It is no secret that traditional TV viewership is losing its audience fast. With the rise of services like Netflix and Hulu – as well as individually produced video content streamed on platforms like Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook Video – cable is no longer the holy grail of in-home entertainment. MediaPost projects that, by 2019, “connected” TV viewership through online streaming services will hit 200 million, representing a whopping 78.1% of U.S. households.
This, of course, poses a problem to companies who have traditionally relied on TV advertising spots to get the word out about their products and services. However, savvy companies have already begun carving a space out for themselves in this rapidly changing media landscape by turning to the internet. The marketing industry is changing with the times, and new developments are being made every day. Here are three ways that marketers can beat declining TV viewership:
According to AdWeek, marketing through Facebook and YouTube together provides the same kind of reach as TV advertising. For example, the Superbowl (well-known as the most watched event on U.S. television and the most valuable advertising day) garnered a total audience of 111.5 million last year. YouTube, on the other hand, boasts 4 billion views a day, and Facebook reports a daily user base of 1.44 billion people worldwide. The number of internet users who access YouTube directly through its homepage (much like how we traditionally turn on a TV to see what’s on) is up more than 300% year upon year. While TV viewership continues to plummet and social media usage continues to skyrocket, it won’t be long until social media marketing is the most effective choice – according to Salesforce’s “State Of Marketing” 2015 report, close to 40% of marketers are shifting ad spend from traditional advertising to digital, with 70% to increase spend on Instagram and Snapchat amongst other social media platforms.
Amongst social media channels and platforms, marketers are recognizing the importance and value of targeting users via digital influencers (Instagrammers, YouTubers, Snapchatters, Viners). Takeaway: these social media stars are oftentimes the most succinct way to reach and engage vast amounts of consumers online. To see why social media engagement matters (beyond just vanity metrics – impressions, views, followers) for sponsored content, see our article here.
Consider this: YouTube reaches more American Millennials than any television or cable network. While Millennials may seem like an innocuous bunch now, by 2017, they are expected to contribute a massive $200 billion to the U.S. economy. According to a recent report by advertising technology firm Turn, marketers already spend 500% more trying to reach Millennials than any other group. In order to get your message out to this key demographic, it is crucial to really dial in the following:
Spend some time learning about the niche that might be interested in your brand message, identifying the key social media platforms that are being used by those groups, and who they follow or look to for inspiration, guidance, and advice. It is important to note that each social media medium and niche will have its respective set of influencers – for instance, if your brand is looking to target lifestyle-oriented male Millennials on YouTube, Alpha M or perhaps Casey Neistat are prime choices whereas I Am Galla (Adam Gallagher) is a better choice for blog and/or Instagram. The same strategy applies for different millennial niches and interests (gaming, beauty, wanderlust).
Takeaway: A thoughtful social media strategy is invaluable as you attempt to engage Millennials. As their buying power continues to grow, it should be clear that they deserve your full attention. To see our 10-step process for finding, identifying, and executing an influencer marketing campaign, check out our whitepaper here.
Along those same lines, your content should appeal directly to your target demographic’s interests and aspirations. What’s the point of reaching Millennials if your message is irrelevant to them? The internet is winning out over traditional TV because it serves the same function, entertainment, but provides greater and more specific options for niche content. No longer are audiences required to sit through irrelevant TV advertisements. Today’s consumers want clever, captivating content that reflects their lifestyles and interests.
One company to look at: Buzzfeed. The website has done a great job of identifying the content that is popular with its audience. Brands routinely partner with Buzzfeed to develop short-form web content and videos that are easily shareable. Hyatt Regency, for example, promoted its hotels on the site through a quick quizlet. The content is fun, and does the work of traditional advertising (i.e. getting a consumer to pay attention to your brand) while simultaneously being engaging.
Takeaway: Create content that users voluntarily consume, and dollars will inevitably follow. To see how to create sponsored content with Instagrammers, check out our article here.