What is Second Screen Advertising?

8 mins read

Intertwining TV commercials and second-screen advertising

Second screen advertising is a television marketing strategy designed to get customers to view more advertising on their smartphones, tablets and laptops. Advertising on the second screen utilises the growing trend in which people scroll their mobile devices while watching a show and its advertisements on TV (referred to as the first screen). Good examples of how television synergises with second-screen media might include a person watching a football game on TV and checking a player’s statistics on their smartphone or discussing a popular show’s plotline in real-time on Twitter or Facebook.

Advertisers are creating mobile ads and ad experiences that directly link to first-screen content or the adverts they see on TV. Second-screen advertising blends entertainment and shopping on the second screen to capture more attention from consumers. By providing relevant content that directly relates to your target group’s activities, interests, and search intents, advertisers can create interactive cross-platform advertising campaigns that can provide a source of extra information about a brand and simplify the buying process for the viewer.

How Second Screen Advertising Works

Businesses often wonder if expensive advertising budgets are worth it if viewers switch their attention to another screen during a tv commercial. Media companies are taking an active approach by offering extra content and experiences on mobile devices to complement the adverts they broadcast on television.

Combining TV advertising with online spaces allows potential customers to seamlessly transition from TV to a mobile device where they can make a purchase. Businesses use second-screen advertising to build brand awareness by directing the consumer to a landing page, a website specifically designed to sell a product or service to the consumer. Advertisements can use connected storytelling to tie your website to the TV commercial by mirroring, building on, and exploring the content presented by an advert, effectively intensifying your marketing messages. As part of this digital marketing strategy, companies can, for example, offer exclusive deals to viewers who access their mobile devices after seeing a TV commercial using promo codes or QR codes.

Tie your advertising to relevant programming

Research indicates that 42% more time is spent on ads that directly relate to the content surrounding them. According to a survey conducted by TiVo, nearly a third of live and recorded TV viewers said they browsed the internet concerning the content they were watching. Marketers should align their ad creative with the TV shows they intend to broadcast alongside, and your second screen campaign should match the content of your TV advert to maximise its effect on your target audience.

Extend and amplify your TV advertising messages and integrate cross-media advertising across multiple screens to tell your brand’s story seamlessly. As a result of this connected approach, advertisers can target prospective customers the moment their interest in your products or services has been piqued and provide them with additional information when they search for it. The TV advert becomes the touch point to draw viewers into a journey and deeper into the buying process.

Examples of Second Screen Advertising

The goal of second screen advertising is typically to engage the viewer and provide additional information, direct them to the call-to-action and simplify the buying process. The possibilities to effectively utilise this strategy are limited only by an advertiser’s creativity. Here are a few of companies’ most common ways to engage customers with second-screen devices.

Contests, Promotions, and Discounts

Text messages or SMS (text messages) have long been used to enter contests advertised onscreen. Nowadays, we typically see adverts displaying unique promo or QR codes that allow those that view a tv ad a limited-time discount on products advertised when accessed online through a mobile device. Special offers like this help build a sense of urgency and streamline purchasing from television to checkout in minutes.

Live Tweeting

Second screen advertising may involve sponsored tweets or Facebook posts displayed during certain times and in certain regions to capture viewers’ attention. During live events, many viewers follow the action on Twitter and participate in the conversation; Twitter users sent 17.3 million tweets about the 2017 Grammy awards, for example. Social media presents a massive opportunity for brands to get involved as the event unfolds. Marketers can target tweets and advertising campaigns at your target audience by planning around live events they will be watching.

Product sales aren’t the only aspect of second-screen promotion. You can also use it to promote and increase brand awareness. On Twitter, viewers can interact directly with brands over feedback, relevant content and deals. Businesses sometimes offer coupons or discounts to viewers who share photos of their products on social media alongside a hashtag. Hashtags can lead yet more customers to websites or apps and create hype around a product or brand. Moreover, they can let you see if your products are trending.

 Advertising on Companion apps

Today, there is a digital smartphone app for everything and anything. Advertisers looking to extend their reach to the second screen can consider tailoring ads on companion apps tied to a show or network that interests their target demographic. For example, sporting goods stores may advertise on Betfred’s app during football matches while simultaneously advertising on Sky Sports. It is essential to consider how to target these consumers since, they are otherwise involved in another interactive activity whilst watching TV, instead of just passively responding to content through social media and text messages.

Synchronising first and second screen advertising

Businesses using performance marketing tools can accurately measure the effectiveness of multi-screen campaigns that combine TV and online advertising. In this way, they continuously optimise how TV and online campaigns are designed and integrated to understand your viewers’ interests and actions better.

Syncing TV and digital ads is the key that allows companies to weave a seamless brand story. By using modern technologies, it is possible to synchronise both advertising channels. Automatic content recognition (ACR) is used to gather TV commercials and analyse them as soon as they air. Real-time TV and online advertising platforms can be paired using these analytics, and marketers can launch synchronised television and digital advertising campaigns. Television ads can be coordinated with search engine advertising (SEA) campaigns and therefore boosted by the presence of additional screens. In this fashion, second-screen advertising allows for the repetition of an ad across both screens, increasing its effectiveness and memorability. This technique will enable advertisers to re-engage viewers who may otherwise have switched to a different device and been lost.

It is possible to run tests on the interaction between TV campaigns and online marketing and then optimise them for the future. This strategy can measure televised advertising when potential customers view an ad and then connect to an online space. The KPIs (key performance indicators) on a brand’s website can make customers’ behaviour more transparent by tracking unique visitors, clicks, sales, etc therefore the effectiveness of a TV advert can be measured.

How can the ad world capitalise on second-screen media?

As discussed, It makes sense for advertisers to push relevant, timely adverts around the content a target audience is likely to watch on TV. Companies should cover digital spaces and social networks with related conversations, promotions, and information.

Consumers may still engage with their phones when a commercial plays mid-content; however, despite this being a less engaging view of your ad, it is still possible to facilitate more meaningful interactions. In addition to creating additional brand touchpoints, second-screen advertising takes advantage of habitual internet scrolling and can benefit advertisers during their first-screen ads. Interactivity is essential to maximise the second screen advantage. This idea is based on the argument that when attention is divided between two competing points of focus, the one that offers interactivity and holds the viewer’s interest will usually win.

Advertisers should simplify the purchasing process from a television ad to second-screen media to the checkout to capitalise on potential customers’ instinctive urge to purchase a product they like. As viewers take action; like google searching for something related to the ad or visiting your website, you continue to build a relationship beyond the original advertisement. The time between watching an ad and purchasing is much shorter now, so taking action is far more likely. To illustrate, online retailer Amazon reduced their purchasing process to a single click, and the vast popularity it enjoys can be partly attributed to ease of use.

Smartphones constantly collect data about our search queries and shopping habits as we go about our daily routines. Savvy businesses are always looking to utilise this information to study market feedback to improve further and tailor their advertising campaigns. Because our smartphones are rarely away from our side, it is best always to consider cross-channel experiences that rely heavily on mobile devices.

TV commercials, on the other hand, need to make a lasting impression, or advertisers must find a way to retarget that audience. Currently, there exists no commerce integration into our TV browsing yet, so even when someone does see an ad, they can’t simply click to make a purchase. Simply put, consumers already need a secondary electronic device to make a purchase so why not capitalise upon that. Second-screen advertising should always be considered to help ensure results and a healthy return of income on any ad spend.

Targeting younger audiences

Generations of all ages are accustomed to second-screen viewing, but mobile phone usage while watching TV is most common among Gen Z and Millennial viewers. Over 70% of these age groups regularly watch TV while using a mobile device. Because the younger generations were introduced to smartphones at a very young age, members of Gen Z have grown up multitasking with digital media. Since these are the generations that statistically watch the least amount of TV each week, advertisers looking to target audiences in this age range need to consider implementing second-screen advertising to reach them.

Targeting older audiences

Older viewers may have developed the habit of second screening on mobile later in life, but that does not preclude them from second-screen advertising opportunities. 65% of internet users aged 35 – 44 regularly use their mobile phones when watching television. In addition, of those aged 45-54, over half (53%) said they used their smartphones as a second screen. 41% of baby boomers aged 55+ use their mobile devices as second-screens whilst watching TV, and that share is expected to grow as they become more used to multitasking. Even though traditional TV advertising may still be very effective amongst these age ranges, advertisers should not ignore the increased opportunities that second-screen marketing can create.

The bottom line

The television advertising industry is adapting to the digital age by moving beyond simple 30-second commercials in an ad break to direct consumers toward second-screen content. Second-screen advertising increases the engagement time between a brand and the consumer, thereby raising the chances of persuading the consumer to buy a product or try a service. Businesses are integrating first and second-screen advertising to enhance and streamline the overall customer experience, from impact to purchase.

Most companies have an online presence that marketers should fully utilise. The more touchpoints you can present to consumers, the more information can be made available to them. The extent that which businesses can utilise this strategy likely depends on the ad budget and available resources, but digital media still represents one of the cheapest platforms to advertise upon.

Advertisers who want to reach out to the mobile generation utilise second-screen advertising to raise brand awareness. It goes beyond what a traditional tv advertisement could and can be used to increase a marketing campaign’s success. Young audiences and working professionals can feel that watching TV wastes time unless they can maximise productivity simultaneously by answering emails and multitasking their workload on a mobile device. Without incorporating second-screens, this segment of the demographic can become lost to advertising messages.

Combined with TV advertising, online advertising amplifies a company’s message. It is possible to bring potential customers who were looking for information or who have been prompted by a television commercial to search for products to a brand’s website. By advertising on second screens and utilising social media, the relationship between brand and consumer becomes much closer. Taking advantage of online spaces to create second-screen content has never been easier, and the beauty of the digital era is that there is no limitation to what you can do.

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