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Television Advertising Use of Hashtags is Now Trending

A successful brand is adaptive, and it knows where to market to large audiences. Trends, news, and events allow brands to capitalize on attention on these large platforms by creating content that is relevant to those audiences. Creating relevance in advertisements is easier said than done. Brands must get creative to modify their advertisements on existing channels in order to stand out, especially in an environment where audiences are aware when they are being sold to and are quick to tune out a sales pitch.

While new media giants like Facebook and Twitter dominate in terms of engagement, old media, especially television, remains a powerful platform on which to capture audiences. To enhance the social reach of their TV commercials, brands have begun harnessing the growing power of hashtags. Up until recently, it was common to see an ad promoting a call to action to visit a website URL, but nothing more. Now, URLs have been replaced and phased out by a new preferred choice of marketers, hashtags.

The evidence bears this out: in the 2013 Super Bowl, half of the ads referenced social media in some way. Brands encouraged fans to submit content linked to anything from a brand name (#Doritos) to a tagline (Hyundai’s #pickyourteam).

The benefits of this move could be enormous. Relying on hashtags instead of URLs allows you to connect with a larger pool of people on a deeper level.  Instead of inviting people to visit a website one time and then leave, this new model helps builds a stronger relationship with customers by asking them to participate in a conversation. Rather than a company or brand simply talking to its customers on its site, this system leads to genuine engagement via a two-way relationship. As social media has shown, people appreciate the opportunity to submit their own content, and brands’ use of hashtags in their ads fosters that.

In addition, this model provides companies with more relevant data to analyze. Visitors to a website can only be analyzed in basic demographic terms; on the other hand, social conversations and users themselves provide more targeted, actionable data to analyze. Encouraging social media conversations, in other words, invites people to provide information about themselves—their feelings, desires, and complaints—that can be invaluable to brands.

While hashtags can generate large audiences, it is important as a brand to be able to extract the signal from the noise. Zoomph tracks platforms, like Twitter, allowing marketers to measure relevance of influencers within the conversation and visualize the impact they create when they speak. Listening is a great first step to any campaign, but without in-depth analysis and finding relevant content through conversations with algorithms like ZPoints, marketers lose time and, more importantly, opportunities. The use of hashtags in TV advertising, let alone social media platforms, is not going anywhere, and the brands who can harness and analyze that information will be the most successful.

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