”We work to understand how people get content, why they consume it, and what they do after they consume that content,” said Andrew Finlayson, executive vice president of digital and social media strategies, SmithGeiger at the 2018 PromaxBDA Conference. Finlayson offered ten strategies for media companies, and marketers specifically, to effectively connect viewers with content.
“The challenge for any outlet is to not just make great content, but to make the most of the great content as you move forward,” noted Finlayson.
In a media landscape split virtually split in two, one in support of the traditional linear model and the other proponents of the “when you want, where you want” (a.k.a. digital) programming philosophy, Finlayson quickly put things into perspective.
”Appointment viewing, the traditional viewing on regular scheduled television, is seeing a significant drop, even in the last year. And streaming has now surpassed live linear television for the first time,” he said. “Watching in pattern is being eaten up by other behaviors. And one of those is that many people are using second screens. But people still love that thing called TV. It’s just that TV is now being dissolved with the Internet and the Internet is being dissolved with TV. And this makes the job for any marketer considerably more challenging.”
Finlayson cites creating anticipation, making the audience anxious to experience the content, as the key component for the job of a marketer.
“It is not enough just to publish and walk away,” he said. “You must have a plan to help them find it, and then to have a conversation around it. And then you have to figure out where that piece of content is going because the distribution of it can make a huge difference on how you are going to market that particular piece of content. And these ten connections will offer numerous ways to do it.”
In order of importance, Finlayson highlighted the following listing as the ten connections:
1. Word of Mouth
2. Television / Video
4. Social Media
5. Mobile / Notifications
6. Digital Platforms
8. Messaging / Chat
9. Signs / Digital Out of Home
”Word of mouth still drives most of the activity that we want to encourage, but how you create that word of mouth is up to you and it is going to depend on these nine other connections you can make,” said Finlayson. “Television still has incredible value, but you must synchronize it with all these other platforms. Audio will be an opportunity; I imagine many television programs will have their own smart speaker available going forward. And we must have a plan to engage; you can’t just air a program and hope that the audience finds it.”
“You also have to get on a Smartphone, which will give you a shot of getting people to reach for their other devices,” he said. “Digital, of course, is the future. Email is still of importance, particularly for a millennial on his (or her) first job. Messaging and chat can change the relationship that people have with many brands, as can digital out of home and signage. And I think that if you can still physically touch somebody, that is another important connection.”
“Most importantly, you must remember that marketing is now both a social and mobile conversation, not just a market plan. There is no such thing as simplicity anymore.”