These days, more and more customers are choosing not to invest in cable TV in favor of online streaming services. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic has lead to more and more people watching TV. Market researchers expect TV advertising to rebound in 2021, and the companies that lead the charge can get an edge over the competition.
While there are fewer advertisers taking advantage of a TV presence, it’s the perfect time to improve your offline exposure. If you’re unfamiliar with TV ads, there are some essential tips you can use to get started. Despite the challenges you might face this year, TV advertising an help you solidify your brand and gain new customers.
1. Capitalize on the Third Screen
Our smartphones have become our closest companions. Since they’ve evolved to offer everything we need online, we rarely let them out of our hands. For TV advertisements, this poses a challenge.
Advertisers need to compete with viewers themselves and the third screen that they’re always looking at. When commercials come on the TV, many viewers can tune them out and begin surfing the web on their phones.
To capitalize on the third screen, make sure your TV advertisements align with your offline promotions. Providing a multi-channel experience can make your name more memorable when it comes time for users to convert. Consider creating cohesive social media and PPC ads to run in tandem with your TV ads.
2. Use Programmatic TV Media Buying
Programmatic TV advertising is one great way to take advantage of the third screen. You may have heard of programmatic digital advertising, but the same concept is starting to apply to TV ads as well.
Programmatic TV advertising lets you leverage greater targeting to buy the best media slots for your audience. Through the variety of platforms offered by companies like Google, you can pay for TV ads to show up across multiple screens.
Programmatic platforms make it easier to manage your campaigns across channels, empowering you with more data and insights.
3. Tap Into Current Events
The best advertising is highly relevant to your audience. Consider including real-time events into your ad to make it timely and memorable. Tapping into current events might also add a sense of urgency to your ad, calling prospective customers to act immediately.
If you’re creating messaging around current events, make sure it still ties into your offering or mission. Customers are savvy enough these days to spot an opportunistic ad.
When done correctly, time-sensitive ads can help position your brand. Customers may view your company or organization as up-to-date and willing to care about current issues that matter.
4. Create Cohesive Offline Campaigns
Just like your TV ads should correspond with digital campaigns, they should also align with other offline channels. Consider investing in radio ads, billboard advertising and print ads that deliver the same messages.
You may not use every channel, and it’s wise to pick and choose. When it comes to media buying, always consider your audience and the channels they’re more likely to engage with.
Always organize your advertising by campaigns, so there’s a cohesive messaging across each platform. Even if your ad is promoting brand awareness, you should use the same tagline or mission statement. Otherwise, focus on a single promotion or offer.
5. Feature Influencers and Users
Influencers aren’t just for digital advertising. Recognizable advocates help create a more human connection with your brand. The power of connecting with a spokesperson has always been relevant.
Thanks to social media, customers form a stronger connection with people who seem more like them than celebrities. About 70% of teens say they’d trust an influencer more than a celebrity.
Bringing influencers into your TV campaign also helps provide another bridge between screens. Passive TV viewers may become more engaged once they see someone they recognize from social media. They may even be scrolling through social media at the time that your TV ad pops up, creating a direct connection.
You can also take advantage of user-generated content for TV ads. Like you would with social media, consider featuring real customers in your ad to capture the attention of other users. Mirroring your audience is always a great way to create appeal.
6. Invest in YouTube TV Commercials
TV media advertising has gone digital. While YouTube isn’t necessarily offline, more and more users are opting for streaming options that include live TV. YouTube TV is one of the biggest providers, and it offers a variety of advertising options through Google.
Unlike traditional TV commercials, you can target YouTube commercials very specifically. Targeting includes options for demographics, interests, remarketing and customer match.
7. Target as Specifically as Possible
While YouTube TV offers one of the best ways to target your audiences, it’s important to target through traditional advertising as well. Your options might be limited to channels and scheduling, but you should take advantage of every available option.
The more targeted, the more successful your ad will be. Customers are always more likely to engage when the ad is relatable and speaks to their needs or pain points. Before purchasing media, conduct due diligence and market research. All TV networks offer media kits about viewership that can help guide your decisions.
8. Include a Trackable CTA
TV advertising isn’t as easy to track as digital campaigns. There isn’t a link people can click on, and these days most viewers won’t pick up the phone. It’s still possible to implement a trackable CTA, but you need to be more deliberate about what you use.
While your TV ad is running, consider a temporary redesign for your homepage. When users hit the website, create a visible banner that leads to other pages. If your ad is about new products, the banner would likely lead directly to your shop page.
You can also develop a landing page with a short, memorable URL. Ask your customers to visit the URL in your ad and track that specific URL through analytics. Though it isn’t as foolproof as a digital campaign, these methods will still let you see user behavior coming from the TV ad.
9. Create an Emotional Appeal
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, many users are dealing with information overload at home. The news is constantly delivering updates, and many people are working from home.
Creating an emotional appeal through advertising is important to capture viewers while they’re relaxing and trying to tune out for the day. Even if you’re delivering information about your products and services, do so in a way that’s memorable and emotional.
The best way to create an emotional appeal is by tapping into something relatable. Depending on your audience, relatable experiences might include family and leisure. Consider how you can add relatable experiences into your ad.
10. Integrate a Strong Brand
Your TV commercial will only play for a matter of minutes, so you need to make sure it displays a memorable brand. Most users won’t watch your ad and act quickly. Instead, it’ll stay in their heads until the opportunity presents itself.
If you don’t have a strong brand, customers may opt for a competitor instead. Make sure your tone, colors, messaging and logo are clear and strong. Don’t cut corners, or you’ll risk an ad that doesn’t stand out.
11. Keep It Simple and Human
One of the biggest advertising trends 2021 will see is more human, simple TV commercials. Instead of a big production, commercials will be more successful as they mirror real-life scenarios as well as lower-budget social media advertising.
This is great news for your advertising budget. Stripped-down commercials cost less while creating a big impact. Some examples of this type of advertising include self-filmed customer testimonials, POV footage and animated commercials.
If you’re promoting a product, consider an ad that shows real users testing it out. Lifelike commercials are more similar to influencer reviews and user-generated content that people engage with the most online. By taking note of what works digitally, you can implement the same effect across cable.
Include TV Advertising as Part of Omnichannel Campaigns
TV advertising is just one strategy in your toolbelt. Successful advertising is about using a variety of platforms that make sense for your business and audiences. Before you invest in TV advertising, consider your current efforts and how you need to optimize for 2021.
TV commercials offer a great way to promote your brand and deliver messaging beyond your customers’ online activity. Offline campaigns let you stay top of mind and cut through the competition.
TV advertising includes a complicated form of media buying that isn’t easy to navigate on your own. By working with an advertising agency, you can make sure your goals are being pursued successfully across each channel.