Where Is My Audience?

As TV viewing and time spent with media moves online, tune-in advertisers – those responsible for promoting television programming to encourage potential viewers to “tune in” or watch a particular show – must adapt their marketing strategies and adopt new technologies to engage their audiences. Reach, frequency, audience targeting, and engagement are important to every online advertiser. But, these elements have become key differentiators for tune-in advertisers – the syndicators, broadcasters, and cable networks that must deliver audiences and ratings, especially during the critical times when advertising rates are set. Those that embrace online advertising gain a more efficient and effective way to promote programming, and new ways to measure this success.

Historically, tune-in advertisers have been sophisticated in their offline efforts. Their ability to generate real-time, relevant advertising content across television and radio is well established. Until now, using daily, topical spots to promote programming online has been an elusive strategy because of the long production cycles of traditional rich media ads. Without the flexibility needed to tailor messaging across national programming for hundreds of DMAs, or to change promos by time of day, online was even more impractical. So what has changed?

Today, tune-in marketers can incorporate key elements in their online advertising efforts that were previously difficult to execute. Delivering video ad content inexpensively is now a reality via display ads. Moreover, dynamically changing content within those ads to reflect local stations and programming times is possible. Now advertisers also have a mechanism to change video, graphical, and textual content instantaneously even if an ad has already been flighted. Creative service departments can use self-service tools as a part of their existing spot production and trafficking workflow. These new capabilities offer tune-in advertisers the flexibility to deliver online campaigns effectively across a wide spectrum of scenarios. Here are two examples of how this fundamentally changes the way tune-in advertisers create campaigns:

Advertise nationally syndicated programming in conjunction with local news. A local TV station can run a daily video promo of a nationally syndicated show and also incorporate a promo for the evening news within a single in-banner video ad unit. This way, tune-in advertisers can promote more of their content and also ensure its timely delivery to attract broader audiences. Updates to campaigns in real time and scheduled day-parts for different ads make this possible. For example, one day-part can lead up to the 6:00 p.m. news, another between the six and 11:00 p.m. news, and then a third for the period until the next morning’s news cycle begins to drive viewership around each newscast or segment.

Promote cable and broadcast network shows to draw broad interest and engagement. New television shows must build an active, engaged audience base. Promoting new programming online enables networks to dynamically serve or optimize different promotional spots to specific audiences based on demographics or geography. Rather than simply providing a video clip for consumption, major shows may choose to drive further engagement through Facebook “likes” and posts or even real-time Twitter feeds. These online ad units help tune-in advertisers drive sampling of their content among target audiences, and drive higher levels of viewership.

The numbers from campaigns run this year confirm that online video advertising is a winner for tune-in. My company’s industry data shows a user-initiated view rate of approximately 1.7 percent from in-banner video ads, vs. the industry standard click-through rate of 0.1 percent from static banner ads. The data also shows that view duration of these ads is approximately 60 percent, typically from :30 spots as the core creative asset. This performance has more tune-in advertisers adding online advertising into their media mix.

Consider those view rates again. New view metrics help tune-in advertisers expand on pure reach and frequency to allocate spend based on reaching interested viewers. Each active view represents an audience member that chooses to watch a tune-in promotional clip and sample their promo content. Tune-in advertisers can enhance their classic reach and frequency numbers by assessing the size of their market and targeting active views. For example, a syndicator may want to reach the male 35 to 54 segment in a particular city – perhaps 500,000 people. The advertiser can identify ideal spend by how much of that target population they want to expose to an ad impression and actively watch their promo video. If 25 to 40 percent actively sought to watch the video, this would be successful.

Online advertising is opening up new worlds for tune-in advertisers. Not only are there opportunities to deliver the right message at the right time to the right audience, but new metrics and performance measures provide invaluable insight into audiences. Tune-in advertisers using dynamic, in-banner video ads to promote programming this year are on the vanguard of the next growth wave of online advertising and paving the way for new digital marketing solutions.

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