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June 16, 2016

Television and digital advertising are both an important part of your marketing campaign, but they have different engagement metrics that measure their success. TV has the benefit of Nielsen ratings to measure the size of your audience, while digital can be trickier to measure but can also allow you to learn more details about your target audience. However, the metrics of both television and digital are evolving and affecting each other more and more in this second-screen world. As the 2016 Upfronts season is well underway, it's vital to understand the connection between TV and digital and how they can perform together so that you make the most of your Upfronts budget.

How Do TV and Digital Affect Each Other?
Television's metrics for a long time depended on mainly on ratings, but today they're really in the process of evolving, as programmatic TV develops and gives advertisers tools to allow analysis similar to digital metrics. Marketers are already pulling out helpful information from digital—by using social media engagement data and measuring it in tandem with live television data. Nielsen Social Content Ratings, for example, monitors social engagement to more accurately measure TV programs' reach and demographics.

As AdExchanger points out, measuring social media engagement provides advertisers with greater insight into which times of day, channels, and even creative are best at generating buzz. By combining these metrics with regular TV ratings, you can yield a more robust analysis of your television campaign than you could from Nielsen data alone.

For example, if you run an ad during a sporting event later at night, and you get a big response—a lot of people go to your site to learn more—this tells you a lot about your target audience's interests. With this insight, you can adjust your creative with more of a sporty theme, and maybe try running your ad during a day game to see whether the time makes a difference.

Digital success, meanwhile, was traditionally measured in clicks, page views, and downloads, but these only tell part of the story. The real engagement metrics lie deeper within. Metrics like comments, shares, conversion rates, and visitor recency provide insight into the audience who is truly engaging with your content. These engaged readers and viewers are the true test of a digital campaign's effectiveness. And all the data that your digital campaign provides on your audience can then help you better target your TV ads.

What Do These Mediums Do Best?
Television ads actually work very well with what Google calls micro-moments, or instances when viewers use the internet to learn more about something they've seen on TV. They're the perfect opportunity to prompt viewers to get online, visit your website, search, or engage on social media.

In 2013, a Sprint segment that aired during a NASCAR race won the social TV Shorty Award for integrating real-time Twitter into social TV advertising for the first time. The Sprint 60 Unlimited was a mini-race where viewer tweets determined how fast each driver would go. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race by getting the most tweets, and he was awarded a $10,000 donation to a charity of his choice. This kind of engagement is an opportunity for massive positive brand impact.

Digital marketing is there to receive the consumers of the television ads when they head online to learn more. At that point, it allows you to target searchers with relevant digital ads, serve content marketing next to their social media feed, and direct them to your nearest physical shop with a location-specific discount offer. While TV ads cast a wide net, digital allows you focus in on different segments of your audience and deliver content that is specifically targeted to them.

How Can You Plan Ahead?
Digital and television advertising can work very well hand-in-hand. Seek out new information and learn from what it tells you—take what you're learning from one campaign and apply it to the other. If you're finding a certain geographic location or demographic is engaging with your online content after a television ad campaign, see where and when your ads ran. Allow data like this to inform your next digital campaign's targeting strategy. And let that wealth of data you glean from your digital campaigns affect your television strategies.

By analyzing past campaigns' success, you can become very familiar with what works for your brand. It's important to monitor audience engagement on both mediums, and with your goals in mind, plan your budget accordingly during Upfronts and beyond.

≥≥ Need a Shortcut?
1. TV and digital advertising are more interrelated than ever.
2. TV helps you case a wide net to a large audience while digital allows you to hyperfocus on a smaller subset of it.
3. It's important to understand how TV and digital perform together to get the most out of your marketing buget.
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