Local TV News, Ads Drive Search On Engines

Brands have been experimenting with ways to integrate television advertising across channels into search engine marketing to capitalize on the real-time influence online offers. Now a study from researcher GfK for Hearst Television released Tuesday demonstrates the connection between local television news and search queries.

The study shows local TV news advertising becoming among the top media platforms driving consumers to search for more information on products and services online, especially as consumers sit in from of the television with tablet or smartphone in hand.

In fact 64% of adults ages 25 to 54 investigate future or purchase a product or service advertised on a search engine or sites like Amazon or eBay, compared with 57% for all survey respondents. Some 62% and 56%, respectively, do the same after seeing a product or service advertisement while watching local TV news shows.

Search marketers have been attempting to quantify for more than a year the increase in online searches and sales for a specific product or service after a mention on local television news or entertainment shows, as well as any advertisements that run along with the programming. Companies like Dish Network have barely scratched the surface. The challenge will come when television ads serve programmatically to align with paid search ads and the technology allows one media to trigger the other to a specific audience.

As the industry waits for the technology, the GfK study notes 46% of women ages 25 to 54 have researched brands or products on a search engine after seeing an ad on local television news. Some 39% look for reviews of the product or service, and 33% visit the product's or service's Web site or Facebook page.

Searches are different than world of mouth buzz. The study also shows that local television news advertising is more likely to get the conversation started among friends and family as well as on social sites. In face 55% of women ages 25 to 54 strongly or somewhat agree that they find themselves talking about the product and services they see advertising in media, compared with 30% on search engines. Recommendations drop to 50% and 26%, respectively.

The study gathered responses from adults age 25 and older who view local television news at least a few times weekly. Respondents were from Boston, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Baltimore, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Greenville, West Palm Beach, and remaining 14 markets served by Hearst Television. 

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