider emerging trend: TV ads are becoming less effective compared to the rising power of influencer marketing. With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s important that brands consider the best form for their Christmas marketing campaigns, and even start planning ahead for 2022. 

Influencer marketing has been rising to prominence in recent years, and it shows no sign of stopping. Over the last 12 months, the influencer marketing industry grew to a net worth of $13.8 billion, and 71% of marketers are increasing their influencer marketing budgets for the year ahead. Influencer campaigns offer brands a unique, targeted opportunity to improve their reach and awareness, thereby attracting new customers. 

With this in mind, it’s crucial to pin down the right marketing strategy for your brand, particularly in the run-up to Christmas. Luckily, we’ve put together a blog that looks at the pros and cons of both TV and social media marketing strategies, so you can decide which would be a better fit for your brand. Read on to find out more... 

Christmas TV Ads 

In years past, we all eagerly awaited the first showing of John Lewis’ fabled annual Christmas TV advert. In 2013, the company’s ‘Bear and the Hare’ advert spiked their Christmas sales by 10.7%. In more recent years, however, the retailer has faced significant uncertainty, reporting major losses of revenue, particularly around the Christmas period, perhaps indicating that their once-beloved Christmas ads have lost momentum. 

Despite this, there are still some tangible benefits to launching your holiday campaigns as TV adverts. The scale and reach of TV ads, for instance, is incomparable. The average TV viewer in the UK watches nearly three and a half hours of broadcasting a day, and 68% of UK adults watch over 50 linear TV ads per day. 

Advertising on broadcasted TV at prime times means you could reach a huge number of people, which, of course, sounds great. If you scratch a little further at the surface, though, you’ll find it may not be as beneficial as it sounds. Anna Tuchman, a professor of marketing, says that if the TV is on, the viewer is counted as being exposed to the ad, “but won’t have noticed because they were so absorbed in their phone”. 

Employing the use of influencers in TV advertising is an increasingly popular tactic; sports retail giants JD Sports released its 2021 Christmas marketing campaign in early November, featuring YouTube stars like KSI, reality influencers like Joanna Chimonides, and social media and presenting icons like Maya Jama. Given that 49% of consumers consider the endorsement of influencers when it comes to buying products, using influencers in holiday campaigns seems a smart choice. 

People, particularly younger people, who are the consumers brands want to target, are more absorbed in their phones than in broadcast TV, and the amount of time young people spend watching TV has fallen year on year, while their use of social media has been driven up. 

TV ads don’t offer the same insight as social media campaigns. Though the success of TV ads can be vaguely measured, by examining sales across time, for example, it’s much harder to quantify than the success of a social media ad. Because of this, it’s impossible to determine whether success can be attributed directly to a TV ad, or if it came off the back of another factor altogether.  

TV ads do offer some opportunity to target niche audiences; audience profiling means that brands can purchase advertising slots during the shows whose audiences match up with their target demographic. While this is beneficial, its positive impact is largely outweighed by how tricky it is to quantify. 

The efficacy of TV ads is something of an unknown quantity, and, as trends are indicating, they’re waning under the rise of social media advertising. Now we’ve discussed the pros and cons of TV ads, let’s take a look at social media campaigns... 

Tv Advertising

Social Media Influencer Marketing 

As of 2021, four and a half billion people are using social media – that's over half the world’s population. A huge number, of course, but breaking this statistic down further will allow us to compare social media and TV advertising more accurately.  

Younger consumers, aged between 18 and 24, use social media more than they watch TV. Social media influencers have the edge when it comes to being human and relatable, so they have far more power when it comes to affecting consumer purchases - 60% of consumers, for example, would consider buying a product online at the recommendation of an influencer. 

Innovations in social media make purchasing these recommended products online way more convenient. If you’re working with an influencer that meets a few key parameters, you’ll be able to make use of the linking function on Instagram Stories.  

This means that a consumer viewing the story will, conveniently, be able to tap the link and be taken directly to your brand or product’s page to get more information and, hopefully, make a purchase. Features like this increase your conversions, and the trackable metrics offered by social media platforms mean you can quantify the success of your ad - something brands are unable to do with that of TV. 

Taking into account the convenience of integrated retail models in social media platforms, it’s no wonder that 57% of fashion companies engage in influencer marketing

Like we’ve already stated, the reach offered by TV advertising is unbeatable. Social media marketing, however, is miles ahead of TV marketing when it comes to having quantifiable results. Social media platforms have built-in metrics which you can track and analyse, such as likes, views and impressions. 

Because of this, the success of a social media influencer campaign is infinitely more measurable than that of a TV ad. Plus, while niche audience targeting is definitely possible with TV ads, it’s far more viable with influencer campaigns on social media. 

Social Media

Which should you use for your Christmas marketing campaign? 

It’s clear that influencer marketing has the edge over traditional TV ads. Influencers boost your brand’s profile by connecting you with their following, thereby increasing your potential sales and revenue.  

Influencers are able to promote your products in a way that feels more authentic, and since consumers trust the opinions of the influencers they follow, they’ll be more likely to trust your brand in turn.  

So, how do you set up your influencer marketing campaigns ahead of Christmas? It’s never too early to get planning for 2022... 

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