Broadcasters can leverage the credibility they enjoy among viewers as they try to capture a share of growing Web advertising.
TV stations’ well-established credibility makes them desirable partners for advertisers looking to create effective campaigns for TV and the Web. Broadcasters need to take advantage of this fact to capture a larger share the advertising dollars that are now being funneled into the Web. And they need to exploit the full power of the Web to make interactive connections between consumers and advertisers.
As executive vice president of Minneapolis-based Internet Broadcasting, a 10-year-old company that publishes 79 TV station Web sites nationwide, I know that consumers put substantially more trust in information they glean from local TV stations than from other sources. To many, stations are well-known brands and on-air personalities feel like personal friends. That familiarity extends easily to stations’ Web sites.
A study by Minneapolis-based Heinrich Marketing Research concluded that the more credible a consumer finds a site’s content, the more likely he or she is to believe advertising information found there. Consumers already consider TV stations as expert providers of local news, sports and weather. That trust results in consumers staying longer with advertisements found on station sites and in clicking more often on them.
For example, job-search site Monster.com powers Internet Broadcasting’s Career Channel on 57 of our sites. Some 3,000 visitors in 20 markets reported that they are more likely to go to these TV station sites to find local job listings. Because of the surrounding content, visitors believe these job listings will be more recent and more relevant than listings found elsewhere. That fact makes it worth Monster’s while to keep expanding its partnership with us, even though it also has its own well-known portal at Monster.com.
Internet Broadcasting also has found that linking advertisers’ TV spots with Web elements increases a campaign’s total effectiveness. A 30-second spot exposes an advertiser to one of the broadest audiences possible, but getting consumers really involved with a brand via interactivity develops stickier relationships with them.
The Web offers advertisers a terrific opportunity to capture people’s attention and encourage them to interact with brands. We strongly emphasize this to advertisers and work with them on the best ways of doing this, including integrated content, rich media and sponsorship ideas. We also caution against cutting corners by taking standard creative—such as a 30-second spot or a print ad—and placing it directly online as a streaming video or banner ad.
In these spaces, consumers get information that is useful to them, while advertisers get to go much deeper in highlighting products and services. Giving consumers the opportunity to really interact with brands—whether through entering sweepstakes, submitting home videos or just by stating their opinions—helps establish bonds and loyalty between people and products.
There are several ways to do this. Internet Broadcasting helps advertisers design these all-important interactive experiences by offering them a turn-key approach to converged campaigns. We help advertisers create 15- or 30-second spots that air on TV stations, and then use those spots to drive viewers to stations’ Web sites. With an in-house studio and our own producers and on-air talent, we are able to quickly put together any kind of video that clients might demand.
We also work through our national sales staff—located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Minneapolis—to place these campaigns with local TV stations and their companion Web sites. With our national network of station sites, Internet Broadcasting offers advertisers the ability to reach a large number of national viewers or a targeted number of local or regional viewers in one ad buy.
While TV stations’ sites are individually powerful in their local markets, networking them together increases their value to advertisers. Stations can then attract national advertising dollars they aren’t able to pursue on their own in one ad buy.
And with consumers spending more time than ever online, even and especially during the work day, the Web gives stations the opportunity to stay connected with viewers when they aren’t in front of the TV set. That’s an added point for advertisers as well: going online gives them a constant relationship with viewers.
Finally, advertising on the Web allows for careful tracking of consumers’ level of engagement, a service that more and more advertisers are demanding. The one-on-one nature of the Internet lets advertisers measure how well a campaign achieves its goals, whether those goals were increasing brand awareness, improving consumers’ relationships with a brand, or actually driving sales.
Ultimately, advertisers want to be associated with trust. TV stations have spent their entire history building that trust with audiences in every market in the country. With interactive advertising predicted to grow to some $15 billion of the total pie in 2006, it makes sense for stations to leverage those relationships to build their businesses in this new media environment.