Tune-in television advertising is poised to be the next big mover online. Read on to find out how certain stations and networks are getting a substantial leg up on their competitors.
This just in: Internet advertising works -- it helps target and deliver tailored messages to consumers in the market for new cars. It promotes whiter teeth, provides ways to lose unwanted pounds, and scouts cheap home loans -- it's even found a way to sell currency that is only good for playing social online games. In short, the internet has proved itself as an incredibly effective vehicle for promoting almost anything.
So, why is one of the most prevalent promotional forms -- television tune-in advertising -- still living in the dark ages? While stations and networks use their own air time, radio, cable, out-of-home, and perhaps even print for advertising during sweeps, internet-based tune-in promotion is actually quite rare.
The primary reason tune-in advertising hasn't proliferated on the web is because, historically, it was just plain hard to execute. Anytime video was involved, the activity of creating online ads was manual, time-intensive, and generally cost-prohibitive. There were no timely opportunities online for tune-in advertisers, who were used to having total control of swapping on-air promotions in (or out) as necessary. Advertising a daily syndicated show, the evening news broadcast, or prime-time programming requires promotional content that is relevant on a daily, and sometimes hourly, basis. It is one thing to produce video for on-air, and quite another to run it through online ad trafficking, in-stream formatting, and rich media with production nightmares.
However, online advertising now has the potential to solve a number of challenges in television promotion. For example, stations, networks, and syndicators need to reach an audience outside of their own viewership. Yes, radio and cable can help, but the web offers an inexpensive way to deliver video with nearly universal reach. Many television stations have their own web properties with display inventory that often goes unsold beyond remnant. Why not take advantage of that in-house inventory to promote their most valuable product? But it doesn't stop there; these stations can also reach relevant audiences on targeted external sites.
For the recent November sweeps period, a leading television station in a top-three market decided to promote its nightly news broadcasts via in-banner video, both on its website and other locally relevant online sites. The station updated video content daily to keep the tune-in promotion timely and changed content during the day via an automated day parting plan. Taking advantage of interactivity, the ads brought in live Twitter feeds and other ways for the audience to interact with the station and television personalities.
The campaign delivered hundreds of thousands of individual views, totaling thousands of hours of tune-in video consumed. More importantly, when the numbers came in, the station was notably up over its competitors. While there are always a number of factors that affect station ratings, this was the first time this station aggressively deployed dynamic online video advertising.
Today, television creative services and programming teams can avoid the overwhelming barriers to timely, high-quality video promotions on the web. Here's how: Teams can traffic ads to their own brand sites -- or external sites purchased as part of a standard media plan -- one time and update the video content within those ads weekly, daily, or multiple times each day without re-trafficking.
This new capability might seem simple, but it opens up a world of opportunities. Now, a tune-in promotion can be created, trafficked, and "aired" as quickly online as it is on television. In-banner tune-in ads offer reach, plentiful and inexpensive inventory, and true engagement. Audiences that view the video tune-in promotion are actually choosing to watch it, instead of being forced. Viewers also have more options to interact with the content they see, with social media and sharing, "telescoping" within the same ad to watch additional video promotions, and even dynamic polling or surveys. Ultimately, in-banner video ads help tune-in advertisers create experiences and interactions never before possible with on-air promotions.
Television tune-in advertising is poised to be the next big mover online. The growth of video, the availability of inventory, and the new technology tools that erase past challenges make it too compelling a choice to avoid. Just like competitors in the retail, finance, and automotive markets, those television stations, syndicators, and networks that embrace online tune-in advertising will be the future winners because these brands will have mastered the ability to deliver timely and extremely relevant ads to potential viewers.
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