These days, many consumers are watching television with mobile devices in their hands. Increasingly, this isn’t simply to be a distraction during the ads. People are using their second screen—smartphone or tablet—to connect with other people as they experience a show or event, to get more information about what they see on TV, or possibly even make a purchase. Some see this as a problem; others might see it as a second screen content marketing opportunity.
More than 43 million people watched the 2014 Academy Awards broadcast live. According to Google, more than half of the Oscar-related searches that day came from mobile devices. This year, during the Golden Globe awards, Google searches spiked for the actors and director of Boyhood each time the movie won an award. And 65-70% of that traffic came from mobile devices.
It isn’t just search that feels the impact from the second screen phenomenon; social media gets a bump during television viewing as well. The act of watching television is becoming more social because of the power of technology to connect viewers and to build shared experiences.
If you are aiming to get attention on a second screen during the time a consumer is watching television, you are competing with everything else in that consumer’s life. According to Millward Brown: 22% of what a consumer is doing on a mobile device is stacking—looking at content not related to what they are watching on TV. Only 14% of that time is meshing—simultaneous use of the second screen for content related to what the consumer is watching.
Whether the goal is to educate, share information, build brand recognition, or make a sale, content marketers can and should take advantage of this growing second screen phenomenon.
5 Tips for Second Screen Content Marketing
Tip 1: Plan, plan, plan
You have an editorial calendar for a reason—because coming up with content ideas on the fly is a recipe for disaster. The same is true for trying to play the real time marketing game for any televised show or event, pre-recorded or live, scripted or filmed from real life.
Tip 2: Be flexible
Planning has its place. But real-time marketing is all about your ability to go with the flow. If you plan a campaign or tactic based on the belief that something specific will happen, you have to be ready to pivot if that doesn’t happen. And, of course, you have to be ready for the truly unexpected, as Oreo famously was during Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
Tip 3: Be relevant
You don’t have much time to capture the audience’s attention—so the content had better be bite-sized and relevant. This is where the planning comes in…know your brand message and consider how that relates to the show or event. Snickers surely didn’t know that Luis Suarez was going to bite Giorgio Chiellini during a 2014 World Cup game. But they were ready with an on-brand message when he did.
Tip 4: Hashtags are your friend
At the very least, use of a well-timed and relevant hashtag on social media is the way to get your brand involved in a show or event and to get your audience involved with your brand. If you happen to be running any ads during the show, a hashtag is a must to foster social engagement.
Tip 5: Go big or go home
If you want to do real-time marketing on mobile devices, you’ve got to take a chance. Consider more than just a hashtag to involve and engage your audience. Dominos Pizza created a mobile app to accompany the show The X Factor. The app enables users to vote, provide real-time feedback, and connect with their friends. And, also, by the way, order pizza.
As you think about second screen content marketing, remember…the primary purpose here is to entertain. Your audience is already doing something else. This isn’t the time for sharing important information or using a hard sell. This is the time for fun and engagement. With a little preparation and a willingness to be bold, you can use the second screen to your advantage and amaze and impress your brand’s family, friends, and fans.