Want Second-Screen Engagement? Think Like A Viking

When entertainment marketers want to win online, they need to get aggressive… like a Viking.

But, unlike Vikings, they also need to add a measure of control and tact to the mix – to avoid aggressively marketing to your target audience.

Say heil to second screen (that’s “hello” in Norse.)

Second screen is an obvious outlet for reaching both a broad audience and hyper-segmented groups. But creating a campaign that relies on data to appeal to these audiences is a different story. Done correctly, a second screen experience should seamless for viewers and blend quality, engaging content with data that can provide a nuanced approach to audience interaction.

The explosion of entertainment marketers attempting to create second screen experiences is admirable. Unfortunately, many are missing the longship.



Second-screen viewers require little incentive to participate, as they’re already invested in the show they’re watching and they’re already online and probably talking about it. So your efforts to rein them in (initially) do not have to be very complex, but they do need to be planned in advance. Here’s what they love:

· Social recognition, where you reply/retweet their tweets or reply/repost their posts.

· Leaderboards, where competitive fans can feel like they’re part of the action.

· Special access to characters, storylines and spoilers.

Want an example?

History’s hit program, “Vikings,” gets second-screen engagement right.

The best time to grab viewers’ attention is while the show is on, of course. And a real-time glimpse into the ebb and flow of viewer engagement allows the nimble entertainment marketer opportunities to capitalize on.

Using the #VikingsFinale hashtag on Twitter, for example, marking the end of the show’s second season, viewers reacted excitedly to the show, creating anticipation around the next few days (at least) of highly engaged content seen on Vikings various social channels.

But how do you build that excitement and anticipation?

Being clever is key, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Capitalizing on mainstream and popular culture is a great way to take the guesswork out of your social content creation. In Vikings’ case, they implemented #ThrowbackThorsday (mimicking the #ThrowbackThursday Facebook phenomenon) and posted quips like “Blood is the New Black” (riffing off the popular show “Orange is the New Black”).

One of the main goals for any second-screen experience is to boost engagement with viewers. To provide them with an asset that they can interact with and genuinely like. To that end, entertainment marketers need to provide viewers with a way to feel like their interaction is a part of the program. Entertainment marketers can do a lot here, such as giving viewers the ability to earn points based on their favorite characters’ in-show actions, complete challenges and share their achievements socially.

Using similar tactics behind the scenes, any network can gather insights that reveal the “who” and “why” behind these engagements – and that is a key part many entertainment marketers miss when designing their campaigns.

And beyond that, most miss out on leveraging the insights correctly. A brand may discover, for example:

· Their largest viewing audience is male, but their most engaged advocates are female.

· Participation is being driven a particular mobile operating system or device.

· That second-screen interaction peaks at certain times of day/days of week.

And ALL of of this data should be used to inform smarter marketing decisions going forward. If it isn’t, what’s the point?

The ability to tell which characters are most popular with certain demographics, when specific groups are watching (either live or replayed), and which moments elicit the most significant reactions on social is a powerful one. It’s one that can lead to some serious marketing magic.

Second-screen makes sense well beyond the typical marketing “touch points” we hear referenced all the time. In the game of social, where you’re only as relevant as your last interaction, second-screen will soon be the lifeblood of entertainment engagement. And I’m not just saying that because it’s a Viking-worthy statement.

1 comment about "Want Second-Screen Engagement? Think Like A Viking".
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  1. Horacio Gennari from BB Business Bureau, July 3, 2014 at 7:17 p.m.

    Etymology Viking
    The phrase "to go on a viking" implies participation in raiding activity or piracy and not simply seaborne missions of trade and commerce.

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