tvMost businesses already engage in digital media marketing across multiple channels. We market on TV, online, on mobile; you’ll find marketing material pretty much anywhere people are online.  It’s a practice that’s grown organically over the years, reacting to changes in technology. Digital media marketing’s next growth spurt may well push in two opposite directions.

One of the trends that’s talked about a lot these days is a combination of two facets of digital media marketing, second screen. Second screen is a phrase used to describe the way people watch TV these days. Most of us spend our time in front of the TV with a smartphone or laptop and at least one social channel open. We enhance the experience by discussing the shows online while we watch. For marketers, getting on to that social ‘second screen’ and transferring that interest into value is a key challenge.

Embracing Second Screen will be Key for Digital Media Marketing

The second screen phenomenon has already encouraged a number of partnerships between social networks and broadcasters. The most high profile of which was the partnership between Facebook and NBC for the Olympic games. It’s also become fairly commonplace for advertisers and broadcasters to display onscreen Hashtags to encourage Twitter conversation. The thinking behind this digital media marketing strategy is simple; get people watching TV to talk about the Hashtag and then engage standard social media marketing to turn that interest into revenue.

The second screen phenomenon has also lead to other interesting innovations in the way television is presented. We’ve all become used to viewer comments displayed and talked about on TV. Now though, Current TV is taking second screen comments to the next level, by bringing them back to the first screen. The US cable news network is broadcasting the Republican National Convention with the whole right hand side of the screen given over to a Twitter feed. The feed will display comments from journalists, insiders and viewers throughout the coverage.

This unique look could provide the template for future social interaction on TV. News and sporting broadcasts like the conventions or the Olympics are natural fits for online debate. But it could just as easily be brought into reality TV, or popular drama. It’s a possibility that can’t be ignored by digital media marketing, if people are talking on digital media there’s an opportunity there.

New Technology Encourages Second Screen Digital Media Marketing

There’s further potential for returning that second screen to that main screen in the advancement of TV technology. Smart TVs will take a while to really penetrate but when they do they save you the hassle of a warmed up lap while you watch your favourite show. Rather than spending an entire football game under a laptop, you can access social media directly through a smart TV. You can bring in your own Twitter feed on every show you watch, with a single device.

That addition of a second screen, within the first screen, will only enhance the use of social marketing on TV. Especially when you consider the increase in on demand TV and illegal downloads. Broadcasters need to create reasons for people to watch TV live, and second screen can create that need. Which means digital media marketing needs to embrace it too.

Second screen is a phrase, and a practice, that’s here to stay. With the advancement of mobile technology and people’s growing need for social media there will always be something they want to talk about while we watch TV. The key for marketers is to get onto that second screen. No matter what screen it’s actually on.