Okay, I’ll admit it. TiVo hasn’t changed the world. Well, not in the way we’d all probably like to see the world changed. But it has been a catalyst for a change in our television viewing habits and in the forms in which we find our entertainment.
If you’re living under a rock, or simply don’t know what TiVo is, let me explain. TiVo and its competitor Replay were introduced in 1999 as digital video recorders (DVR) and they changed the world of television.
A DVR allowed us to easily record television shows with no messy videotapes or hard to program recorders. It allowed us to pause a television show so our snack and bathroom breaks weren’t limited to 3 minutes, or to the longer breaks on the half hour. Most importantly, it allowed us to quickly and easily skip past the commercials.
It changed television advertising. Not all at once, but it has changed. The smarter companies are ensuring their commercials are still getting visibility. While creatively produced and still strategically scheduled, more and more companies are placing a large logo centered on the screen. This ensures that even at high fast forward speeds, the viewer is still getting some exposure to the brand.
A study from Duke University argues that devices like TiVo haven’t really hurt TV advertising. What they’re really saying is that it hasn’t dramatically altered consumer spending habits. Perhaps it’s the combination of media outlets that companies are using that ensure they are still reaching their intended audience.
More and more, the shift is turning towards online advertising. Forbes.com recently cited a study by Forrester Research predicting that online ad spending is scheduled to finally overtake television advertising by 2016. The study was so interesting, it’s worth repeating some of their major points:
- Mobile ads will overtake social ads and email marketing already this year
- Search ads’ market share will fall
- Display ads will rise anew
- Daily deals will decline (to this one, I say thank God)
- Social media will grow relatively slowly
And this is where blogging comes in. Blogging is not advertising. Blogging can support advertising in the same way any other website can support advertising. What blogging offers is another channel of online marketing.
As online ads get more and more creative and are linked into social media promotions, more people are paying attention. We still hate the flyover ads. We still look at tastefully creative ads. But do we really click through? Maybe. But advertising is still primarily a push market. What about pulling in prospective consumers?
When bloggers work with a brand or company, they (or the better ones, anyway) can create a compelling story, or personal testimonial, or a type of endorsement. They can say things that the brand can’t. They can provide real life experience and value. And most importantly, they can communicate it to their trusted circle of readers, fans, and followers. And if it’s well done? They will, in turn, share them with their circle.
It’s a concept that many companies have failed to embrace just yet. For many, it’s still the old review and giveaway model. It’s less about creating advocates for the brand and more about gaining exposure. Bloggers have a voice and a level of trust that companies can rarely emulate. Bloggers can have a very organic conversation about a brand they love even when they have openly disclosed that they are being compensated.
Most bloggers won’t accept a project if it doesn’t fit with their blog, their niche, their lifestyle, or even their moral values. So when they do rave about something they love, it has a much greater impact. When the right brand and the right blogger come together, it’s pure marketing gold.
So while television advertising is still alive and well, as advertising spend shifts to online, it may be time to finally factor in that all-important word when it comes to growing your brand: engagement.