Think about the way you watched television five years ago. You probably sat on the couch, snack nearby, focused on the program in front of you. A technologically-savvy person could choose a program from the DVR to watch and then fast forward through any commercials or boring portions
Compare those habits to the way you consume television and movie content now. When you sit down to relax, you likely have a smartphone or tablet in front of you and scroll through your social media accounts or search Google while you watch. There are probably other times where the TV or movie content you are consuming isn’t even happening on a television set at all, but is streaming through a mobile device.
This consumer behavior that is defined as the “second screen” is turning the marketing world on its head. Eight-eight percent of consumers are looking at mobile devices while watching TV, and Millennials often skip TV altogether and watch streaming content on smartphones or tablets.
ZenithOptimedia predicts that television watching will peak in 2015 before beginning a decline for the first time ever the following year.
It used to be that networks had to compete just with each other for consumer attention; now the entire internet is a competitor. So why should people outside of traditional TV marketing really care? The answer is simple: the second screen trend is indicative of a bigger shift in consumer expectations. Some of the lessons for small business owners include to always:
Provide convenience. Make it really easy for consumers to find information on you and your business. If they have to spend too much time searching, they will move on. Consumers have become accustomed to having everything they need literally at their fingertips and small businesses must adjust with mobile friendly sites, updated search engine listings, and a strong social media presence.
Be engaging. Just as consumers are no longer content to just sit still and watch TV, they aren’t attracted by small business brands that are flat. It is not enough to be online – you must find ways to be interactive with your target base. That includes posting social media content that will prompt discussion, and not just lie flat, and being sure to include visuals like videos, photos and infographics. Make people want to engage with your small business by providing content that facilitates it.
Look for new ways to deliver content. Even if your business has been around for a decade or more, you should always look for new ways to reach your target audience. Do some research into which social networks work best in your industry (perhaps Pinterest isn’t a good fit, but Instagram is) and have your website updated annually. It never hurts to try a new marketing avenue. You never know – it may end up being a revenue stream you had never considered before.
As consumer behavior changes, so do the expectations. Remember to look for ways to be part of the latest trends while keeping your message on point.