Remember when you had to buy an actual newspaper to see TV schedules? The good old days! Today’s world is completely the opposite, however: TV series, entertainment shows and sports events tempt you from each corner of the internet to watch them.
For broadcasters, this means you cannot simply wait for the viewer to come, because they have too much to choose from and too many other distractions. This leaves many broadcasters struggling for attention – a battle that’s impossible to win unless there is a willingness to adapt and offer more than traditional broadcasting.
Why adapt and offer something different? Let’s take a look.
The shift in attention
The data is ruthless: Gen Zers are rejecting traditional TV in favour of digital media. There’s no doubt, change is in the air and there seems to be no way to reverse it.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – broadcasters just need to be prepared to try different mediums, but also to confront the demands of a different, more picky audience. The truth is that losing a viewer on the web is extremely easy, with potential viewers literally a click away from opening a new tab and moving their attention to a different place.
Broadcasters, especially those with experience in linear TV, are having to deal with this new shift, as well as learn new tools to manage the situation.
Social streaming is a great new tool in the box, but is it enough to grab attention for sustained periods of time? Especially when Gen Zers are notoriously less focused and easily distracted. The great news about Gen Zers though is that they are excellent at multitasking, which means they can watch a live stream, write comments and read articles at the same time!
So, if you decide to adapt to this new generation and the shift in attention, what are you going to offer? We already know that a social broadcast shouldn’t be a singular event. But what else should be part of the social broadcasting ecosystem? Next, let’s take a look at the essential ingredients.
The essential ingredients for successful social broadcasting
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating. When streaming to a social media channel such as Facebook, keep creating and sharing bit-sized clips for those unable to watch the live stream itself. This is great for a number of reasons, as clips will help you to:
- Gain brand visibility inside and outside of your fan base.
- Increase all vital KPIs – views, reach, number of fans etc.
- Develop a rich bank of content you can upload to services like YouTube or your own on-demand platform.
- Meet the demands of second screeners – who might be watching your live stream and catching/commenting on your clips, too.
Don’t avoid second screens – provide one!
To ‘second screen’ is to watch content on your TV and, at the same time, use a laptop or smartphone (the second screen) to check what’s going on in your social feeds, to message friends, use an app etc.
What’s in it for you? Out of 177 million second screeners in the US, 74% of viewers are interacting with unrelated content they see while watching a main event. Your goal should be to make these people eager to see your content, instead of anything else.
Many second screeners are using Twitter to interact with their friends while watching a TV broadcast. They prefer to tweet, because the micro-blogging platform is quick and known for its promptness. Twitter has a 6% higher interaction rate for cross platform viewing among other social media platforms.
The lesson to learn: While broadcasting, whether via a TV channel or a social stream, you should interact with your audience using other platforms. Use Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat and get involved with your audience. If you have your own mobile app, don’t hesitate to use push notifications to grab attention.
Writing about the necessity of having a mobile app is soooo 2010, right? Well, it isn’t if you still don’t have one or you’re not using it properly. Mobile apps are a great marketing channel, especially if you have enough resources to keep it in good shape and your fan base is big enough to give you a good return on your investment.
How can you use a mobile app while being a broadcaster? You would use it just like any other marketing channel. But it has particular power if you treat it like an extra screen, content distribution tool and video streaming extension.
If you’re broadcasting whole TV programmes, include a calendar in the app, so your viewers can schedule reminders. If you’re streaming singular events, keep your fan base excited with news stories and premium video content available for app users only.
The NBA and NFL have both developed really good apps, providing live streams, video content, news and stats.
Stats and crucial details
Statistics and big data are extremely important, especially if you work in the sports broadcasting industry. Data is a gold mine for creating extra content for fans, such as stats, visualisations, comparisons, infographics etc… the list could go on.
Screen the data while broadcasting, but also create graphs, graphics and charts to publish on different social channels. Well prepared content will remain evergreen and live for a long time after its original use.
Collaborate with influencers
Collaborations with influencers in your space are a very modern solution. Essentially, by working with the movers and shakers in your environment, however big or niche they might be, will give you extra credibility and position your brand as an expert in your field.
You can collaborate with influencers in many ways: asking them for pre/post broadcast comments, involving them as expert panelists during streams, or by creating in-depth content in partnership. An influencer will provide expertise and give you a very specialised point of view.
Internet = social media
98% of people using the internet are social media users at the same time – and there seems to be almost no life beyond Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Weibo.
What this means is that your potential viewers are already on the web and probably on social media. As they’re already in these online spaces, you just need to reach them and spark interactions.
The good news is that potential viewers are likely to go where the good content is. So, alongside your awesome social broadcasts, share clips, create cool GIFs, publish polls, and ask your audience what they think and how they feel towards the content you’re sharing and what you’re saying – all the while encouraging conversations.
Go the extra mile!
Creating a wide range of versatile content can be time consuming and challenging. But, if done well, extremely rewarding at the same time. You might not have the budget and resources to cover all of the above solutions. But doing the social broadcast is surely the first step to take. Everything else is up to you!
 Nielsen Total Audience Report, Q1 2017. Daily time spent on TV, hr:min (Live+DVR/Time-Shifted): Generation Z, 2:18; Generation X, 4:38; Baby Boomers, 6:42