Cross-Screen Marketing: How Twitter Will Bank in 2014


If you’ve watched any prime time football on your TV in the last few months, you’ve probably seen one of the new hashtag commercials that some major brands are using to promote their Twitter campaigns pop up. Even if you’re not a sports fan, it’s pretty likely you’ve seen one of these advertisements urging you to tweet using a specific hashtag, and thus, join the conversation online.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, sure, what’s so unique about that?

Well, to put it simply, there’s A LOT that’s unique about TV advertisers pushing tweets and hashtags. It’s something we haven’t seen much of, if any, before in the marketing industry, and it’s only happening now because of the recent onset and widespread usage of mobile devices.

Everyone who’s anyone has a mobile device these days. Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, iPad or just a laptop, it has become common behavior in our culture to simultaneously watch TV (which we do a lot) while scrolling on a mobile device.

This behavior has paved the way for advertisers to try their hands at cross-screen marketing tactics, many of which are geared toward social campaigns, and, wouldn’t you know, that’s exactly what Twitter is doing this year.

The Rush to Beat Facebook

There’s been a lot of talk about Facebook within online media lately, and that’s for good reason. The social media giant has recently introduced autoplay videos into their newsfeed, creating an entirely new goldmine for advertisers who can now, potentially, deliver video content through Facebook automatically, without any hindrance from the user.

But that’s not all Facebook has changed. They’ve applied some major updates to their news feed algorithm in the last two months, changing it from a kind of ‘free market’ for advertising to more of a ‘pay to play’ sort of platform.

While Facebook users are seeing autoplay videos from their friends right now more than anything, that could change in the next few months.

It seems like it’s only a matter of time before advertisers run with the idea of unhindered video content with guaranteed delivery.

But Twitter has a plan for that. They’ve spent much of 2013 developing and pushing their symbolic (and in some ways symbiotic) relationship with TV, and now, in 2014, they’re ready to show off their advertising capabilities to the biggest brands.

The Grand Intersection: Video + Data

Due to signed non-disclosure agreements, no one is allowed to reveal much about the 2014 Twitter advertising strategy. However, one agency executive said that Twitter is most “bullish” when it comes to video and data, and they will focus on the “intersection of data and video” in the coming year.

Twitter has been pushing their unique capability to gather useable data and insights from online conversations about specific TV shows within the Twittersphere to big brands and agencies a lot lately. This valuable data gives brands the opportunity to reach those viewers, a service that could be considered so useful that it’s invaluable within the marketing industry.

In fact, Twitter purchased Bluefin Labs last year (a social TV analytics company) to up the ante on their TV targeting capabilities. If that doesn’t give you an idea of how serious they are about cross-screen (or second-screen) marketing, we’re not sure what will!

As one ad agency exec put it, “They have the ability to reach people simultaneously on TV and Twitter. It’s a second-screen option that’s not happening elsewhere.”

In addition, it’s not just prime-time hashtags you’ll see with this new Twitter-to-TV push. It will evolve far past this, according to how many brands plan to increase their Twitter spending in 2014.

SMART Content Marketing

Content marketing is a subject that’s been talked about so much in the last couple of years that many people are tired of hearing about it. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not extremely important to your business. It’s a proven, effective way to increase your reach with your target market, which will help you get more customers, make more money and ultimately, build your business.

So, where does content marketing come into our conversation here?

Well, say you’re sponsoring a big televised event. You can take your printed ad copy once the event is over, and simply upload it onto your Twitter account (in 140-character chunks, of course), delivering the same content to more people in different ways, and thus, increasing your reach by an incredible amount.

THAT is content marketing. Taking your original content and repurposing it to gain more traction. And, it’s SMART.

Essentially, advertisers are viewing "Twitter ads" as an extension of TV buying, and many big advertising brands are going giddy over the ability to use it, as well as tripling their budgets to do so.

While these advertising dollars could be going to Facebook, especially considering that fact that Facebook still has a broader reach than Twitter, it will come down to the race of who can target users more effectively and thus, truly lay claim as the major second-screen advertiser.

We will just have to wait and see who wins that race.

Image via Shutterstock

About the Author

Megan Totka

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing small business advice.

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