Leverage the Rise of the "Second Screen" for Your Brand
Between smartphones and tablets, mobile devices are close to being the norm in households across the U.S. Crucially, almost half of those who own them say they use the device as they watch the big screen. While its preferred role would be to keep viewers glued to the movie or television, the second screen has become a necessary for the entertainment industry. For brands, this means that the creative effort poured into marketing must now extend beyond the big screen. Businesses are beginning to realize that they must channel almost as much creativity into the supplemental content that they offer as they do the main event, be it a television ad, radio spot, or even the online video that potential customers might be watching on their main device. This inevitably throws up a number of challenges for marketers, but for those ahead of the curve it also throws up plenty of opportunities. [caption id="attachment_3588" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Image Credit: miniyo73[/caption]
Why Brands Are Watching the WatchersNielsen, which embraced the second screen itself some time ago by rolling out Twitter ratings, has also released survey data that offers a glimpse into how viewers are using the second screen. Understanding this emerging behavior provides a unique insight into the mindset of the distracted viewer, which in turn helps us to get in front of them on the most appropriate screen. Although more than two-thirds of those surveyed were engaged in general web searches and browsing, still half of those same people said that they also visited social networks and, in some cases, became involved in discussions about what they were watching. This indicates that it's worthwhile for advertisers to "bait the hook" on the main screen, creating an initial interest in a product, hashtag, or website that drives potential customers to their second screen to investigate further. Social media-based content is also highly recommended, as it's easy for users to navigate to a Facebook page, Twitter hashtag, or Instagram feed from whatever else they were doing on the platform. Nielsen's figures also indicate that tablet owners were more likely to engage in social networking directly related to what they were watching, which serves as a warning to marketers not to lump all mobile users into the same bracket. Different devices bring different capabilities, meaning that device and operating system data could become a crucial guide point for creative teams as the second screen trend matures. New features like split screen tablets and laptops could blur these lines further still, as consumers participate in both entertainment and web-related activities on the same device. Another important area, as we've covered before when exploring online marketing, is understanding where your target audience likes to engage online. As with any form of marketing, your customer dictates the location and the content you present to them should flow to those outposts. That being said, the long-term goal must be to close the loop and bring people back to the online hubs you control. This can be achieved by creating simple sign up points and offering incentives that remind visitors to connect with your brand in other areas, be it their inbox via email marketing, on a mobile device by downloading your app, or giving them a reason to come into your physical location. A key part of the elongated sales funnel that social networks and other online touch points have created is to avoid direct selling, at least in most cases. Despite this, you still want to have a subtle reminder that customers can contact you at any time when they have questions or comments about your services. It is for this reason that we see vanity numbers working so well for many businesses. Whether the marketing is online or offline, a memorable number provides the kind of brand recall and memory hook that keeps your business top of mind with the customer in your area of expertise, without overtly asking them to buy from you. Your number can sit in the corner of any ad or piece of content and quietly remind your audience that you are easy to access. Even if they don't need what you sell at the time they watch, hear or read your content, the number will stick with them for a time when they do. In this distracted content world that we've been discussing, a memorable marketing hook like a vanity number is an invaluable asset! Getting back to the second screen, this is the perfect time to start experimenting. To understand the transition that your customers are making in terms of viewing habits and second screen activities, take time to ask them which social networks they use . In some cases it's worth making a full blown survey out of the questions and offering a reward for completing it, as the opportunities arising from repeat business will greatly outweigh the cost of any incentive you offer. Think about where your target audience gathers online and what they want to see when they whip out a smartphone or tablet to complement the main screen. Is it different when they move to mobile? More importantly, can you capture their interest on the main screen and drive them to the branded places you want to take them online? The ecosystem is inevitably a lot more complex than the old days of 30-second TV spots and coupons in the local newspaper. Even so, there are tried and trusted marketing tools that can help you to get even more from your online marketing. We're strong advocates of blending traditional and new media marketing, so read more here to learn how we recommend your business sets about doing just that!
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- Written by: mike on September 25, 2014Driving a small business toward success takes more than hard work; a successful business must brand and market itself efficiently and effectively.Read more
- Written by: mike on September 16, 2014Marketing is an investment, and like everything else in your portfolio, you expect to see a return. Whether it's increased info on leads, more calls, or pure and simple sales, everything in your marketing tool kit must pull its weight (or be dumped in favor of something else that does). Compared to most marketing tools, vanity phone numbers work harder for you andRead more