How TV Ads Impact Search Strategies 

Broadcast Media Influences Search Volume  

Broadcast advertising and search engine marketing are two of a brand’s most powerful marketing tools today and are exponentially stronger when utilized together.  

Television often represents the largest portion of a brand’s marketing budget and with good reason as the platform continues to deliver engaging content and messages to large portions of the US population. In 2020, US audiences have continued to be drawn to their TVs, whether watching news and current events or binge watching their way through the Netflix and Hulu libraries. However, the audience’s attention can be fickle and Nielsen reports that 88% of Americans watch TV with a second digital screen in front of them. We have seen audiences turn their attention to the search browsers. 

There are about 6.4 billion searches conducted each day across the top two search engines, Google and Bing. While the search engines are the “traditional” approach to search behavior there are significant searches conducted within the social platforms and online video (YouTube). Search goes beyond the traditional engines. These consumer searches provide an opportunity for brands to connect with their audiences and extend their understanding of the brand. TV will pique initial interest and search behavior will increase understanding and brand knowledge.

It’s important to understand that search interest does not always stay consistent across the day.  

Hundreds of external factors can cause ebbs and flows, but we can draw direct links from TV ads to elevated search volume.  

A strategic and complementary search plan can ensure a higher return on investment for the over-arching campaign. CMI has seen search interest increase anywhere from 50% to 160% for brands that run nationwide campaigns. It is important to be strategic about what those searchers will see and experience.

Search data (keywords) can help inform messaging based on actual audience behavior online. For example, in the healthcare space there are often multiple, synonymous versions of the same search. Let’s take “kidney cancer” for example. The more technical term for this condition is “renal cell carcinoma.” “Kidney cancer” is much more commonly searched at 40,500 on average each month, where “renal cell carcinoma” is only searched 18,100 times a month on average. A brand in this space would want to align the TV commercial to use more common language when speaking to consumers. Through a detailed analysis of search terms, the brand team can understand language that resonates with the consumer and leverage this insight. 

Case Study: A Close Relationship Between TV and Search 

One of our clients has a seasonal product. Due to a short window of opportunity, linear TV served as a rapid awareness driver. To determine the impact on search, we analyzed our SEM campaigns. A measurement partner served our campaigns during and within the immediate 10 minutes after a branded spot aired. We then compared the volume to our normal branded campaigns when TV was not active. The difference between the volume from the two campaigns was measured as the incremental lift attributed to TV. 

• We measured that the national TV campaign led to a 57% increase in branded search impressions (searches) and 59% increase in SEM clicks compared to baseline activity (i.e., when no TV was airing.) 

• This represented an incremental 22K site visits, ~7K coupon downloads and ~4K coupon redemptions attributed to TV. 

Make the Most out of Your Investment 

Bring your search team into the marketing communications planning meetings early. We typically provide insights that cover several important touchpoints based in deep keyword and behavioral analysis, including: 

• Organic recommendations for landing pages and websites 

• Paid search budget recommendations 

• Insights into the consumer journeys across the digital ecosystem 

• Integrated recommendations across TV and search  

• Competitive conquesting  

• Creative optimization 

• Cross indication messaging 

• Franchise management   

When preparing to launch a TV campaign, make sure to check in with your paid search and SEO teams to get valuable insights on the most commonly used language your audience uses. They will also help verify your current search strategies and help adjust paid budgets to prepare for the influx in search interest. We also recommend reviewing how site visitors interact with your website. Make sure that current and expected top landing pages are engaging and have clear call to actions. This will be a great opportunity to drive increased conversions and simplify the process. 

Finally, don’t forget to make the most out of your new creative assets, ensuring the right assets are tied to the right keywords. 

Your CMI teams can help you map out a digital strategy for getting more eyes on your videos, whether they are hosted on your website, social media profiles, or YouTube. These platforms are crucial in today’s media consumption landscape where there is a growing population of cord cutters. 

Optimize your TV investment by using valuable audience search insights to inform your script and prepare to capture the increased consideration from new customers. Contact CMI today and learn how we can create a strategy that is reinforced with search insights that will drive next level results.