Advertise on TV and people will search for you online… almost instantly.

As many as 90% of TV viewers have a digital device either in their hands or within reach while watching.  “Forget the remote,” said Lisa Gevelber, VP Global Marketing at Google. “Smartphones are becoming the essential TV-watching companion.”

12% of smartphone and tablet owners are looking at content related to the TV shows they are watching.  29% are actively searching for something they saw.  Two-thirds of viewers report looking up information on their digital device immediately after seeing it on the big screen.

Daniel Gulick, Head of Customer Success at TV Squared, wrote in SmartBrief: “Since the majority of TV-driven searches take place in the minutes after spots air, it’s crucial that advertisers secure the top search ranking in those moments to take advantage of this response. When they do, the results can be dramatic.”

Second-screen searchers present a huge opportunity for marketers. These people aren’t passively following a conversation; they’re leaning forward—looking for more information, learning, and taking action,” said Gevelber.

Website traffic and search traffic can also give you some understanding of how effective your TV ads are.  Look at this chart from Google tracking on a campaign for Nest, the company that makes programmable and smart thermostats.  Whenever their TV commercials ran, they saw an immediate and huge spike in their search volume.

Google Results from TV Ads
SOURCE:  Google

Another independent study analyzed the relationship between TV ads and brands.  The study reports that three-quarters of the search spikes take place within the first two minutes of the TV spot airing.  That creates an amazing, and instant opportunity, for advertisers.

“Not only are viewers responding to TV ads through search, but they’re also doing so immediately after spots air,” Gulick said.

Advice from Google:

  1. Make sure you have a strong digital presence when your TV ads are running, especially on mobile. You’re creating demand with your commercial and people are searching.  That’s the time to make sure everything online is how you want it.
  2. Focus not just on your digital presence, but on the category of business. People often search for product categories and not just brands.  If you aren’t showing up well in categories of business your advertising, you might be driving people right to your competitors.
  3. Align your landing pages and ad copy with your television creative. It will help your digital presence jump out and make sure they click on you instead of someone else when searching.