There should be no argument that mobile TV content offers an ideal opportunity for extending TV stations’ content and maximizing exposure of advertiser brands. What’s required to make that happen effectively, however, is an education process for TV stations and brand managers about the opportunity and how to best take advantage of it.
TV stations are the first stop on the road to realizing the value of the mobile web. Stations have to embrace the mobile web and make it a priority in order to communicate and demonstrate its importance to advertisers. Since they are news organizations, there is already an inherent trust among consumers in their brand and the information they deliver – so the movement to mobile is a natural evolution for the content and the people who consume it.
The most important characteristic of mobile TV content is relevance. Just as they do on the air, on the mobile web TV stations need to provide smart, accessible content that audiences need, and will go to regularly. Weather, for example, is a huge driver for mobile TV content because of its timeliness and the need for constant updates. Once mobile users become aware of their local station’s weather content, the station’s mobile site will be the one they go to automatically when they need an update.
TV stations should consider their mobile content as complementary to their on-air and web presences. Being able to reach viewers anywhere, any time, means extending the news brand as an always-on information source. That’s good for viewership, and great for advertisers.
Advertisers, and especially the advertising agencies that support them and act as their brand stewards, also need to be educated about the value of mobile TV – and in many cases it’s up to the TV stations themselves to do the educating. Account executives need to have a thorough understanding of the value of the mobile web and mobile TV content so that they can communicate that value to agencies and advertisers.
For advertisers, the argument for leveraging mobile is simple: People’s lives are increasingly mobile, and they are utilizing mobile search now more than ever. Mobile page views are beginning to surpass online page views, and mobile advertising puts brands that much closer to consumers making buying decision.
Advertisers need to understand that mobile web and mobile TV is not a mini Internet. It’s a smaller screen, but it’s a bigger opportunity, because it’s always on. Plus, the expanded ecosystem of exposure (on-air, online and on the mobile device) means even more value for adverstisers’ messages.
Advertisers and agencies also need to understand the opportunity they have to reach consumers using mobile and craft their messaging accordingly. The mobile audience is busy and looking to save time. Advertising messaging points – and the payoff for consumers – should reflect that fast-paced mobile lifestyle.
It’s also important for advertisers to understand the differences of the mobile platform and how they apply to advertising format. Part of that is keeping in mind lessons learned from Internet advertising, including pop-ups and spam. If an advertisement is annoying on the big screen, it’s going to be even worse on small screen. If mobile advertising is too intrusive, consumers won’t come back. TV stations that help their advertisers understand how to optimize their ads for the mobile platform that are going have much more success with their mobile strategies.
Many TV stations, along with many advertisers and agencies, need help with the mobile education process. A mobile content and advertising strategy is very specialized, and is likely to be difficult to roll out without an experienced partner.
Existing relationships with mobile carriers and a complex understanding of the broad spectrum of mobile devices are critical characteristics to look for in a mobile advertising partner. The best partner for your efforts will have a strong and long-term commitment to the mobile industry, an understanding of how content can be optimized for every possible device that’s out there, and experience helping other TV stations pursue – and, in particularly, monetize – a mobile strategy.
It’s up to TV stations and their advertisers to implement mobile-optimized strategies that capitalize on mobile opportunities the right way. And while the initial education on the mobile opportunity might seem complex, it’s not as complicated as it may seem. Most stations and advertisers are already equipped with the basic tools required for success – they just need to find the right partner to help educate them.
Lee Durham is founder and CEO of LSN Mobile.