The second screen experience has become an increasingly important means of reaching key demos.
Roughly two years ago, Twitter rolled out an incredible new feature that allowed advertisers to communicate with users that were watching a specific TV program, or even a branded commercial. The idea, as Twitter puts it, is to give “networks and brands the opportunity to participate in [Twitter] conversations, and to continue the conversations [advertisers] start on TV with Twitter users discussing relevant programs.” This video does a pretty good job of explaining the goal:
Well, while this is a great tool for advertisers, it speaks to a much larger societal trend that is making the lives of marketers (like myself) significantly more difficult every day.
The Second Screen Experience Trend
The second screen experience is nothing new. Ever since smartphones, laptops and tablets became commonplace, the second screen experience has been very much alive, wherever we are watching television.
The problem is that not enough advertisers are taking advantage of it.
On Facebook, there are over 54 million registered Pages, but just the other day I got a ‘Thank You’ message from Mark and Sheryl (Zuckerberg and Sandberg, but you probably guessed that) because I am one of two million advertisers. That’s less than 4% of Pages registered on the network.
On Twitter, the numbers are even lower. In 2014, 92% of social marketers said that they advertised on Facebook, while only 23% said that they leveraged Twitter’s ad platform.
My question relates to the why. Why have advertisers not embraced these platforms for one of their most powerful capabilities: engaging through the second screen experience?
As noted above, Twitter TV targeting – a mechanism that I, as an advertiser, think Twitter has not sufficiently promoted – immerses brands directly into the conversation while it is taking place. One rule I tend to live by and preach to all of our clients at t2 is this: Don’t try and start a new conversation and hope users will come to you; rather, identify the conversations that your audience is already having and join in.
This is a concept lost on so many marketers and advertisers. When and where are prospects most actively using their smartphone? Well, a study conducted by Telefónica’s O2 UK and Sony Mobile found that 75% of smartphone owners use their phone while in the bathroom. The day Facebook and Twitter offer a means of targeting users with ads while they are in the lavatory is the day everyone will pay to advertise. But another one of the most popular uses for smartphones and social media is during TV programs.
Taking Advantage of the Second Screen
I’ve written quite a bit about the Golden Age of social media advertising. We’re slowly moving away from that on Facebook as prices begin to mount, but we are still very much there on Twitter. Advertisers are just not taking advantage of it.
Small investments in social advertising at the right time and with the right bidding strategy (see the video below) can generate HUGE returns! If you can identify when you audience is most active based on a series of interests that you are trying to target as well as an analysis of your free analytics on Facebook and Twitter, you can launch campaigns timed specifically to get your message in front of users when they are openly willing to absorb and engage with them.
Now, what do I mean by appropriate bidding strategies? I’m talking about the incremental bidding systems that I developed with my team that have proven to decrease cost-per-action significantly in any given campaign. Here is how it works:
Limiting your targeting to the times when you know your audience is most active will lead to results. It’s about time smart marketers realized this and started taking advantage of the opportunity.
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