“TV will never be a serious competitor for radio because people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen,” read a 1939 editorial in The New YorkTimes.
“No online database will replace your daily newspaper ... and no computer network will change the way government works,” wrote a journalist in a 1995 Newsweek article.
Such predictions are common when disruptive technologies emerge. The truth is that today, both TV and digital are alive and well. But for media planners trying to best allocate their ad dollars for lead generation, it can be a tricky game of weighing the pros and cons of each channel.
Fortunately, research shows that combining TV and digital advertising yields impressive results.
TV and Digital: Better Together
Using TV and digital together can strengthen your campaign, according to recent marketing research.
In an oft-cited study from Nielsen and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), deploying digital video advertising before a TV spot can significantly improve a campaign’s effectiveness. Prior exposure to an online ad led to a 33% increase in brand recall and 45% increase in message recall than TV alone. One of the study’s conclusions: Moving up to 15% of ad spend to digital provides “incremental and effective reach.”
The Wall Street Journal recently reported similar findings from the ESPN Lab. Their research showed that airing a combination of TV commercials, short-form videos, and ads on the WatchESPN app led to a 160% increase in purchase intent than a TV-only ad. The study also found that with the combined approach, awareness and word-of-mouth increased 36% and 67%, respectively.
Successfully combining TV and digital advertising means harnessing the unique power of each to connect with your ideal customers. So how do you make these channels work for you?
Think: Reach First, Target Second
In terms of reach, digital’s got nothing on TV (at least not yet). According to Nielsen, 283 million Americans watch nearly 146 hours of TV each month—a number that The New York Times staff in 1939 probably couldn’t have ever imagined. That’s more than 10 times the combined average for mobile and online video viewing.
What digital lacks in reach, it makes up for in personalization. Online channels are much better able to deliver targeted content to specific audiences at the right time. So think of using television to increase awareness and digital to get personal.
Use Memorable Phrases
Often, viewers of online ads don’t accidentally come across them—they seek them out. Make it easy for them by using memorable names, hashtags, and URLs that viewers can search for afterward.
Airing short, compelling ad spots can drive your viewers online, where they can learn more and, ideally, begin to engage. Under Armour did just that for its viral “I Will What I Want” campaign.
Type that unique phrase into Google and you’ll easily find Under Armour’s microsite, “the world’s first social network for athletes and fitness enthusiasts” where you can “track, analyze, and share your fitness activity.”
Create Channel-Appropriate Content
Television and digital both have specific advantages and disadvantages, and are often used in very different ways. Understanding this will be the key to your success.
In the age of enormous flat-screen HDTVs and surround sound speakers, television watching is an experience, often shared. If your ad is rich in visuals and sound—Nike’s “Write the Future” comes to mind—then don’t limit it to your YouTube page.
The idea of a “viewing experience” ties into major television programs or events, like the Super Bowl. Television gives you the opportunity to run an ad that is linked to this event, making it a memorable, cohesive piece of content.
Digital is personal, interactive, and increasingly mobile. Your ads should reflect this. And online viewing is usually a solo activity, which is why interactive games flourish in a digital environment.
Different content may work better for each channels, but it all should still be part of the same campaign. Stay on message, have clear goals, and use one channel to reinforce the other. Most importantly, always measure to see what’s working.
Ren Scott’s media buying team can help you generate leads by getting your content in front of the right audience. Contact us for a quote today.