Leading media platform have been losing ad business to social media platforms, especially Facebook. What’s the smart way out for them to stay in business?
TV advertising platforms have an opportunity to catch-up if they are open to adapt and adopt the best ideas from social media companies. If they don’t, they will rapidly lose business to more tech-savvy social media platforms that have a much larger reach than traditional TV.
According to the ‘Nielsen Total Audience Report,’ the average American spends a third of their waking hours to watching TV, which actually is five times more than all the social media activity combined. Ideally, this should be the highest on the list of advertisers. But the stickiness of TV as a medium is fast losing out to social media platforms, especially FB.
While it won’t be easy for TV platforms to tackle all the challenges, it can create a new space that advertisers will love being on, merely by tweaking Facebook’s model.
Here are four strategies TV media can learn from Facebook.
Personalized Experience: People get on Facebook for the personalized service it offers to every user. TV platforms can do the same. Online video streaming platform, Netflix and Hulu already ask “who’s watching?” This opens the possibility of personalized advertising. While this can raise privacy concerns, but as TV is on catch-up growth, it can study Facebook’s successes and failures and rework roadmaps and strategies accordingly.
Self-serve Ad Buying: Cable companies still sell primarily through sales teams. To catch-up, TV platforms must eliminate these barriers to entry and create self-serve ad platforms. These platforms can offer local ad campaigns and help advertisers produce commercials that will work for TV.
Algorithmic Optimization: Using AI and Machine Learning, Facebook, Google, and other tech companies have personalized experience and concrete conversion. TV platforms can develop these techniques by leveraging fewer resources and more advanced technology. By using user profiles as guides and conversions as goals, over some time, TV platforms’ algorithms will show the right ads to the right people, at the right time. This will increase viewer satisfaction and also advertisers’ ROI.
Tangible Conversions: From online purchases, newsletter signups and store visits, Facebook’s advertising products showcase tangible outcomes. While TV platforms mostly sell brand awareness, they can consider developing direct response ad products. This will allow viewers to take concrete actions with their remote control or app. There is already an example on TV where viewers can vote on ‘The Voice’ using the Comcast X1 remote. Similar ways can be used where viewers can have an option of availing a discount or order using their remote.
While it won’t be easy, TV platforms need to tackle all four of these challenges together. It is necessary since these solutions are also interdependent for scaling. To TV executives who may be reluctant to copy Facebook, this strategy is really about letting TV’s core strength shine. Even if advertisers expect ROI and convenience that Facebook offers, there is still an aspiration of seeing their brand on TV between sports, shows, movies and reality TV to which Facebook has no answer.