Connected TV has officially met the reach of broadcast television. Streaming and connected TV devices exploded in 2020 as more consumers stayed home and cut the cord. As of 2021, there were just shy of 214 million connected television users. That number will increase to 230 million by 2025. In order to get full reach, brands cannot rest on just linear television buys alone. They must also lean into connected TV.
In tandem with the upcoming deprecation of the third-party cookie, there is a substantial opportunity for marketers to better reach consumers through CTV. However, it is critical to approach connected TV strategically, to connect with your broader business goals in order to achieve the best ROI.
Here are some connected TV strategic recommendations that Coegi leans on to create optimal user experiences for our brands:
Balance Audience and Contextual Targeting
The best thing about CTV compared to traditional TV is marketers are able to offer more customized targeting approaches beyond demographics and GRPs. Instead, we are able to access targeted reach and frequency in an environment where consumers tend to watch 90%+ of the video ad to completion. When analyzing how to reap the most success from targeting, it is important to balance both audience and contextual targeting. Audience targeting offers a lot of benefits in drilling down to behaviors, interests, purchase history, among other characteristics. However, because these devices are often shared across households, you cannot always be sure the person you are trying to reach is the one in front of the screen. Also, as third-party cookies diminish, probabilistic audiences will lose their potency.
Knowing this, contextual targeting on connected TV is going to become increasingly valuable. Programmatically bought CTV ad placements aren’t able to target down to the program level. But, we are able to achieve scale by targeting specific networks, content genre categories and major live events. Knowing your brand and how your preferred audiences index against specific content will become essential in the future of CTV strategies. While these types of premium placements are often more expensive with CPMs often ranging between $40-50, it is critical to communicate the value of having brands’ content run alongside highly recognizable content, elevating the trustworthiness for newer brands and energizing excitement around existing brands.
Take Advantage of Automatic Content Recognition (ACR)
Linear television continues to be a successful medium for many brands due to the cost efficiencies associated with the buy. However, they are certainly not reaching 100% of their target audience through this channel. To expand reach, utilize linear extension through CTV to reach new consumers in your target market. Another option is to reinforce reach and frequency by retargeting those who were previously exposed on linear television with CTV.
Also, ACR offers a great opportunity to have a new way to competitive conquest. You can serve CTV ads to consumers who have watched your competitors’ commercials. This creates an opportunity to gain greater awareness against a broader audience and potentially gain some untapped market share.
Understand Where the Greatest Areas of Opportunity Exist – Omni-Channel
As with any omni-channel marketing strategy, it is important to consider how your target market engages with media and spends the majority of their time. Currently, the greatest volume of users fall between ages 25-44. However, it is possible for marketers to safely reach younger audiences as well. Beyond this, there is a word of mouth element to connected TV. Inmar Intelligence reports Unruly found that “compared to linear TV viewers, ad-supported CTV users are 71% more likely to tell a friend about a brand, 53% more likely to search for a brand and 52% more likely to buy a product…”
This can be done effectively by taking more of an omni-channel approach to the CTV world and following the consumer wherever they are watching TV.
Some marketers are concerned by the fragmentation of connected TV. There so many streaming services it feels challenging to unify the experience. Consider having a presence beyond the Hulu’s of the world and also tap into the walled gardens of Amazon Prime and YouTube TV to extend reach. Have a more holistic approach to the opportunity across the consumer base and unify measurement accordingly.
Measure Performance of Advertising on CTV – Environment vs Reach
Ads on streaming platforms tend to have very strong video completion rates, typically exceeding 90% but often reaching closer 97-99%. This makes the placement very valuable for brands who understand the power of storytelling. But how do brands evaluate success?
Unique reach is certainly one metric to consider. How do I get my message in front of many people and achieve broader awareness goals? However, also consider what placements are going to elevate your brand’s position. Some placements are more costly but have powerful engagement. For example, supplementing your local TV buy on the night of the Oscars with a presence on streaming devices watching.
Overall, CTV adds value through brands’ ability to evaluate performance against qualified audiences, reducing waste and allowing optimization. It’s not just about reach and frequency on CTV. It’s about targeted reach and frequency, placing dollars where there is minimal waste and greatest opportunity.
To go the extra mile, consider layering on advanced measurement tactics such as brand lift and foot traffic studies to gain additional learnings.