Lead Forensics

Key findings from ‘The TV Playbook for Online Businesses’

24 November 2021


For online-born businesses trying to stimulate growth in a hyper-competitive market, plotting the best plan of action can seem daunting. It may feel like others are always one step ahead, leaning on secret know-how tantalisingly out of reach.

Thinkbox, in collaboration with Magic Numbers, recently gathered together some of the leading minds in the industry to showcase the solution, spotlighting TV’s role in helping digital-first brands drive increases in search traffic, click-through rates and sales at its latest event, ‘The TV Playbook for Online Businesses’.

A clear pattern emerges

Analysing ten brands that have enjoyed success on TV, Magic Numbers’ Dr Grace Kite and Faith Stevens lifted the lid on insights behind the effectiveness of combining television advertising and online activation.

Kite and Stevens cited the example of a second-hand car brand that was driving digital disruption in the market but needed to scale up. Tallying around 100,000 web visits a month during an experimentation phase around the best approach to TV, the company then surged to over 500,000 visits per month once the right scaling strategy was implemented.

This is a pattern seen across all of the brands studied: TV fuels online effectiveness. It helps brands push past sales plateaus and widen the customer pool; it creates new demand and increases conversions.

Searching for gains

The effects of TV advertising on brand results are particularly pronounced when we look at online search. According to data presented by Magic Numbers, 66% of all TV-prompted customer journeys start via organic or direct search, making television a cost-efficient generator of traffic; conversely, just 14% of all journeys initiated by TV required the aid of paid generic search, compared to 24% for both out-of-home and radio.

The remaining 20% of journeys kickstarted by television can be attributed to paid brand search, which typically delivers lower Cost Per Clicks than generic search.

Underpinning the relationship between search and TV is the fact that the latter improves click-through rates across both organic and paid; as demonstrated by the graph below, there is a clear correlation between the number of times your TV ad is seen and your online CTR.

It all boils down to brand reputation; the more people know about your business and the wider its visibility, the more likely you are to attract a higher click-through rate. There is no better cultivator of brand reputation than TV.

With Google’s fabled algorithms designed to respond favourably to high click-through rates and dish out better search rankings, it really does pay to invest in your brand at an early stage.

Test and learn

How you first approach the launch of a TV campaign will depend on the circumstances your business faces, but generally speaking, smaller advertisers tend to start with DRTV and scale up from there.

DRTV grants advertisers access to cheaper daytime spots on smaller channels. One benefit of this strategy is its accountability: direct response spots can be analysed on a line-by-line basis and optimised by KPIs such as Cost Per Web Visit, making it the perfect option for brands that want to test the waters before wading in deeper.

As time goes by and more data is accumulated, advertisers can act on performance insights to hone their strategy and introduce larger, brand-building spots.

Again, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to scaling up. If competition within your category is fierce, you may want to focus on reach at an earlier stage in the process to attain a higher share of voice.

On the other hand, if there is a clear proposition in your message, or your product has a short purchase cycle, then DRTV will probably take the lion’s share of your budget. By working with your agency partner, you will be able to develop a strategy geared to fulfil your needs.

Want to learn more about advertising your online business on TV? Get in touch with our experts today.

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