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How Streaming Advertising Unlocks Reach and Frequency

two hands forming a square around a video streaming outline against a city scape background

These days, when we browse online, we regularly see ads based on previous searches and purchases. These ads often cater to us and differ from what someone else sees.

Connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) advertising capture the same specificity but for streaming audiences.

With more and more viewers choosing streaming services for their television, ads have a chance to digitize the traditional TV ad and engage audiences in a personalized way.

In other words, it’s targeted ads for digital TV — a thriving capability that’s already changed how we apply data, target consumers, and message them in multi-screen households.


Achieving Valuable Advertising Reach

Reach is the total number of unique users your ads connect with. It’s a campaign metric measured through DSP platforms and ad servers.

For advertisers, reach differs from impressions. Impressions are calculated based on the number of times your ads are displayed, regardless of whether they were clicked on or not.

Advertising on CTV and OTT brings sophisticated processes that enhance targeting to find your exact audience. It uses a complex system to instantly compute massive amounts of data to connect with the most receptive viewers on the big screen.

All of this is possible because everyone is connected to the internet and can stream video on demand at home on their smart TVs or on the go with mobile devices.

The increasing access of CTV and OTT audiences offers flexible options to scale for different DMA or a hyper-localized advertising approach to maximize reach nearby.

With all this data available, marketers can easily understand when and were ads are running, the total number of people reached, CTV and OTT ad performance, and actionable insights like niche demographics, activities, and interests.


New Standards in Ad Frequency

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While reach tells you how many consumers you have messaged, frequency determines how many times each user saw your targeted ad.

In the past, traditional reach and frequency for television campaigns planned to reach a percentage of a particular demographic and to message each viewer several times.

However, with CTV and OTT, reach and frequency measurements are much more accurate, adding data-driven advertising techniques to make every ad dollar count.

Below are some common reach and frequency strategies for campaign effectiveness.


Ad Frequency Capping

One way to balance ad frequency is to limit the number of times you message the same person. Especially if you are targeting a niche audience or your market is ready to purchase.

For streaming audiences, you can set the conditions for each viewer over a specific time of day, month, and season. Then, ramp up efforts when the timing is right.

Achieve efficient marketing spend and see a higher ROI per ad view by ensuring ad exposure is tailored for each unique household.


Sequential Messaging For Cross-Platform Campaigns

By building consistent messaging, your overall message moves beyond the television screen and into the handheld devices of its viewers.

A deliberate cadence of creatives extends meaningful engagement with target audiences and moves viewers through an intended purchase funnel.

Additionally, retargeting technology helps find high-quality leads based on previous online searches and ad completion rates and optimizes efforts toward those audiences.


Testing, Automating, and Adapting

Depending on the length of the advertising campaign, CTV and OTT can set your ad distribution to mitigate any oversaturation.

Advertisers can also test new frequency rates, streaming platforms, creatives, and mediums. The data collected from these experimentations reveal consumer behavior and openings for additional markets.

Integrating a programmatic platform automates bidding to target suitable devices, tell a complete story, and provide performance metrics.


Which is More Important, Reach or Frequency?

a hand points to a target among other marketing icons on a desk

Reach and frequency complement each other and shouldn't be considered metrics that are one against the other.

These metrics are molded to fit the campaign budget, objectives, and targeting.

Since streaming services function like apps, smart TVs and connected TVs (CTV) can place online video ads for your target audience. Think of it like a large smartphone, as digital TVs and over-the-top (OTT) services collect data on what viewers are watching.

Figuring out how to balance reach and ad frequency for each campaign needs testing and optimization.

Activating first-party data and applying research establishes an initial reach and frequency that works best for your intended audience.

Optimizing your marketing campaign to reach new audiences or reinforce brand awareness within a specific market doesn’t always mean increasing these efforts

You have to calculate the minimum budget for reach and frequency; otherwise, your budget can be exhausted too quickly.

You may expand beyond your target audience if you emphasize too much reach. In this case, you’ll be reaching viewers who aren’t interested, so it should be a measured process.

Even interested audiences exposed to the same advertisement too often will suffer ad fatigue, which is why ad frequency is essential to measure and adjust accordingly. If not, oversaturation can lead to annoyance and lost leads.


Staying Nimble in Your Marketing Strategy

a woman browses a streaming interface on a tablet while sitting on her couch

Audience behaviors change over time, and it’s crucial to have flexible campaign options to grow your business.

OTT and CTV advertisements offer quick decision-making by analyzing the campaign results regarding engagements, click-through rates, and the digital touchpoints leading to conversion.

And these devices let you leverage data to target specific digital audiences beyond the confined linear environment of addressable TV.

Easily optimize your creative with A/B testing to develop ads that resonate with people. Your ad will be more efficient by comparing and testing different features like images, calls to action, and ad format.

Most audiences split their attention across multiple devices and media throughout the day. Some stream on tablets, while others use smartphones to do everything and anything.

Wherever they browse, digital lets us track almost every one of those touchpoints.


Just In Case You’re Not Convinced About OTT & CTV

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The IAB’s 2023 outlook survey found that acquiring new customers (61%), brand equity (43%), and media efficiency (35%) are among the most critical goals for media investment.

All these attributes tie directly into the increased spending in OTT and CTV advertising: 

  • Every digital channel is projecting ad spend growth in 2023, with CTV leading these channels at +14.4%

  • OTT streaming will reach half of the time spent with linear TV, but platform ad spending will be one-sixth of linear TV’s total

  • Last year, programmatic accounted for 74.4% of CTV ad spend transactions, a number expected to climb as programmatic remains one of the “most dynamic, sophisticated, agile ways of buying media” — Ashley Luongo, senior vice president of advanced advertising sales at NBCUniversal

2023 holds massive opportunities for ad tech and campaign measurement to give marketers what they need to succeed and adapt to any changes in the TV industry.


Delivering What’s Next in OTT/CTV Advertising!

Partnering with Strategus is partnering with an experienced OTT/CTV campaign manager in an emerging industry. We continue to push the limits of this technology for any brand looking to enhance television ads for modern audiences.

Most streaming advertising companies add CTV and OTT onto their services to broaden their appeal and promise lower cpms.

However, at Strategus, we were one of the pioneers of programmatic advertising and can create a reach and frequency campaign based on true audience-centric buys for high-quality results.

Contact us today for a managed service provider that puts agencies and clients at the forefront of CTV and OTT inventory, targeting, and measurement.

Andy Dixon is a seasoned Content Writing Specialist at Strategus, renowned for his expertise in creating engaging and impactful digital content. With over a decade of experience in content creation, Andy has honed his skills in a variety of niches, ranging from technology and marketing to education.

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