With synchronized TV and search, advertisers capitalize on live TV

Live events are golden opportunities for TV advertisers. They are efficient and effective ways to get active-participation viewers -- those with second-screen devices -- to respond. From award shows to prime sporting events, such as The Grammys, Super Bowl, March Madness, etc., advertisers are willing to fork over major dollars to get in front of large, captivated audiences. One of the best ways brands can optimize their TV spend, especially during high-interest, live-TV events, is by synchronizing TV spots with search campaigns.

For advertisers, TV has become a primary driver of search. Because we’re living in an age of active-participation viewing, consumers immediately engage digitally with brands when they’re interested in spots, searching to learn more about what they saw on the small screen. In fact, close to 90% of viewers have digital devices in-hand or nearby when watching TV, and two-thirds of smartphone users turn to search to learn more about the ads they’ve watched.

Since the majority of TV-driven searches take place in the minutes after spots air, it’s crucial that advertisers secure the top search ranking in those moments to take advantage of this response. When they do, the results can be dramatic.

Maximize TV ad response

A recent WARC study quantified TV’s influence on search spikes. Evaluating two brands, WARC found that 75% of incremental searches took place within two minutes of TV spots airing. Not only are viewers responding to TV ads through search, but they’re also doing so immediately after spots air. These results indicate peoples’ tendency toward impulsive searches after viewing TV ads, helping to speed up the journey to becoming customers.

Optimize paid search and encourage TV-driven engagement

Paid search is more competitive than ever. According to Forrester, 49% of marketers who manage search efforts said that paid-search ad spend would be stagnant in 2018 because of competition. However, there are other ways to get around this. Synchronizing TV and paid search generates a dramatic increase in engagement. Whenever their TV spots air, brands should trigger dedicated search campaigns for the minutes following those ads. This means bidding for the top search position only during the moments when consumer intent-to-buy/engage are highest.

Increase mobile conversion

Smartphones are obviously changing the way consumers behave while watching TV, and brands have the opportunity to capitalize on this trend. If interested, mobile users will take immediate action when watching a TV spot. TV-inspired respondents using a mobile device also have a significantly higher purchase intent. Another survey from Forrester revealed that 34% of US online adults have found a website or mobile app through natural search listings in March 2018 alone. With this statistic in mind, advertisers should ensure they have a mobile-optimized website as a simple conversion path to make the most of their TV and search investments.

TV ads will continue to play a big role in viewers’ search behavior -- that much we know. What’s more, we’ve seen first-hand that having the top search position in those critical, post-air moments significantly increases click-through rates and helps to maximize TV-driven response. Not to mention, it also ensures efficiency of spend. By synchronizing TV with paid search, brands can expect to drive double-digit conversions, optimize their own campaigns and outbid competitors when it matters the most.

Daniel Gulick is a head of customer success at TVSquared, a TV performance analytics and optimization company.

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