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We’re on information overload. This trend is nothing new, but it’s also not going away and it’s something we need to continue to think about as communications professionals. The ability to access information we want is no longer enough. Now, we want information we didn’t even know we wanted.  Between the television, laptop, tablet and smart phone, audiences are readily able to find and consume high quality, relevant information at the tap of a finger.

According to Nielsen, 85 percent of mobile owners use their tablet or smartphone while watching TV at least once per month. From that, 41 percent of mobile owners use a tablet while watching TV daily, and 39 percent use a smartphone. What’s this mean for marketers? We need to not only reach our audience with great content, but we need to surround our audience in a timely and natural way. This is how we do it:

  • Brands must think about the platform first—again, nothing new, but it raises the question—what content makes sense to publish where? Where is your audience already spending time? What’s the priority content for each device? Answer these questions before you even think about crafting a content strategy.
  • Not just any info will do—to surround your audience in a powerful and efficient way, brands must provide hyper-targeted and hyper-relevant info. How can we extend the experience with content that each unique person WANTS to consume in their own way?
  • To supplement the content consumption experience, brands must give their consumers unique information that extends their experience in a relevant, timely, but different way. Bravo’s Top Chef lures fans to their website by hosting a simultaneous web-based competition, in which eliminated chefs can battle their way back into the show’s finale through Last Chance Kitchen. Boom. Additional content, meaningful to the show’s experience, extending the life and relevance of the story across digital channels where their audience already consumes supplemental content=Top Chef win.

Is this the future of our info-tainment? Perhaps.  Leveraging the second screen experience to truly surround audiences may be just the beginning of interactive entertainment future – one that all content addicts can look forward to and brands better be prepared for.

Image courtesy of h.koppdelaney.

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