Marketers have heard lots about Twitter's move to cozy up with television networks, and now we will begin to hear more about Facebook's. The strategy is based on dayparting and cross-channel -- two familiar features of search marketing.
The Facebook-commissioned Nielsen white paper released Wednesday attempts to convince marketers that Facebook can help connect major TV networks with consumers, especially younger demographics. The study aims to educate brands on cross-screen metrics and how digital can reinforce and complement TV investment. It's about connecting brands with niche audiences that online media provides.
Television still captures the largest portion of marketing budgets -- an estimated $495 billion worldwide, according to Nielsen. Total TV ad spend in the United States rose to $76.5 billion in 2012, up from $71.8 billion in 2011.
Findings argue that TV continues to lead in terms of time spent with media. The average U.S. TV viewer watches 156 hours of TV per month, while the average PC owner spends 29 hours online and the average smartphone user spends 24 hours on apps and Web each month.
With time consumption in mind, the white paper compares Facebook's audience with TV networks to demonstrate how cross-channel marketing works, how audiences differ per demographic area during various parts of the day, and ways to allocate campaign budgets between TV and Facebook.
There are similarities between this approach and search engine marketing. For instance, the white paper analyzes the time of day, similar to dayparting in search marketing campaigns. In one case study, Nielsen observes higher levels of Facebook-only reach during the daytime and higher levels of cross-media reach between Facebook and TV in the prime-time hours, most evident when analyzing the younger audience.
Facebook adds significant reach when looking at individual networks for the daytime during specific times of day, and significant cross-media reach during prime time for age groups between the ages of 18 and 24 and 25 and 34.
During the day, the Facebook-only reach addition to network audience ranges from 37% to 41%. When looking at these same demographic groups during prime time, the Facebook-only reach ranges from 15% to 28%, while the cross-media reach is much higher, ranging from 22% to 36%.