Twitter’s new Lead Generation Cards are the latest example of convergence in the advertising industry, as social media and search create more in-stream opportunities for brands to connect with consumers.
According to Mashable, the cards let users “easily and securely share their email address with a business without leaving Twitter or having to fill out a cumbersome form.” They’re part of Twitter’s larger strategy to bring richer content inside the Twitter experience and to give brands another reason to leverage its enhanced targeting capabilities.
Rich Media … for Search & Social
As Twitter, Google and Facebook all have in-stream options for brands, it’s as if rich media morphed and extended itself into search and social media.
A Google search on Yankee Candle serves up one example of Google’s in-stream opportunities. And depending on the Facebook management platform, brands can turn a post into a landing page that asks for a Facebook user’s contact information in exchange for a fulfillment piece — all without leaving the post. By promoting the post, brands can ensure only the target audience sees the offer.
The path to customer acquisition through search and social becomes even shorter with these paid options. They’re also a reminder of how important it is for brands to offer simple, frictionless experiences to their audiences.
Consumers, Convergence Redefining Cross-Platform
Changing consumer habits dictate that the term cross-platform needs to be redefined. It should come to mean more experiences like these in-stream advertising examples — a single, seamless experience for the consumer regardless of platform or device. Google Chrome is a great example wherein you can open a tab on your laptop, call up a website and access that same tab from your phone or tablet.
When we require consumers to take anything more than a simple action, preventing them from quickly acting on an impulse, the less likely they are to take action. Technology is helping change consumer expectations of the brand experience. In addition to Google Chrome, consider how simple Facebook makes it to give gifts to other users. And smartphones allow you to take edit and share photos — not just from a single device but from a single app. Some of these phones run Windows Live Tiles, which make even the swipe of a finger redundant.
Revisit Customer Acquisition Strategies
More than anything, media innovations like the Lead Generation Cards from Twitter drive the need for brands to revisit customer acquisition strategies. A holistic view of paid opportunities across all channels, and how they work together, is warranted. Brands must make it “in-stream simple” to create a connection with consumers.