5 Ways to Extend Multi-Media Platform Marketing

Market Research Insights

Did you know that Americans spend more time consuming media than they do in bed – regardless of what they do there?

It’s true! Americans spend an average of 10.2 hours per day devouring media, according to new Ipsos research delivered via The Grill. In fact, media intake has increased at a rate of 12 minutes per year over the last two years.

From a multi-media platform perspective, the most salient findings that influence marketing are:

  1. Web-enabled smartphones are now owned by one in four people. This results in an additional half hour of media usage per day for smartphone owners who spend most of their time doing searches for information, using social media, listening to music, reading online content, and playing casual games. During the same two year period, dumb cell phone ownership fell from 81% to 65%.
  2. Social networks are visited by over three quarters of the population. Of these users, more than half visit a social networking site daily.  Many people belong to multiple social media networks, namely Facebook and MySpace.
  3. Television consumption time has remained relatively constant. Roughly three quarters of viewers watch TV in real time. The rest time-shift their viewing via a variety of options and this segment has increased roughly 50%.  Furthermore, Internet usage has been increasing during prime time television hours.

A closer look at Ipsos’ research shows that there are three major drivers of media consumption.

  1. Multi-tasking or doing more than one activity at a time results in greater content consumption. This extends across a variety of devices. It’s important to remember that smartphones allow for concurrent consumption all day, regardless of other activities, including work.
  2. Information snacking uses otherwise wasted time to fill in or make small time periods more effective such as when waiting for transportation. This includes content and communications, namely social media and email. In this mode, readers are scanning for information.
  3. Time shifting while this happens most frequently with television, it can also occur with online communications and social networking.

What does multi-platform media consumption mean for your marketing?

While Ipsos’ research supports other recent studies regarding content marketing, it’s important to think more broadly when assessing the impact of these findings on your marketing strategy. Here are five recommendations to help you structure your tactics.

  1. Encourage concurrent media consumption with complementary information and offerings. Consider how to give your audience new ways to experience and enhance your content.
    • Engage users on social media platforms with social sharing.
    • Provide (extra) entertainment with behind-the-scenes looks and/or extension of content.
    • Allow for other forms of interaction such as gaming and comments.
  2. Support multiple technology options. This requires going beyond putting up the same content formatted for one platform onto another one. (Note: Ipsos research didn’t include e-readers or iPads.)
    • Tailor information to make sense in the context of the device. Think in terms of where people are when they use the device.
    • Allow the entire experience to occur on multiple forms of technology such as downloading television shows onto an iPod versus a television or DVR.
    • Develop targeted content to render and be found on different platforms, especially mobile.
    • Enable social sharing, commenting and reviews.
  3. Allow information snacking so users can consume your content between other activities, such as while they’re waiting for the bus or their date to show up at a restaurant. To this end, create discrete media morsels that can be nibbled on the go in short intervals, often on a mobile device.
    • Make information easily scannable with bolding and color.
    • Use your audience’s vocabulary for keywords to aid findability.
    • Provide content across different formats such as email, SMS and mobile web as well as shorter pieces and videos.
  4. Go beyond using your primary media platform to offer related information on other media platforms. The goal is to provide information to support your main content offering giving your audience a reason to further engage with your marketing. Can you extend the user’s experience across platforms? Think in terms of making distinct variations of your content available such as:
    • Including background resources such as interviews and outtakes.
    • Giving away related information such as recipes and other types of how-to advice.
    • Allowing users to participate with comments, ratings and/or other forms of content such as photos and videos.
    • Distributing games or other engagement tools to extend your offering.
  5. Integrate your third party media messaging across multiple platforms including your advertising. Think beyond traditional advertising formats to increase the impact of your message. Consider how to make your content consistent, regardless of whether your placement is paid or not.
    • Incorporate a variety of media placement forms to drive visitors to your content.
    • Include a relevant call-to-action message to encourage multi-media platform usage.
    • Target your viewers needs and timing in consideration of the context in which your message will be seen and when it will be viewed.

While increased media consumption can be very useful for marketers, it’s critical that your audience doesn’t get tired of your content. To that end, think about how you can target your offering to allow for multi-tasking, snacking and time shifting to better engage your market with your message. Make your content stand out by tailoring it for the environment and the user’s needs at various points in time.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Check out Mitch Joel’s perspective on Ipsos’ research.

Photo credit: Hey Marchetti via Flickr

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