Second screens change how cable networks develop, market shows

NEW YORK ? Companies creating digital storyboards need to delegate appropriate social and digital content to consumers using second screens along with linear television programming, according to executives from Bravo, Showtime and Oxygen at the ad:tech New York conference.

During the ?Pass the Remote Tablet: Creating Content for the Virtual Living Room? session, executives affiliated with the Showtime, Bravo and Oxygen television networks highlighted the importance of second-screen additives and social media content designed to engage both super-fans and consumers that may be tuning into a show for the first time. Brands and marketers should look to the digital platforms that their audiences frequent, and work with digital, social, public relations and programming teams to develop engaging content.

?What we?re finding is using social as a continuity model is even more engaging,? said Ellen Stone, executive vice president of marketing, Bravo and Oxygen media, New York, NY. ?It?s about increasing the loyalty, having the conversation, making consumers come back for the next episode.

?We?re trying to really build that engagement through social and understanding what is really the best time to get to that conversation.?

Appropriate interactive content
Brands and marketers should keep in mind that additive content to linear programming should not be interruptive, and should function as an extension of the show for fans that want further engagement. Bravo?s hit cooking show Top Chef recently added a companion Web series, in which eliminated cast members would compete for another chance to be back on the regular show.

When a fan-favorite chef won the Web series and returned to Top Chef, it created a buzzworthy moment on social media and mobile.

?The return episode skyrocketed because the social sphere skyrocketed,? Ms. Stone said. ?We have taken storytelling to a very different level and it has changed the way we develop and go to market with shows.?

Social media and mobile devices are paramount to creating what the executives referred to as ?water cooler moments? that augment brand awareness and create a relationship with consumers.

?Seventy to 80 percent of people are doing something on a second screen while watching TV,? said Ken Todd, vice president of digital content syndication & mobile development, Showtime Networks Inc., New York, NY. ?We want to supplement and enhance that. People want to voice their opinion and see how other people are reacting.?

Engaging with social
Data has shown that ensuring social media posts are ridden with voice and engaging with fans at the appropriate time are two top strategies for leveraging social for brand awareness and marketing.

?In a recent survey we did from 2012 to 2013, 36 percent of people said they enjoy TV more because of social,? said Erika Faust, vice president of client service, Neilsen Social, New York, NY.

While the primary consumers that interact with a brand?s social posts may be super-fans, those super-fans have a ripple effect with other users, as their shares, Likes and other posts will reach more audiences.

Brands should also keep in mind to let buzzworthy moments happen organically, try to keep as much authenticity in the marketing strategy as possible and explore various social platforms. Ultimately, marketers should leverage these strategies to create a larger storyboard for their brand.

?Everything has to be appropriate. You have to be careful so you don?t tire the audience, but the ultimate goal is to make them brand ambassadors for you,? Bravo and Oxygen?s Ms. Stone said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York