Social Advertising Formats – Social TV Monetization Part 3
By Zachary Weiner, Director of Global Marketing at never.no
We will continue our deep dive into Social TV monetization and advertising. I’ll chat on some directly monetizable elements that social TV can provide to content providers as well as advertising benefits for brands and agencies. We hear the term Social TV and Social TV Advertising quite often, yet rarely do we brush upon breaking the term down into the various formats that are on offer.
We’ll follow this with a really huge conversation on multiscreen placements and how to breed truly interactive ad placements coming up next.
Naturally Social Advertising
By the very nature of socialization, advertising spots on television can very easily shift between paid and earned media in the ‘paid-earned-owned’ equation. Ad spots can also become “multiscreen” placements quite simply without much further work on behalf of content creators/providers. This is the reason we see so many simple hashtags appearing on ad spots and the increase in social analytics coming into play for TV spots across the board. Social complements TV, and vice versa, whether it’s great programming or a great ad. We draw live audiences back into the action of a real-time ad experience because it is most social when it’s occurring in real-time.
A great commercial placement has always had the ability to yield a social share. We’ve been spreading funny/interesting commercials for decades. The digital world lets us do this in real-time (rather than around the water cooler the next day), and with a larger audience as discussed in article one, Social TV Advertising, this allows for social TV Advertising to flourish in some ways, but these methods are the home turf of the creative brand agency. You want easy social TV advertising? Have great creative. End point.
The content creator or broadcaster doesn’t necessarily see any additional revenue from this iteration of social TV Advertising. It’s a natural implementation. Great creative = More social ads.
That said, we could go far deeper than this. It’s just a matter of enabling a far more engaging experience across multiple screens and having all screens integrated. It’s a matter of taking true advantage of what new technologies and behaviors can offer us.
Socially Engineered Campaigns
Many recent campaigns have integrated social methodology to tie in the big screen with smaller screens, by asking for participation or action within Facebook, Twitter or other social media. Some exceptional examples of earned media have been enabled with results starting to showcase these methods as proven ways to increase an Ad/campaign yield.
A great example of the above is the latest innovative campaign from Mercedes. The campaign allows users to help shape the end of a series of commercials by interacting directly with Twitter. Quite cool. They are enabling a viewer to not just participate, but also feel that they are helping to shape, steer and control their media. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, control is very powerful and control of a TV is new. Nearly as powerful here, is the fact that by allowing interactive participation via twitter, each interaction is also naturally spread via social. If a person wants to cast a vote via twitter, they are also spreading a brand message. Each and every time. To a potentially massive audience. From the brand perspective there is a myriad of diverse engagements to be created with exceptional success as we imagine the possibilities.
At present these formats are still what I would consider to be quite basic strategies that are just scratching the surface of future potential. We can still envisage far greater formats for engagement, interaction and, of course, monetization. We can still go deeper here.
Brand Sponsorship of Interactive Elements: Polling/voting/gaming/social result based ads
We can look into this ad format for both over-the-top content as well as linear, however I will save my OTT thoughts for another time. Integrating brand sponsorships into newly found social and participative elements can be brought about incredibly simply and effectively for all parties involved.
We have a plethora of new interactions that can be engaged with on the big screen as well as second screens. Voting/polling/social responses which allow viewer participation and then display the results graphically on-screen are directly monetizable. A poll is launched, viewers interact and respond and the results can be displayed on the big screen in a nice big sponsored section.
These graphical sections displaying interactive results have an endemic capability to dually serve as display ad real estate. The power behind this format is that it is an advertisement that occurs during the programming. It is integrated with programming elements and it is based on viewer interaction. This means it is not skippable, it occurs during the greatest levels of viewer attention. This format is also directly monetizable by a broadcaster and due to it’s interactive elements/nature. Viewers have a direct call to action to view it, as opposed to far more indirect sponsor placements. There are also various permutations that smart creatives can come up with, based on the idea of sponsored polls/voting and having these elements play out in real time. (We’ll have a specific article for these as well, not to worry).
Synchronized Multiscreen Advertisement Placements
I believe this is where the heart of TV advertising is heading. I also feel this is the most compelling future of linear TV ad placements. These formats have been getting some good exposure lately as they offer a dual screen experience in real time and offer an ad placement that can be found on not one, but two screens simultaneously.
A synced placement allows a very specific interaction to take place organically. An ad is launched on TV, and a second screen device syncs to it. We allow a viewer to see the ad; we then allow the ad to be pushed to the user’s second screen device. At this stage, the viewer can interact with the placement and be led to deeper experiences, transactions, or share any captivating elements.
When using a synchronized second screen, we capitalize on all screens, no matter which one is currently holding the viewer’s attention. This is compounded by the fact that with another screen displaying an advert, we create monetization elements. Consequently, content creators/providers are able to further monetize new and emerging digital assets.
That said there are numerous challenges (Screen mortgaging/fragmentation etc.) that need to be overcome. How we actually create interactivity and engagement across the screens must be discussed. Current synced iterations leave a lot to be desired and are lacking in multiple elements. For this reason, I will post a very quick follow-up to this post.
Stay tuned; we’ll soon discuss solutions for overcoming challenges of ad engagement and multiscreen synchronizations in depth.