Second Screen Advertising: Friend or Foe?

For nearly a decade, marketers have been talking about the effect of the second screen on media consumption and advertising. As is often the case with change, fear hit early, and doubt was cast on the consumer’s ability to engage with primary content funded by ad dollars, and second screens were largely seen as distractions. But before long, marketers began to see the opportunities ahead and started weaving multi-screen strategy into media plans. Success varied as waters were tested. As consumption and channels continuously evolved, so too did the media plans with increasing return.

The question persists: is the second screen friend or foe to advertisers?

Before we go on, let’s acknowledge a technicality– your first screen may not be my first screen. The average 18- to 24-year-old spends almost two hours more than older adults streaming video on smartphones, including television content. For the sake of simplicity though, assume first screen here is television.


How Consumers See the Second Screen

First, take a look at the consumer experience with second screens. Second screen engagement is practically a given as audiences “sometimes” or “always” have a smartphone or tablet in-hand 73 percent of the time they’re in front of a TV, according to Nielsen’s 2018 Total Audience Report. Not exactly a shocking statistic, but what are consumers doing with multi-screen use?

Consuming Related Organic Content.Over 70 percent of multi-screen users are engaging in content related to programming. They’re solving their own trivia questions by searching online for things like:

  • Sports statistics and bios during games
  • Actors, filming locations, past seasons and show spoilers
  • Music artists, fashion and style or product influencers

Socializing. How can you NOT talk about the final episode of The Bachelor on social media or by texting and emailing friends? Forty-one percent of second screen users report talking about their shows like this. Plus, second (and even third) screens put audiences in the moment as they take to social media to give their opinions and share related content. According to Facebook, half of sports fans say they use social media or message friends when second screening during events.

Engaging with Paid Ads, Apps and Other Content. Just ask Super Bowl advertisers–enough audience mass, hype and creative paid content will draw attention. Campaigns running during other key sporting events, like the World Cup, March Madness, World Series and Olympics, have seen tremendous audience engagement. (ICYMI, throw back to our blog, Sports and the Second Screen, for more on this.)

Literally Anything Else. Work, homework, paying bills, etc. will likely always distract audiences from paid programming and advertising to varying degrees.


How Advertisers Can Profit from Second Screens

Not every advertiser has a Super Bowl-sized budget to create and place multi-channel content in front of record-breaking audiences. Most don’t; we get it. But you can still develop profitable strategies for multi-screen consumers that create greater brand awareness and generate online and offline sales.

Think Holistically. Cross-platform planning for television, online advertising and owned media deliver extended reach, greater frequency and compounded performance. This means brands may need to bring multiple in-house marketers and agencies together to ensure cohesion of goals and tactics. For example, Mindstream Media Group commonly includes our traditional and digital strategists in client planning and optimization discussions, and we work closely with other creative and general agencies to activate holistic strategies.

Act Precisely. Imprecise, mass marketing will kill your budget and underperform. So, while you need to consider holistic strategy, that doesn’t mean paint with a broad brush. According to Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, only 30 percent of survey respondents think professionals in their organizations are “very knowledgeable” about viewing trends and related advertising needs. So, get with your agency, and be generous with your customer data, consumer targeting and intent for lookalike audiences. Pinpoint accuracy on buying journeys and viewing habits tied to content relevancy are key to efficiently and effectively allowing one screen’s marketing to play off another.


Ongoing Advertiser Opportunities

The complexity of video across screens and channels continues. With it, comes the opportunity for marketers to exploit remarkably finite data points to predict and personalize the ad experience.

Want to get the most out of second screen ad strategies? Contact Mindstream Media Group to learn how we can help. 

Content Marketing 101 Series from Mindstream Media Group

Content Marketing 101 Series from Mindstream Media Group


What is this series all about? Our Content Marketing 101 Series will help multi-location and franchise brands improve their content efforts


Part One: Content Marketing 101: Defining Content Marketing

Part Two: Content Marketing 101: The Ultimate Collection of Content Marketing Statistics

Part Three: Content Marketing 101: Top Benefits of Content Marketing at Each Stage of the Buying Journey

Part Four: Content Marketing 101: 10 Steps for Developing Effective Content Marketing Strategies

[Guide]: How to Master Your Content Marketing 


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Yelp Upgrades Bring New Ways to Highlight, Display Business Locations

In March of 2019, Yelp introduced the Verified License upgrade to help consumers find companies that are licensed in specific categories and limited states on the platform. In June, Yelp introduced two new paid profile upgrades to help owners customize promotional tools. Here is a look at the latest upgrades provided by Yelp for business owners.

Business Highlights

The first new product is Business Highlights, which allows business owners to self-select icons that appear in Yelp search results. Yelp lets owners choose from a wide range of icons to help promote their businesses, such as “free,” “workmanship” and “years in business.” The attributes are used to help businesses stand out and become more attractive to consumers searching on Yelp. The cost of this upgrade is $2 a day for business owners.

yelp business highlights


The second new product is Portfolio, which allows subscribers to display project progress photos in an unlimited capacity. This upgrade is often beneficial for companies involved in remodeling, landscaping and construction. Business owners are allowed to display custom descriptions for images, and Yelp provides quote and chat functions through these pages. The Portfolio product also costs $2 per day.

Yelp Portfolio

The ability for owners to customize business pages is adding competition to the paid profile landscape. In June, Google announced new promotional and branding tools for the Google My Business (GMB) platform. Business owners looking to find new ways to create engagement with users searching on Yelp and Google will have several options in the future to help promote their company and stand out from the crowd.


Need help building a Yelp strategy for your business locations? Contact Mindstream Media Group to find out how our Local Listings Management solutions can amplify your brand’s presence.

Advertising and Amazon Prime Day 2019

Prime Day is here! This 48-hour sales event of summer is primed (see what I did there?) to eclipse past years’ sales and outshine Black Friday. As a consumer and marketer, I’m eager to explore both sides of the coin, and of course, add everything to my Amazon cart.

Let’s dive in.

Prime Day for Consumers

Some experts caution shoppers to jot down their needs (and wants) prior so you avoid impulse shopping, but know those coveted lightning sales and general sales may not be the best bang for your buck.

Consumers still value shopping around to find the best deals possible. While 68 percent of Adlucent survey respondents are planning to shop Prime Day, they’ll still comparison shop to find the best deal. Companies like Target, Walmart and eBay are eating up this opportunity to not only compete but take advantage of this shopping holiday. Walmart – the biggest Amazon competitor – claimed nearly 50 percent of online sales outside of Amazon, according to Marketing Land.

Prime Day for Advertisers

It’s easy to get caught up in the 48-hour window media planning frenzy by spending high dollars in paid search and social, but long-term ecommerce media planning is key. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Advertisers should examine their product listings to maximize Prime Day shoppers, but set themselves up for later back-to-school and holiday shopping. A Profitero study of more than 1,600 products on Prime Day 2018 found increases in sales were dependent on the sales discount.

Discounts of less than 20 percent delivered a two-time increase in sales, while not severely impacting profit margins – sales of 21-30 percent delivered sales gains of 493 percent, while 31-40 percent discounts generated a boost of 767 percent, according to eMarketer.  Some of this revenue and product movement comes from Lightning Deals, which is limited-quantity, limited-time offers that can give products a broader reach/exposure. Lightning Deal prep is a perfect opportunity for companies to gear up presence – both organically and paid – to participate in these coveted deals since they’ve since closed entry in May.

Joe Kaziukenas, CEO and Founder of Marketplace Pulse says, “The lift in sales you’re going to have by doing a Lightning Deal is obviously going to be multiple times greater than if you just expected an organic lift off a Prime Day. If you want a big increase in sales, and thus a big increase in popularity on Amazon, then a Lightning Deal is probably the best way to do it. Ultimately, you kind of give up the market for it.”

The Prime Day Halo Effect

Profitero conducted an analysis of “more than 13,000 products that grew traffic at least 50 percent on Prime Day 2018 vs. two weeks preceding the event to examine how the products performed post-event. The results found a strong halo effect where 66 percent of products analyzed had elevated sales levels two weeks after. And of those products experiencing a halo effect, there was an average traffic increase of 37 percent during the two-week, post-event period as compared with the two-week, pre-event period. Conversion rates declined from 24 percent to 22 percent during those times, but given the significantly higher traffic levels, brands still came out way ahead in driving post-event sales.”

Prevailing Beyond Prime Days

Prime Day is just two days in a long season, so what’s the big deal for your media plan? The estimated $5 billion in sales over the next two days should pique your interest, but your presence in the Amazon powerhouse can show long-term growth for your brand. (Learn more in our previous Amazon ad blogs.) An estimated 57 percent of brands utilize paid advertising on Amazon, and of those, 69 percent saw revenue growth over time. When talking dollars and sense when looking at Prime Day advertising cost on sales versus an annual (total) Amazon cost on sales, you’ll end up with the better deal long term.

You’ll see an incredibly high advertising cost on Prime Day, but simultaneously kickstart a flywheel effect that drives reviews and future organic sales. And everyone wins when my Prime packages arrive, and our clients see leaps and jumps when adding Amazon to their cart.