As people continue to sort themselves into specialty niches and are increasingly cutting the cord, it might seem like we’re left with two distinct groups of viewers: the watchers and the searchers.
Watchers watch television ads, respond to direct response television (DRTV) and internalize brand-building commercials.
When they want to view a brand website, they simply type in the URL and go there. Searchers, on the other hand, may also be cord-cutters and ad-blockers, so their marketing input via television can be limited. When these people want to learn more about a product, they search for the brand using one of many search engines. Where we make a huge mistake as marketers is assuming that the two groups can’t overlap.
The truth is that watchers and searchers are often one in the same, especially when you’re talking about Millennials and Gen Xers. A study jointly commissioned by the Consumer Electronics Association and NATPE||Content First on customer attitudes toward television viewing revealed some interesting findings that marketers who use DRTV and cross-channel marketing would be smart to incorporate into their marketing strategies.
Several Screens At Once
Although Millennials are by and large more likely to have watched a program via streaming (84 percent streamed in the past six months, according to the CEA survey), 54 percent are still watching live television programming during its original air time.
According to marketing experts BKV, 80 percent of those same viewers are simultaneously using another device. This creates a combination that can give marketers the ability to measure the real impact of DRTV on branded search.
BKV found significant spikes in branded search traffic when DRTV messages are live, with the first three flights showing increasing traffic each time and a long-term sustained organic bump in branded search traffic after the fourth flight. According to the marketing firm, only 25 to 30 percent of that traffic was direct – the rest came from search.
Nielsen found a similar second screen trend back in 2014, but it was more interested in determining just what people were doing with those screens than how they influenced marketing messages. At that time, only 14 percent of tablet users and seven percent of mobile users admitted to buying products they were seeing advertised, but another 44 percent of tablet and 24 percent were shopping — what they were shopping for, we don’t know.
Using Second Screen To Increase Branded Search
Early peeks at what the multi-screen experience can do when coupled with DRTV are telling.
Mobile continues to be a difficult nut to crack for marketers, but now that we know without a doubt that these users are responding to DRTV messages, the tables may be turning. To optimize the impact of this information, though, we also have to keep on top of search engine marketing (SEM) efforts.
Ad spend for web pages to help increase search engine visibility is going to be an important aspect of making a second screen DRTV campaign really effective. After all, it’s easier for those second screen viewers to type in the name of the company or product they’re seeing on their televisions than the entire URL — that’s where most of that branded search traffic comes from. If your audience is looking for you, but you can’t be found because of lackluster SEM, you’re missing out on one of the most impossible to reach demographics out there.
Be Ready With Optimized SEM
Even if you can’t always identify exactly when a DRTV ad is going to run, you should be ready before a campaign starts with optimized SEM and a site that’s prepared for a spike in traffic. Automated TV syncing can help push your efforts even further by changing your SEM marketing configuration when your commercial starts and again when it has finished, allowing you to spend your marketing dollars when customers are most likely to be looking for you.
DRTV is an ever-evolving marketing strategy. Instead of focusing on television viewers and their calls alone, you need to be considering how your efforts are affecting branded search. These cross-channel marketing opportunities will become increasingly plentiful, even as audiences are increasingly fragmented due to the power of second screens and branded search.