Cable TV & Paid Search: 4 Advertising Tips for Reaching Consumers as They Watch and Scroll

02.02.2021 Mary Guo

Online search is where most customer journeys begin. In fact, research shows that about 90 percent of all online experiences begin with a simple search query, which in turn connects customers to content, brands, and solutions relevant to their interests or needs.

With billions of daily searches conducted on Google alone, online search isn’t just a research tool relied upon in limited circumstances. Today’s consumers are active on search platforms throughout their day, using search queries to answer questions, find solutions to problems, and continuously learn more about the things they’re interested in—including brands they’ve recently discovered.

This reliance on search presents an opportunity for brands that want to leverage paid search advertising with other advertising and marketing channels, especially cable TV ads. Here’s a look at how to combine paid search with cable TV ads to deliver an ROI greater than the sum of its parts.

1. The Value of Second Screen Marketing

When consumers watch TV, they aren’t only watching TV. The vast majority—90 percent—are using their mobile devices at the same time. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t paying attention. In fact, it’s just the opposite: research shows that TV ads and other televised content can drive related search queries within seconds of exposure.

According to Think With Google, two-thirds of consumers conduct research on their smartphones to learn more about something they saw in a TV ad. This correlation makes it easy for businesses to then predict search activity based on upcoming cable TV content. If you’re running ads on cable, you can expect online searches to follow.

Instead of treating each digital channel as its own separate entity, it makes far more sense to acknowledge the relationship between the two—and to view paid search as an extension of a customer journey that starts via TV ads, before driving reliable traffic through online search engines.

2. Anticipating Searches for Branded and Non-Branded Terms

How do you leverage paid search to function as a second-screen experience related to TV ads? The first step is anticipating the keywords customers will use to search for your business. This can include both branded and non-branded terms.

A clothing rental subscription service, for example, can expect some of this online search traffic to include mentions of their brand name. But some of this traffic may also search more generally for “clothing subscriptions” “or clothing rental company.” Businesses should use their existing keyword research to anticipate the keywords used in these searches, and to then set up paid search campaigns that claim ad space related to these terms.

Paid search will allow your business to be the first result that appears for related online searches, helping you maintain visibility and convert a TV ad exposure into a referral to your business website.

3. Aligning TV and Paid Search Messaging

When crafting paid search campaigns that will be targeted to a cable TV audience, it’s important to make sure the messaging of these different campaigns are in alignment with one another. If your TV ad speaks to a pain point that drives customers to perform an online search, it makes sense for the paid search ad to echo those pain points, thereby positioning the ad as the content the user is looking for.

With this alignment, you can facilitate a smoother customer journey that moves them quickly from TV to a search engine to your business website or landing page. Frame both the cable TV ad and your paid search text as part of the same narrative, and use this branded storytelling approach to qualify leads and move them closer to a conversion.

4. Meeting Consumers at the Moment of Impulse

The pipeline from TV ad exposure to online search is fueled by consumer impulse: They see something, they’re interested, and they react in that moment. Paid search campaigns that anticipate this impulse will be proactive in extending the brand exposure created by a displayed TV ad. This can help connect consumers to additional content and resources, and even generate and qualify leads beyond what these two channels manage to achieve on their own.

Want the best ROI for your brand’s advertising efforts? Consider a multi-channel strategy that leverages the relationships between these channels. We can help you build a strategy that takes advantage of these relationships to push your ad performance even higher—contact us today to learn more.

About the Author

Mary Guo

In her role as Product Marketing Manager, Mary helps brings the Cox Media product portfolio to life. She has a passion for marketing and uses her skills to produce client focused strategies that brings together traditional television and digital media. She understands consumer and market trends in the media landscape that helps create actionable insights that will help business, large and small, stay ahead of the game.

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