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 the new consumer journeys. Successful marketers now must consider the best content and format to reach and connect with their audience and create better viewing experiences. Yet, with the confusing and fragmented nature of the advanced TV landscape and new players entering the space all the time, how do you leverage CTV in your upcoming campaign? Follow these four steps:
Leveraging Connected TV in 4 Steps
Seek Out Quality Inventory.
The open exchange is riddled with fraud, which means programmatic CTV and video buying must adjust. Premium inventory is available, but to guarantee access, plan and buy multiple platforms and networks.
Apply linear television thinking to programmatic video buying. Traditional upfront buying – a committed spend in exchange for premium inventory – has moved into digital, and with it comes the need for advertisers to plan streaming video buys annually. By Q3 and Q4, a large portion of premium inventory is not available programmatically due to the upfronts that have already been secured; plan way in advance so you don’t miss out and leave your connected television and online video budgets open to fraud.
Or make private marketplace (PMP) deals. This programmatic inventory is more transparent and monitored for irregularities in performance, so advertisers can be assured a higher level of quality, and better pricing. Plus, these deals can be great opportunities to test new features and audience engagement.
Get to Know Your Audience.
Buy across multiple platforms or content providers. Focus your buying strategy by either platform or channel. Plan to buy either across several streaming video platforms or choose to buy a specific set of channel placements, based upon the content. For instance, you might buy Hulu, Roku and YouTube, which are unique platforms. Or you might buy inventory across Viacom, NBC and Freewheel, a Comcast company. Attempting to buy a mix of different platforms and content is possible, but it will be difficult to optimize frequency caps and serve relevant ads. Isolate one control variable to more easily deduplicate spend.
Also, 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. Streaming video 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. Since behavioral targeting isn’t enough or always an accurate way of pinpointing streaming video audiences, include content targeting in your online video strategy.
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.
Focus on Mindset and Medium.
Beyond knowing who your audience is and where to reach them, get into their mindset to have an idea of when and where they will watch. Between Hulu, Amazon, Roku, YouTube and others, the list of premium video platforms is growing, and advertisers are missing out if they’re not meeting their targeted audience here when they’re streaming in the same way they would with traditional network television budgets.
Design attention-getting creative assets that have the power to cut through the clutter, ones that will most appeal to and engage your audience.
Engage Measurement Tools and Technology.
As programmatic video buying moves away from buying with singular demand-side platforms (DSPs), advertisers will need to engage measurement tools and technology to show value in the coordinated approach across platforms or channels. Whether DV360, Amazon, Roku or other premium over-the-top (OTT) and CTV services and platforms, take advantage of their offerings.
Also, be sure to think like a traditional television buyer and invest in more tools, such as Nielsen, Lucid Brand Lift, Polk, Ibotta, Oracle and Foursquare among others to gain good insights and to get a wider perspective on how your campaign is performing and how to optimize for more success.
Choosing the Right Connected TV Partner
Connected TV is still a growing medium. So choose 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.
Seek out a vendor that has a wide footprint and sources media across all distributors and publishers. 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.
Go with a provider that offers a solution that seamlessly integrates with its tech stack. Some CTV vendors are amalgamations 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.
Our connected TV solution has all these positive attributes and solves the challenges marketers face with advanced TV. 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 too reach the connected TV audience that matters to you and drive real business outcomes, let’s talk now.