We’ve all been to Wal-Mart or Target, and we’ve seen all the new gadgets ---- particularly the new televisions. They’re “smart” nowadays, which means they can access commercial TV and the internet simultaneously. It’s, obviously, only a matter of time before the smart TV fully supplants the “non-smart” TV’s--- just as color TV’s supplanted the black and whites in the ‘70’s.
According to recent studies, there are over 140 million connected televisions in the U.S (see below). This figure is up from 78 million in 2012.
Eventually (not in the distant future) everyone in the U.S. will surf the web using smart TV’s. This realization leads me to ask myself (and you should probably do the same)… how does my company’s website “project my business” on a smart TV? By that, I mean does my website create the sort of experience we are used to seeing on television. If so, I believe my business is likely to flourish as the new TV technology becomes market dominant. If not, then very definite changes probably need to be made to my website to keep up with this fast emerging trend.
Before proceeding, we must first acknowledge that not all websites are created equal. Some are obviously better suited to the new technology than others. With that in mind, I divide commercial websites into two groups---- the “old school” and “new school”. The “old school” sites generally reflect a design format that was popular 15 or more years ago. These designs are fairly simple and straightforward, generally projecting the business in a manner similar to that of a typical magazine or newspaper ad. The web pages are comprised of simple copy and print, without more. By definition, these sites do not create a multi-media experience of sight and sound for the site visitor. Accordingly, they will (and do) appear flat, particularly if the visitor arrives at the site while surfing the web on a smart television.
Multi-media sites (those that artfully combine video, graphic animation, music, sound, etc.) would then represent the “new school”. These are sites that create a unique visual and audio experience for the visitor similar to the sort you might currently see on commercial television. Because these sites were conceived and created to project businesses effectively on television, it stands to figure that site visitors (particularly those that arrive via smart television) will find the content on these sites more interesting and engaging. This might encourage these visitors to remain on the site longer, leading eventually to some sort of direct engagement between the site visitor and the business owner, which is the ultimate objective of the business owner.
So, if we accept the premise that smart televisions will soon be the dominant technology in the U.S., this situation presents many interesting opportunities for today’s business owners who (prior to this time) could not afford to advertise on T.V. A multi-media website with “interesting and engaging content” can create an experience for the viewer that is similar to one experienced with commercial television, thereby providing a platform to project that business to the world in a manner that heretofore was reserved for only the largest corporations. Taken to its logical progression, the internet will soon provide to each business the opportunity to produce and present (for the world to see) "original programming" aimed at promoting that business. So, it would not be a stretch to say that now (or in the very near future) the company website can be viewed as a sort of "digital television network" where web content may be produced, branded and presented to U.S. audiences (or consumers) in a way that is similar to cable/satellite networks (i.e. CNN, TBS, MTV, etc.). Imagine the day when web content will be as "good" and as "compelling" as television content (or that on the "big screen"). I guess I can already do that--- considering the success of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. These three recent success stories clearly demonstrate that if a company’s web content (or programming) is produced professionally to maximize its effectiveness in this medium, it’s not hard to imagine situations where start-ups and early stage companies will be able to get the sort of national exposure (on TV) that the entrepreneurs in earlier generations could only dream of--- and, at a fraction of the price for commercial television.
So, again, I ask you… how does your current website “project” your business online? As set forth above, those companies that produce sites that come across well on the smart TV will have a decided advantage over those who do not, and this advantage will only increase as smart televisions further penetrate the U.S. market.
So what are the sort of elements that should be integrated into a commercial website in this era of smart TV’s? Set forth below is a list of factors we find significant:
Video: Be sure to incorporate video prominently on the site. This serves two functions. It provides a method of showcasing “interesting and engaging content” in this era of smart TV’s, and it may facilitate social media optimization (see below).
High-Definition: Make sure the video content is filmed and produced in high-definition similar to what you might see on commercial television.
Music: A background soundtrack is usually a nice touch.
Voiceover: If you wish to promote your products or services on-site, then include professional voiceover(s) to tell your company’s story (i.e. standard TV commercial style). If you do, in fact, require voiceovers, prepare a script.
Production Value: Make sure that your video looks professional overall. Compare your web content to television promotions you might see during prime time, or better yet, the Super Bowl (if possible).
Video is important for two reasons. First, it enables the business owner to project the business effectively via smart televisions (as discussed above). Also, this video content can also be used “off-site” as a newsfeed (or otherwise) on social media sites, which may, in turn, produce traffic to the site.
With the advent of the smart television, the possibilities to promote and project a small business are almost endless. As TV technology continues to progress, it is imperative to recognize that a corporate website should not be static, but instead should be regarded as the digital equivalent of a cable television network, requiring a steady stream of high-quality content. Therefore, if you produce such “high-quality” content, your business will be rewarded with heightened traffic, and a steady stream of clients. If you do not, your business may be relegated to second class status on the web.
If you have a corporate website that is not “smart TV friendly”, and you would like advice on how to update your website, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at (805) 796-5655. Please also be sure to tour our site by clicking here.