Last month I wrote about the Second-Screeners trend and laid out why you should be keeping this segment of your target audience central to your digital marketing strategy. Now we are going to look at how you can use this audience behaviour insight to your advantage in your digital marketing activity.

Quick Data Summary

Read the full Second-Screeners blog post for some really interesting data. Some of the highlights are:

  • There are approximately 37,474,858 UK internet users
  • Based on the trend from the survey that would mean that there are approximately 31,104,132 active second-screeners in the UK from age 16 to 64
  • 73% of internet users mobile second-screen
  • 51% of second-screeners are using social networks
  • 32% of second-screeners read the news
  • 28% of second-screeners search for products to buy
Young man in room
Photo credit: Rhett Noonan on Unsplash

If you are a B2C business, then this data should definitely inform your digital marketing strategy. Here are some top considerations:

Social Media Activity

51% of second-screeners are using social networks whilst watching TV. Now, if we apply some logical assumptions to this, people are watching TV in the evenings and at weekends – out of office hours. So, whilst your Social Media Marketer is at home, posting on their own Instagram and watching TV they are not reaching your potential customers through your business social profiles. When you consider that 50% of social second-screeners use social networks as a method for product or brand research you can see that there may be a missed opportunity here.

1 in 4 second-screeners who read the news whilst watching TV discover new brands, products or services through articles or magazine websites

90% of social media and messaging second-screening takes place on mobile devices. So, if you want to tap into this audience and send the users through to your website, make sure they will have a good mobile website experience when they get there.

Schedule your posts

Plan to schedule some social media posts in the evenings and at the weekend. This will bring your brand front of mind as your target potential customers scroll through their social feeds. Just keep the content innocuous as you do not have anyone on-hand to respond to negative comments.

Capture their attention

A picture tells 1,000 words. Whilst second-screening your target user is splitting their attention between the TV and their second device. They are unlikely to be pay attention to wordy posts. Whether in your organic social media posting or for your Facebook advertising content use a strong, compelling image to capture the attention of the user. Keep the accompanying copy short and to the point. What do you want them to take-away from seeing your post?

As a majority of social second screening takes place on mobile also look to utilise the mobile only ad formats for Facebook and Instagram. These ad formats have been designed to give users a great experience and if you build them out well, they will certainly communicate your brand message very effectively.

Online Media Coverage

32% of second-screeners are reading the news and 24% are searching for information related to what they are watching. These users are actively reading online media outlets and blogs. How can you use this to your advantage? There are two effective methods you can capitalise on to reach these users below. Before we dive into the how though, lets think about where. Thinking about who your target audiences are and where they are engaging online can help to ensure that you are gaining coverage in the most relevant places to see the impact on your bottom-line. This is particularly pertinent when you discover that 1 in 4 second-screeners who read the news whilst watching TV discover new brands, products or services through articles or magazine websites. So which news sites are your audience likely to be reading? Consider your target audience’s:

  • Gender
  • Age range
  • Profession
  • Household income bracket
  • Geographical location
  • Neighbourhood type

Armed with a strong understanding of who your target audience is you can start to deduce where you should secure coverage, such as:

  • Local news sites
  • Niche industry publications to their profession
  • Which of the most popular TV shows might they be watching? When do those shows air? Where might they look for further information about the show? Niche blogs, YouTube explanations of a plot twist, mainstream magazines? Can you gain coverage on those sites?
  • The BBC is obviously a no-no and whilst Sky News, The Guardian, The Telegraph etc. may be ideal are they in budget?
Man using phone
Photo credit: rawpixel on Unsplash

Digital PR

Can you gain PR coverage on any of the above sites? Offer up products for review or expert comments on related news to your business. Gaining this type of “organic” coverage will be extremely valuable in building a trust with your target audience who will consider the opinion of the product reviewer credible.

Display Advertising

If you are not able to gain media coverage of your brand or product then can you get advertising placements alongside the content that your audience is reading? As with the social media advertising pointers your content should use a strong, compelling image to capture the attention of the user. Keep the copy to the point. What do you want them to take-away from seeing your ad?

Search Engine Visibility

28% of second-screeners search for products to buy whilst watching TV. Why? Is it something they’ve been needing to do all day and have finally got a chance to do? Is it something they have seen on a TV show and decided that they want? Is it something that they have seen in an advert?

Anecdote: I saw an advert for the new Bose wireless noise cancelling headphones and then researched the best wireless headphones under £100. Unsurprisingly Bose didn’t feature at that price! I discovered the AKG Y50s, which I had never heard of before and they promptly went on to my Christmas list. All whilst watching the snooker. Competitor prompts can win you a sale.

Ultimately it doesn’t really matter why the user is searching for products to buy, what is pertinent is where they are searching. You also need to understand the mentality of this potential customer. They are not necessarily in a rush, they will happily shop around for the best product looking at reviews. Then they will look for the best retailer to fulfil the order considering; price, delivery options, brand reviews and if they already know/trust the retailer.

Organic Search

89% of product browsing second-screeners are doing so on mobile. So, making sure that you have a good mobile experience goes without saying. But having a good mobile load speed is unquestionably a ranking factor in Google’s mobile-first indexing so investing in a fast loading mobile site is very important in this discovery phase.

Think about the types of queries users may type in search engines whilst casually researching. Do keyword research for your products but bear in mind that qualifiers such as best, newest, which, compare, reviews are likely to feature. How can you meet this content need? Which areas can you compete in? Be honest with yourself, if you are not the cheapest how can you bolster your chances of winning the sale in other ways? Once someone has done their research on which product to buy they are likely to search at a product level, if they find your site are your product pages up to scratch?

Affiliate Marketing

Think about your affiliate marketing strategy. 1 in 3 product browser second-screeners use price comparison websites as a source of product/brand research. Will they find you? Choose the sites that your audiences will trust and consider running very targeted affiliate marketing campaigns to gain greater product and brand visibility with target customers.

Paid Search

Google Shopping is key. We know that our users are not paying complete attention to what they are doing. Getting your product image seen at the top of the search results will make it easy for a user to choose your product and/or site if you are retailing something widely available.

Think about your bid strategy across text ads and be aware that whilst users may be searching for products to buy it does not mean that they will be buying them there and then. Look at your multi-funnel attribution, do not make all your decisions on last-click revenue attribution.

That leads nicely onto remarketing. Make sure that you are building audience lists of users who are engaging with products on your site but haven’t purchased. You can use these audience lists to advertise more heavily to these users with Google Shopping ads, Google text ads and dynamic PLAs (product listing ads) later when they may be ready to make the purchase.

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