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Advertising Trend: Why Your Business Needs Both TV and Internet Ads

By Peter Koeppel

Today, television and the Internet are merging, at least when it comes to advertising and reaching potential customers. No longer are customers using only one medium to learn about new products and services. Rather, customers appreciate and expect companies to take a multi-media advertising approach when selling products and building brand awareness. As such, smart marketers are using the synergy created from the convergence of television and Internet marketing to capture the lion’s share of the marketplace.

For example, many television networks are now selling TV and online ads as part of a marketing package. That is, when you purchase a television ad you can also purchase online advertising, such as a video ads, on a network’s website. The TV networks realize that a company’s online presence is becoming increasingly important, and networks are trying to create better online content to combine with their TV packages.

Taking the merging of the two mediums a step further, NBC is developing a tool called Total Audience Measurement for advertisers, which examines the amount of time viewers spend with NBC programming, both online and on TV. This tool will help advertisers better understand how the two marketing mediums work together and how much the online portion of a company’s advertising impacts their bottom line.

So why is this multi-media approach gaining so much attention? Consider the facts:

  • The Weather Channel did a study and found that ad recall was 23% higher when people saw a commercial on both TV and the web, versus when they saw the commercial on TV alone.

  • Additional studies reveal that anywhere from 15 to over 70% of customers make their purchase via the web when they’re offered an 800 number and a website in a television ad.

  • TV networks have found that people who are surfing the web are more attentive than people watching TV. In fact, web video commercials increased viewer attention rates by 53%, viewer awareness by 52%, and brand consideration by 27% over traditional TV spots, according to Millward Brown’s CTV-1 Study

The bottom line is that if you’re not using both television and online ads to reach customers, you’re missing a huge share of potential revenue. To help you successfully integrate your television and online presence, use the following suggestions to guide your marketing efforts.

Use your existing TV spots to drive people online: If you watch any television channel, you can see that many programs direct viewers to the web. The website will then give viewers additional information about the show, interviews with cast members and/or producers, or even clips from upcoming episodes. Programs such as Fox’s 24 and MTV’s The Hills are well-known for this approach. According to the Scripps Networks, 80-90% of their online audiences have watched the network’s TV channels within a week. So there’s a lot of interplay between the two mediums and it’s a good idea to run a customized version your TV ad on the network’s website too.

Realize that you can use this same concept with your company’s TV ads. Make sure all your television advertising includes a website mention and perhaps even web-only specials that people can receive. Use your site to offer people more information about your product or service, coupons, testimonials from real-life customers, and even some interactive features such as blogs or message boards where customers can get involved. When HGTV.com started using their site for customer involvement, they saw a 70% increase in ad revenue. There’s no reason you couldn’t achieve similar increases in sales on your site employing some of these ideas.

If you’re a web-only business, use TV ads to give your online presence a boost: With all the technology available today, being a web-only business is not just feasible, it can also be extremely profitable. However, web-only businesses that do web-only advertising need to realize that TV is the biggest mass medium and has a proven ability to drive people to the web. So don’t ignore television and think it’s not applicable to your web-only business. For example, eHarmony.com, the online dating site, is a web-based business and initially did web-only advertising. When they added TV commercials to their advertising mix, its been reported that they grew rapidly from approximately $10 million to an estimated $100 million in revenue. So while online ads are certainly effective for online businesses, remember to use the power of television to grow your web-based business even more.

Buy online keywords that match your television advertising: Since people watching television may not be 100% focused on your ad, you need to make it easy for them to find you later. So even though you may offer a website address and phone number in your TV commercial, don’t expect viewers to always write them down or remember them. However, chances are they will remember the name of your product, or at least a close variation of the product’s name. Therefore, when you buy keywords for your online presence, be sure you purchase not only the name of your product and company, but also variations of your product’s name that not-so-focused consumers can type into a search engine to locate your site. This is one example of how the combination of TV advertising and keyword search works together to improve results.

Customize your message to suit the medium: Web video advertising needs to be shorter than the typical TV ad. In general, plan your online commercial to be 15 seconds in length. TV commercials typically are anywhere from 15-60 seconds in length, even longer with a direct response spot. If your online commercial is a pre-roll ad that runs before the video segment people are downloading, realize that viewers don’t want to watch a long ad. So in this instance, shorter is better. However, if it’s a freestanding online ad that’s not connected to a video, then you can use a longer format. Many companies who use infomercials, which are typically about 28 minutes in length, shorten it to a 2-minute segment on the web. If possible, have the spokesperson who appears in your TV spot also appear in your web advertising, so there’s a tie in between the two mediums.

Take advantage of web-based TV: Some TV networks are now creating their own webisodes. These are television-like shows that appear on the web only. For example, FoodNetwork.com in preparing to roll out a web-based show called Cocktails. During each webisode, advertisers will have the opportunity to present ads that thematically tie in with the videos the viewers are watching. As the networks attempt to capture some of the ad dollars that are switching over to the Internet, you’ll likely see more websites with relevant content that engage viewers.

In addition, there’s also an emergence of TV networks that are developing on the Internet. One of the forerunners in this medium is Joost, which offers TV programming online. Some of the programming is original, while the rest is from networks like MTV. Since many big name advertisers are realizing that audiences are migrating over to the web, they are committing advertising dollars to online networks like Joost, in order to capture new audiences.

Another TV network called Ripe TV is taking multi-media advertising to the extreme. Not only do they have traditional television and online ads, but they also have TVs shows online, downloadable podcasts, video on demand, and content people can download onto their mobile phone. It’s an entire network that has developed on the web and has components that cross over into other mediums. Getting your advertising on just a few of these options will certainly increase your company’s presence.

The Future of Advertising is Now: Companies that are relying solely on one advertising medium are missing the mark. It takes a combination of television and Internet advertising to make a true impact on today’s consumers. So leverage your marketing dollars by using the synergy of TV and online ads. When you do, your company’s brand recognition will grow, and so will your bottom line results.

Read other articles and learn more about Peter Koeppel.

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