4 Tips To Leverage CTV in Your Digital Ad Campaigns

Michelle Philippon
Dec 2023

The future of video and television is here: Connected TV (CTV) has married the beauty of programmatic tech with television content in ways that are critical to new customer journeys.

And as consumer preferences lean more towards digital, CTV viewership is skyrocketing. In fact, per eMarketer, CTV households will outnumber traditional pay households by 58.5 million in 2024.

Successful marketers now must consider the best content, format, publishers and inventory to reach and connect with their audience and create better viewing experiences.

Yet, with the confusing and fragmented nature of the convergent TV landscape and new players entering the space all the time, how do you successfully leverage CTV in your media mix?

Here are four tips to do this, with expert insights from the Goodway Group team.

1. Stick to the 3 Main Paths To Purchase CTV Inventory

There are three main ways to purchase inventory for your campaigns:

  • Purchasing via CTV devices and operating system makers such as Roku, Amazon, Samsung, LG and Vizio.
  • Purchasing through programmatic platforms like Microsoft, The Trade Desk, and Amazon DSP or ad servers like Clearline.
  • Buying inventory through streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Max, Peacock and Paramount+.

But there’s a fourth one that you should avoid at all costs, yet some advertisers and marketers still use: buying CTV ad inventory through the open exchange. That’s because the open exchange is ripe with fraud, and buying ads through the open exchange significantly increases your risk of it. Plus, you can’t ensure that the inventory you’re buying is high-quality or, indeed, will even appear at all on the inventory you’re selecting. 

Elizabeth Zupkow, a senior director of client experience at Goodway Group, explained:

“You get what you pay for. Quality inventory costs money. Our premium partners have high-floor CPMs because they mitigate fraud and ensure inventory is served on large screens.”

2. Use Audience Data To Inform Your CTV Advertising Strategy

“Pay close attention to your audience,” Elizabeth suggested. “Users watch a variety of programming and leverage many streaming platforms to consume content. We want to be open to any inventory where we may reach that user and not limit ourselves to what seems popular in the moment.”  

In other words, before fully scoping out any CTV campaign or evaluating which inventory to use for it, dive deep into audience research. Identify which devices they use and which content they watch and when. Get the complete details about your audiences’ media consumption habits.  

But know that most users don’t just watch one channel or device. Streaming video platforms share audiences, but each has unique demographic sets and inventory available. Platforms know their audiences better than a third-party data source. Understand the nuanced audience differences by platform or channel so you’re showing up at in the right place at the right time.  

Harmonize your streaming video strategy. Coordinate what people are watching (content), where (app/network) and how (device). Focus on video content that people are consuming by interest and type, select the right app or network based on where you want your brand to appear and expand to cross-device for maximum targeted reach to get in front of your ideal audiences at optimal times.

Bonus Tip: Go Broad, Then Narrow

“Start a bit broad with your target audience because the more data you layer on, the lower the scale could be,” said Andrea Kwiatek, the director of strategic partnerships at Goodway Group. Lean into the more specific targeting options available with programmatic TV that aren’t available with linear, such as automatic content recognition (ACR) targeting.

3. Define Your Metrics and Measurement Avenues Beforehand

To develop your measurement strategy for CTV, you first need to know what you — or if you’re a marketing agency, your client — want to achieve with your CTV campaign. Here are some tactics to do that.

Determine Your KPIs

First, you’ll want to decide on the metrics to measure that align to your broader business goals.

Andrea explained:

“Ask yourself: Is the metric of success based online or offline? What metric will be the most effective in supporting the campaign objective? What role does video or CTV play in the funnel? How will video contribute to the success of the business metric? And how can you prove CTV is a way to support that overall objective? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you choose the right tool and/or measurement partner.”  

Keep in mind that there is no one perfect metric that will help you measure the effectiveness of your CTV campaign. You will need to customize your metric or metrics to the business objective. Some examples of common CTV metrics include:

  • Incremental reach.
  • Cost per unique reach.
  • ROI (for instance, tracking the conversion rate of viewers who’ve been exposed to an ad).

Identify How To Measure Your Results

Once you’ve identified the metrics, decide which partner or tools you want to use to measure your campaigns. You may likely need to use more than one partner or solution, especially if you’re using different platforms. This is because CTV — like other newer, growing channels like retail media networks — lacks a unified approach to measurement.

Depending on which inventory you’re using and how you’re launching your campaigns, you may be able to leverage in-platform data through demand-side platforms (DSPs) like Roku OneView, Xandr Invest or The Trade Desk.

Other solutions such as InnovidXP and LiveRamp — as well as partnerships with companies like comScore, Samba, VideoAmp and — can help you unlock even more audience measurement insights and outcomes.

4. Choose the Right CTV Partner

CTV is still a growing medium, and many brands and agencies who’ve traditionally used linear TV ads aren’t sure where to start when it comes to launching CTV campaigns.

This makes sense considering:

  • The ecosystem grows more complex each year.
  • CTV is very different from linear TV in many ways.
  • There are myriad methods to buy inventory, choose which publishers to partner with, and measure the results of your campaigns.

That’s why many companies are hesitant to either begin using CTV campaigns or invest significant ad dollars in them.

If that sounds like you, you may want to choose a CTV partner who can help you not only execute your campaigns and reach your (proven) KPIs, but also show how CTV impacts other paid channels, such as display and paid search, in multichannel campaigns.

So, look for a CTV partner with these positive attributes:

Unbiased Media Inventory

Go with an unbiased company that doesn’t own media content and stations to run the best media for your target audience. Companies can prioritize their owned media outlets over others whether it’s in your best interest or not, especially if there are shareholders to please and any profit to be gained.

Full Coverage

“Seek out a vendor that has a wide footprint and sources media across all content owners, publishers, DSPs and more — that is, the entire CTV ecosystem,” Andrea advised. When you look at most legacy cable-based full-episode player (FEP) vendors, they often only reach select pockets of the U.S. population, even if combined with other cable companies.

Partners with a limited footprint could provide skewed audience data as their delivery may be misaligned by large cities in scattered pockets throughout the country.

Seamless Integration

Go with a provider that offers a solution that seamlessly integrates with its tech stack. Some CTV vendors are combinations of other companies whose systems aren’t integrated or are based on tech founded in other channels, like display. These technical issues can cause glitches in your campaigns or reporting.

The Ability To Bridge the Gap With Linear Data

Running linear campaigns in addition to CTV? Skeptical about making the switch, or want to use both types of TV advertising options? “Find a CTV partner who can bridge the gap with your existing, post-log data to prove incrementality,” Andrea suggested.

Get the Most Out of Your CTV Ad Campaigns

By following the tips in this blog post, you’ll have the right framework and approach to executing CTV campaigns that minimize waste, control ad frequency and measure the right KPIs to inform your future efforts.

Looking for a CTV partner with all of the attributes mentioned above that can solve the challenges marketers face with CTV? We can help. Want proof?

When one of our auto clients added our solution to current campaigns to see if they could get a lift in conversions, they saw an 86% lift in household outcome rates and an 8.08% lift in total household outcomes compared to display outcome alone. We quantifiably increased lower-funnel website traffic and drove a significant increase in outcomes.

To discover how we can help you reach the connected TV audience that matters to you and drive real business outcomes, let’s talk now.

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