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The Complete OTT/CTV eCommerce Advertising Guide

If you’re here reading this, it’s likely that the thought of being unable to attribute your next ad spend – or worse, drive conversions – causes you to break out into a cold sweat… Never fear! Right here, you’ll find the ultimate guide to OTT/CTV eCommerce advertising. No more worrying about how to drive conversions on a device where ads aren’t clickable (we can make them so – sort of!) and you can kiss those conversion fears goodbye. Never again will you have to worry about how to approach eCommerce advertising with OTT/CTV because the Right Partner (*ahem* Strategus) is speaking to you right now. 

“59% of marketers that have not yet implemented an attribution model say that a lack of knowledge is the main obstacle,” according to a survey of 1000 marketers and agencies across the globe.

You don’t have to spend broadcast TV dollars to get onto the biggest digital device in the house (and we all know broadcast TV watching has declined anyway). OTT/CTV advertising is the New Normal, so understanding how to maximize this premium device will set you lightyears ahead of those who only view connected TV as a brand-building conduit. 

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Table of Contents For The Complete OTT/CTV eCommerce Advertising Guide

 

Best Practices For eCommerce Video Ads To Drive Conversions

If you’re looking to make the leap towards advertising on the most premium digital device in the household – the Connected TV – you’ll want to take note of some of the best practices (and common pitfalls) that come with this relatively new territory. 

Post-View Attribution Can Be Difficult Without The Right Partner

CTV advertising isn’t known for its stellar attribution capabilities. The ads aren’t skippable, which is a huge bonus, but they also aren’t clickable, which might be a drawback. Never fear, though. Here at Strategus, we’ve developed a first-of-its-kind software called The Attribution Suite. Read more about it here, with the main points highlighted below. 

“This innovative, full-function, continuously-evolving, product suite features six customizable components for online and offline attribution. You’ll be able to see who visited the website after the ad, who made a purchase after the ad and where, who visited the physical store after the ad, how many of a specific product was purchased, online browsing behavior before and after the ad, as well as offline conversion tracking.”

Smaller, hyper-targeted audiences are your friend. You aren’t placing CTV ads in a quest to win universal popularity. You’re here to reach the people who are looking for you (even if they don’t know it yet). 

A Blended Approach To Make CTV Ads Clickable, In A Way

We just shared that CTV ads aren’t clickable, so what gives? With the right partner, CTV advertising combined with retargeting provide the perfect opportunity to create a cohesive narrative that traverses across multiple devices, and allows for an attributable, highly targeted call-to-action on a device other than the connected TV. At Strategus, we call this Encore Omnichannel. Learn more about it here

Read our full post on the best practices for eCommerce video ad strategies for CTV here.

Building an eCommerce Sales Funnel With OTT/CTV Advertising

It’s important that we begin this section by stating that here at Strategus, we don’t believe that over-the-top advertising should be your one and only sales funnel generation strategy. It should be one moving part within a much grander plan full of lions, tigers, and organic, paid search, oh my! But really, a blended, holistic approach to building an eCommerce sales funnel is the way to go. This is just one aspect that we are going to dive into right now. 

Why should you tap into OTT/CTV advertising? Let’s take a look. 

AdExchanger notes the following:

66% of households globally use an OTT service

Daily time spent watching OTT is expected to increase by 20% in two years (2017-2019

OTT ratings are up 500%; primetime TV is down 20%

41% of agency buyers plan to shift ad spend from TV to OTT (2017)

Programmatic OTT advertising is always the winner when it comes to more traditional methods of video advertising like broadcast, especially considering how many cord-cutters and what’s-satellite-tv user’s are out there. 

OTT is easy to use, offers real-time reporting and control over the user’s experience, and a beeline right to your target audience’s eyes and ears. 

The Three Most Important Components of Building Your eCommerce Sales Funnel With OTT/CTV Advertising

When it comes to building that sales funnel, and, more importantly, driving conversions, there are three things to consider when building your strategy. They include:

  • Paying attention to hypertargeting. This is the bread-and-butter of OTT. It’s what makes marketers look a little deeper beyond the masses, and down into the windows of an individual’s life. Hypertargeting is where you get into the nitty gritty of figuring out exactly who your audience is, what they’re looking for, when and where they’re looking for it, and maybe even why they’re looking for it. With this kind of data, you can make informed choices about where your ad dollars are going instead of shaking all your change out into a bottomless pit and hoping something comes back out again.
  • Making sure your ads are attributable. How will you know how your ads did if you don’t know what happened after somebody watched them? With CTV, ads aren’t clickable, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t attributable (but only with the right partner!). With proper attribution capabilities (hello, Attribution Suite!), you can make sure that your ads are optimized for conversion.
  • Making sure your ads are actionable! What? But you just said you can’t click on them? As we’ve talked about in the previous section, you can make your CTV/OTT ads actionable by the use of data-driven retargeting efforts. We’ve solved the riddle that CTV presents, and we’ve packaged the answer up in a box called Encore Omnichannel. Encore Omnichannel brings trackable engagement to the CTV advertising ecosystem, but through the use of hyper-targeted, actionable ads.

The key to building a successful eCommerce sales funnel with OTT/CTV advertising that actually drives conversions is by partnering with those who know what they’re doing when it comes to making your ads actionable and attributable. 

To learn more about this sales funnel process, read this article

Three Keys To eCommerce Ads On CTV To Drive Results

The whole point of CTV advertising is to drive results, yeah? Or did you think the whole point was building brand awareness? If you’re in the latter group, have we got some exciting news for you! That’s not the whole point. There are three essential elements to driving results through connected TV ads. Let’s check them out below. 

  1. You have to make your CTV ads attributable. When you go directly to content providers like HULU, you are sorely missing out on what is possible when it comes to CTV attribution today. Again, having the right partner is everything because not everyone knows how to glide away from that soul-sucking fiend labeled Brand Awareness Campaign. Cross-device tracking and attribution are entirely possible. We know this because we do it.
  2. Make your ads actionable! Are you seeing a pattern here? Driving results has to do with making people do things that they may or may not realize they want to do, and then tracking it when they actually do it. With our first-of-their-kind programs like Encore Omnichannel, you can roll your eyes at those brand awareness gurus (or just kindly thank them for their opinions and give us a call), and start seeing results through trackable engagement that allows a viewer to experience and engage with a full story arc across multiple devices in a highly targeted way.
  3. Did we mention hyper-targeting? Hyper-targeting is your friend. You know those cooks who are climbing up in years who test if spaghetti noodles are finished cooking by throwing them against a kitchen cabinet door? No? Well, they did that to see if the noodle stuck. If it did, it was done. If it didn’t, well, keep on cooking. You don’t have to suffer so needlessly with the power of hyper-targeting. 

Read this article if you want to learn more about driving conversions through the use of CTV ads.

eCommerce Video Advertising Cross-Device Tracking With CTV/OTT

We live in a day and age packed with information. The Internet of Things continues to explode as more and more people get Connected with a capital C. You know the kind, smart phones, smart TVs, smart computers, smart refrigerators, smart cars. With so much Smartness floating around, it’s important to understand how to use this information to your advantage when it comes to eCommerce video advertising and tracking those ad experiences across multiple devices. 

  • Every second of every day, Google search processes over 40,000 search queries. 
  • According to Statistica, 306.4 billion emails are sent every day in 2020. 
  • There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created daily. 

That’s a staggering amount of data and “behaviors” being documented every moment of every day. And unlike real-world trash, there is no garbage truck picking up our data and carrying it off to the landfill.

To fully utilize cross-device tracking with video eCommerce ads on OTT/CTV, action and attribution are essential. To understand what actions you want the buyer to take, you have to know where they’re at on the buyers’ journey. You can pinpoint exactly where they are at through the use of all of that data being collected up there, and analyzing it. Then using what you learned about them to influence their behaviors. Don’t worry, this isn’t a toxic relationship. It’s just really good marketing. 

To understand how to analyze, retarget, and attribute certain behaviors and actions, you need the right partner (we’ve got your back!).

To learn more about eCommerce video ad cross-device tracking, check out this article

Traffic Building and eCommerce Strategy For OTT vs. CTV

Building an eCommerce and traffic building strategy for OTT and CTV requires understanding the two parts to make a whole. These two terms aren’t interchangeable, but they aren’t completely separate either. OTT is the umbrella term for all streaming video content that can be accessed over the internet. CTV is only the Connected TV, the biggest connected device in most homes. 

As far as we’re concerned here at Strategus, the connected TV is one of the most powerful and premium devices in the home for marketers. You’ve got a built-in open minded base of viewers who are early adopters of this new wave of television viewing. And, typically, you’ve got a big-ass screen that leaves your ad in front of hyper-targeted eyeballs that are choosing to be front and center at your performance. You can’t get that same experience on a handheld device. It’s too small. 

If traffic-building is the goal, then optimization and attribution are as well. You can’t have peanut butter without the jelly. Or you can. Maybe you like your sandwich with honey or bananas instead. That’s the great thing about traffic building and eCommerce strategies for CTV/OTT advertising. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Oftentimes, it requires a blended approach, an open mind, and a capable partner. 

Read this article to learn more about OTT vs CTV as it relates to your eCommerce strategies. 

The Bottom Line

ECommerce advertising on OTT/CTV devices isn’t rocket science, but it is a science. It requires a willingness to take risks, to adopt practices that are still relatively new, and to seek out partners – like the team here at Strategus, who are pioneers in the industry. If you want to build CTV campaigns that encourage action across multiple devices, are attributable, and that drive results, contact us today! We’d love to talk shop and see how we can set you on the path to success.

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