More and more, people are using multiple devices simultaneously or sequentially. In fact, a recent Google study showed that 90% of people use multiple screens sequentially, moving between devices to accomplish their goal. While the study didn’t provide an equally all-encompassing stat for simultaneous device use, they did state that 77% of people who watch TV do so with another device (49% with a smartphone, and 34% with a PC/laptop), so it’s safe to say that a huge percentage of people are using multiple devices simultaneously.
A challenge for marketers is how to tap into this behaviour in a way that will amplify your brand’s message, provide value to your targeted consumers, and provide a seamless experience from device to device.
Following are three tips for how to tap the power of consumers’ simultaneous or sequential multi-device use:
OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENT FOR EACH PLATFORM
Your content needs to be optimized with each device’s strengths and weaknesses accounted for. Your 40 page downloadable .pdf probably provides a huge amount of valuable content to consumers using a PC, but on a mobile device, it’ll take forever to download, might require a separate app to open, and involves a time commitment to read that is probably longer than the average person’s session time on a mobile device. In this case, keep your points short and concise for people on mobile devices and forego the option to download your .pdf as it will provide a poor experience and might frustrate your consumers.
ENSURE CONTEXTUAL RELEVANCE
It is critical to have a firm understanding of how your targeted consumers use various devices. When you get to know how they use their smartphones, tablets, PCs, televisions, e-readers, and mp3 players, you’ll be better equipped to provide a seamless experience for your consumers on the devices they naturally use for various tasks. Further to this, try to avoid forcing your consumers to use a device in a way that isn’t contextually natural to them. They won’t change their usage behaviour just because you want them to, so don’t waste your time trying. To gain a better understanding of how people use various devices, I encourage you to read Brian Solis’ article, We are now a society of multi-taskers and multi-screeners. To quickly highlight a few key observations, people tend to use PCs to be productive and keep informed, smartphones to stay connected, and tablets for entertainment.
TAP SIMULTANEOUS DEVICE USE TO ENRICH EXPERIENCES
I’m willing to bet that you can’t think of the last time you watched television without your smartphone, tablet or laptop at least partially dividing your attention. Think of ways to create meaningful brand experiences on these devices that are relevant to the content your consumers are watching on television to provide truly immersive brand experiences. An example of a brand that hit an absolute home run providing an immersive multi-screen experience is Heineken’s Star Player football app that allowed fans to apply their intuition and knowledge of football to a competitive real-time smartphone game when watching Champion’s League matches on television.
Simpler, more cost effective ways to tap the power of a simultaneous multi-screen experience include augmenting your content calendar to generate relevant discussion during programming you know your consumers will be watching, or creating contests or promotions that require viewing relevant content (think digital scavenger hunts or trivia questions).
Consumers’ attention is becoming increasingly fragmented across devices, which means you need to figure out how to engage with them in ways that use this fragmentation to your benefit. Finding ways to streamline consumers’ experiences when transitioning from one device to the next, or enhancing experiences with simultaneous device use, is key for engaging consumers in a multi-screen, multi-device world.
What considerations do you take into account when creating content or brand experiences for your consumers?
Do you have any case studies you’d like to share of who has done this particularly well?
If you have any thoughts you’d like to share, please do so in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
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