Best of both: Making TV and digital work in unison
As the line between TV and digital continues to blur, how can marketers make them work together? Contributor Kevin O'Reilly shares tips to ensure a complementary media strategy.
In my previous article, I explained that — despite being widely viewed as competing advertising channels — TV and digital are, in fact, complementary elements of an effective media strategy.
Far from being two distinct channels, TV and digital intersect in a number of ways. First, the normalization of second-screening means TV viewers are now actively participating in the content they watch, using connected devices such as smartphones or tablets via digital channels like search and social.
Secondly, the increased fragmentation of the TV landscape — with the possibility to watch premium TV content via time-delayed viewing, VOD (video on demand) services and OTT (over-the-top) subscriptions — means viewers are consuming TV content through digital services. The lines between the two channels are becoming ever more blurred.
So, how can marketers make TV and digital work together for their business as part of a complementary media strategy?
Don’t underestimate the importance of search
A significant proportion of TV-inspired website visits will be driven by search activity, including paid, organic and direct. For almost all brands, anywhere from 75 to 85 percent of their traffic comes from these three sources. TV viewers are far more likely to search for a brand they’ve seen advertised and click on a search return than to type in its URL.
As well as ensuring all online content meets SEO best practices, any TV ad campaign should be supported by a short-term paid search campaign that focuses on brand terms rather than the unbranded, generic keywords used in long-running search campaigns.
Maintain seamless messaging across channels
TV advertising results in increased traffic across digital assets, including websites and social. It’s essential that channels are primed to take advantage of this traffic by having a seamless call to action that encourages users along the path to conversion.
Ensuring cross-channel consistency of design and messaging amplifies the impact of TV campaigns, resulting in greater ROI.
Ensure data capture is used for retargeting
TV advertising is a powerful way to engage new prospects, but they won’t necessarily convert during their first visit to a brand website.
Websites should have strong data-capture functionality, so that marketers can retarget TV-inspired visitors with relevant messaging on other channels, following exposure to the TV campaign. This helps to transform prospects into loyal customers.
Employ micro-attribution to measure TV’s impact
Marketers have to understand how TV campaigns impact other online channels. This requires highly granular attribution technology that can measure the impact of individual TV spots and uncover the best ways to optimize ad efforts.
An advanced attribution solution can recognize a user who views a TV ad, visits a website/app, and then returns two weeks later to make a purchase. It will credit the TV campaign for driving the customer to the site in the first place, as well as any other digital channels that subsequently brought him or her back.
Be aware of response-time discrepancies
While some viewers will respond immediately to TV ads, others will have deferred responses. They may be unable to take action right away if they are engaged in another task, or it may take multiple exposures for viewers to respond.
There is likely to be an increase in online traffic for some time following a TV campaign due to an uplift in brand awareness, even when the viewer isn’t responding directly to a specific ad.
The nature of the call to action will also impact response times. If an ad asks the viewer to send an SMS, although the response will be instant, it will drop off quickly. Whereas, if it encourages the viewer to visit a website, the response will be more prolonged.
Making TV and digital work in unison is unquestionably a smart approach, and these tips will assist in creating a complementary media strategy and form the basis of a best practice, cross-industry approach.