Why TV Marketers Are Failing To Engage Millennials

Cre­at­ing trail­ers, clips, or pro­mos that res­onate with ‘dig­i­tal natives’ proves dif­fi­cult.

Greg Jarboe By Greg Jarboe from SEO-PR. Join the discussion » 0 comments

TV mar­keters are miss­ing out on a huge oppor­tu­ni­ty to grow their audi­ences, accord­ing to video ad tech com­pa­ny Unruly. Why? Because the way TV net­works pro­mote their shows to new view­ers is miss­ing the mark with mil­len­ni­als across dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing chan­nels.

Accord­ing to new research from Unruly, 80 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als will tune into a TV show if some­one in their social net­work has shared a trail­er, a clip, or pro­mo with them online. This is com­pared to 66 per­cent of aver­age TV view­ers.

How­ev­er, the report also found that Mil­len­ni­als are 10 per­cent less like­ly to share TV pro­mo con­tent than the aver­age TV view­er, sug­gest­ing that TV mar­keters are fail­ing to cre­ate con­tent that res­onates with “dig­i­tal natives.” Fur­ther, Mil­len­ni­als in the US spend less time watch­ing TV than any oth­er demo­graph­ic accord­ing to Nielsen, show­ing that net­works are strug­gling to con­nect with this key audi­ence.

Senior mar­keters who believe in a strong cus­tomer-cen­tric focus and want to be vis­i­ble and per­sua­sive in the moments that real­ly mat­ter can learn some impor­tant lessons from Unruly’s free report, which can be down­load here.

Audi­ence frag­men­ta­tion, ad avoid­ance and social dis­cov­ery are all pow­er­ful forces for dis­rup­tion,” said Unruly CEO Scott But­ton In a press release.

Ratings Shares Views

Oth­er find­ings from the report, which ana­lyzed 14,221 TV pro­mos, includ­ing show clips (stand­alone scenes from an episode that has already been aired), orig­i­nal pro­mos (new­ly filmed orig­i­nal con­tent), and trail­ers (a com­pi­la­tion of teas­er clips, usu­al­ly with voiceover and addi­tion­al edit­ing) from the “Big 5” U.S. net­works (ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC) include:

  • Rate of TV pro­mo shar­ing more close­ly cor­re­lates to Nielsen Rat­ings than num­ber of pro­mo views: The more shares a TV net­work gen­er­ates for its pro­mos, the more like­ly that will trans­late into rat­ings. The front run­ner, NBC, gen­er­at­ed 39 per­cent share of shares and a 33 per­cent of over­all Nielsen rat­ings;
  • NBC is win­ning on social reach and engage­ment: NBC is lead­ing the way on social video, with 48 per­cent share of online pro­mo views and 39 per­cent of pro­mo shares. ABC fol­lows in both cat­e­gories with 27 per­cent of pro­mo views and 34 per­cent of pro­mo shares;
  • Mil­len­ni­als are 39 per­cent more like­ly to watch online video con­tent on their smart­phones than the aver­age TV view­er and 14 per­cent more like­ly to watch TV on their lap­tops, while less than half (42 per­cent) still watch online video in the liv­ing room through con­nect­ed TVs;
  • Orig­i­nal pro­mos are most viral type of TV pro­mo for U.S. audi­ences: While low-cost TV clips are the most preva­lent form of TV pro­mo­tion­al con­tent and rep­re­sent the major­i­ty of TV con­tent launched online, orig­i­nal pro­mos are actu­al­ly the most share­able form of pro­mo­tion­al con­tent, with an aver­age share rate of 3.9 per­cent, com­pared to the aver­age 2.1 per­cent of brand­ed con­tent;
  • TV Net­works are miss­ing out on brand recall: All of the pro­mos test­ed in the Unruly TV Pro­mo and Mil­len­ni­al study – for the top rat­ed net­work shows – fell well below the U.S. mar­ket norm for brand recall from online videos (at only 75 per­cent).

Emotional Trace for Jimmy Kimmel

  • Jim­my Kim­mel Show cre­at­ed the most share­able TV pro­mo for a Mil­len­ni­al audi­ence. From July 2015 to Decem­ber 2014, the most intrin­si­cal­ly share­able piece of con­tent for mil­len­ni­als was the Jim­my Kim­mel Live clip “YouTube Chal­lenge — I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Hal­loween Can­dy 2014” with a Mil­len­ni­al Shar­eRank score of 7.6. This video was polar­iz­ing with the fun­ni­est trig­gers evok­ing shock and dis­gust among some mnil­len­ni­als.

We’re see­ing a pro­mo para­dox — TV net­works are known for telling great sto­ries in their pro­gram­ming, but they’re not cre­at­ing engag­ing pro­mos to sup­port this great con­tent,” But­ton added. “Mil­len­ni­als are high­ly peer-influ­enced, with 80 per­cent cit­ing that they’d check out a show after receiv­ing a shared online TV pro­mo. Yet the pro­mos aren’t strong enough for Mil­len­ni­als to want to share.

What’s even worse: TV pro­mos aren’t pro­vid­ing view­ers with mem­o­rable expe­ri­ences.

Of the videos we test­ed in our study, show recall fell well below the U.S. mar­ket norm for brand recall in tra­di­tion­al ads, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for even a moti­vat­ed mil­len­ni­al to remem­ber which show they want­ed to see,” But­ton said. “TV mar­keters need to start mak­ing pro­mos that res­onate with mil­len­ni­als and more heav­i­ly call out their shows if they want to change view­er habits and dri­ve new view­ers to tune in.”

But hav­ing strong con­tent is only half the bat­tle.

You have to get your con­tent seen quick­ly,” But­ton said. “With near­ly half of a total video’s shares occur­ring in the first three days after launch, mar­keters have a very short win­dow with­in which to dri­ve TV tune-in. As mar­keters pre­pare for the 2015 Dig­i­tal Con­tent NewFronts, these prin­ci­ples can be applied to cre­ate engag­ing pro­mos to dri­ve traf­fic to both short form and long form con­tent.”

Why do you think TV mar­keters should do to engage mil­len­ni­als?

Greg Jarboe

Written by Greg Jarboe

President, SEO-PR

Greg Jarboe is President and co-founder of SEO-PR, an award-winning content marketing agency that was founded in 2003. He’s the author of YouTube and Video Marketing and also a contributor to The Art of SEO, Strategic Digital Marketing, Complete B2B Online Marketing, and Enchantment. He’s profiled in the book Online Marketing Heroes, a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and writes for Tubular Insights and The SEM Post. He’s an executive education instructor at the Rutgers Business School and the Video and Content Marketing faculty chair at Simplilearn.

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