Broadcast TV Networks Inching Onto the Web
September 25, 2008 2:30 PM
I’ve been watching a lot of traditional TV lately, in part because I have been at home much more due to being injured. My viewing has included the premieres of “Lipstick Jungle” and “Heroes,” along with a bunch of other shows like “Today,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” etc.
What has been interesting is the effort some networks are making to drive traffic online. For example, NBC has used the Web to create engagement and attachment among “Heroes” fans through video, contests, etc.
It sounded like it worked for them, but I’d be interested in hearing more about specific traffic and metrics.
I can definitely say that the industry’s effort to bridge the gap between its traditional network (broadcast) and the Web has been surprisingly impressive. Anybody who regularly reads my blog will know I’m picky about this. Not to say that I always agree with the choice of initiative or execution, but many industries have met a similar challenge and fared far less well.
We’re far from having the problem of shrinking audiences and blurring lines totally licked, but it’s a good start. Here are a few new things on my mind lately about what could work next:
Twitter your programming teases. A big reason I skip a lot of television shows is that I rarely see or hear what’s coming on until after the fact. Most networks are using social media to promote shows and engage users, but why not also to list what’s on and when? Twitter would be perfect for this. In fact, add me—I’m Daily Patricia there.
Keep it simple-r. I noticed NBC ran something to encourage the audience to visit the network’s site online, but to be honest, I didn’t get it the first time I saw it—and I’m an early adopter on the Web. I can’t imagine people like my sister, dad, etc.—Web users but not necessarily Web savvy—would have picked up on it, either.
Reverse engagement. Many of the new Web-video platforms are integrated in the key events and mixers among the hip and happening in the business, but you never see any of the networks involved or having a presence. It doesn’t mean you’ve got to park marketing at South by Southwest next year, but consider upping the ante by sponsoring or hosting events that target the online demographic. It can help build your online brand.