‘Social TV’: the Future of Television

April 6, 2013

It wasn’t that long ago that pundits were predicting that internet and mobile technologies would signal the death of television. And while these modern media advances have certainly had a negative impact on the movie rental market, putting services like Blockbuster nearly out of business (mainly because of their apparent resistance to change), the truth is that television got with the program. Broadcasters switched over to HD technology en masse, giving up standard definition in favor of the newer and better platform. And the television industry in general has found myriad ways to work with modern technologies in order to remain viable in this age of computer dominance. The result is that more people than ever are tuning in thanks to various formats for viewing their favorite shows, and TV is far from dead as predicted. According to authors Mike Proulx and Stacey Shepatin in their audio book ‘Social TV: How Marketers Can Reach and Engage Audiences by Connecting Television to the Web, Social Media, and Mobile’, this trend means only good things for brands that are willing to jump aboard the bandwagon, exercise a little ingenuity, and find ways to make the latest slate of modern, TV-related technologies their top priority when it comes to marketing.

Consider for a moment just how many ways people can now take advantage of television programming. It used to be that you simply had to tune in when a show was slated to air if you wanted to watch it, and if you missed it, too bad. These days you can watch a show live when it airs, DVR it for later viewing, watch it the next day online via your PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, or order it up as a DVD box set at the end of the season. You can also save episodes to your cloud storage in order to view them anywhere at any time thanks to streaming data services. The long and short of it is that you never have to miss another episode of your favorite show. So how can businesses use this to their advantage when it comes to marketing strategies?

You can start by moving your marketing messages onto other media, for one thing. Instead of simply advertising during television programs (since anyone with a DVR will fast forward through commercials anyway), think about placing ads with services that air shows on second screen devices (computers, mobile devices, etc.). Sites like Hulu, for example, force viewers to sit through ads (or pay to remove them). Although they may only show a handful of commercials, this is one way to ensure a viewing audience that may no longer exist with standard television. Of course, you can also use these platforms to engage in a slew of new types of advertising efforts. With touch screen capabilities at your disposal you can create interactive advertising that helps you to engage the audience in ways that were previously impossible.

In addition, social networking allows you to draw viewers in even further thanks to sponsored events, live voting, and more. And of course, you can utilize analytical tools in the online arena to find out what’s trending, pinpoint efforts that are delivering the best results, and tailor your marketing campaigns to achieve optimum results. The best part is that consumers don’t spend the same way online as they do in the real world; they tend to be much more liberal with their “virtual” money, buying everything from extra levels in video games to┬áiPhone insurance. So getting in on this marketing platform is essential to any business that wants to compete now and in the future. And ‘Social TV’ can help you to understand the possibilities and grab them by the horns.

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