7 min read

Keeping CTV Advertising Simple in a Complex Ecosystem

Just recently, streaming audiences finally surpassed both broadcast and cable viewership. For those following the industry, it’s been an inevitable result from years of steady growth in connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) devices in the household.

Based on the industry's trajectory, digital television is becoming the standard way audiences watch from home.

As advertisers adapt, those committed to CTV and OTT need to navigate an unfamiliar and fast-paced landscape.

Everything from choosing content distribution platforms to streaming services has to be fine-tuned. While there’s a significant amount to learn, there are also plenty of opportunities to message the ideal audience between their favorite shows.

Though it can be difficult to keep up with CTV advertising, this blog will provide the necessary details to help any marketer understand the ins and outs of programmatic advertising.

 

Decentralized Inventory

Connected TV refers to any television that has access to the internet. Establishing an online connection offers a surplus of entertainment options at the viewer’s fingertips, including content not available through cable or satellite.

As a result, here are some of the ways TV viewership has shifted:

However, there’s massive competition among the leading streaming services, which causes providers to come and go. Plus, this turnover is accelerated by an industry that’s developing rapidly with the spread of ad-supported streaming, consolidations, and TV bundles.

It presents a uniquely complex situation for marketers. They have to identify publishers, platforms, and even devices in their campaign targeting strategies. Otherwise, there’s the potential for oversaturating audiences with ads or messaging the wrong viewers.

Especially when you consider the fact that all of these providers and platforms are siloed from each other. Meaning that marketers aren’t able to distinguish how many times they serve an ad to their target audience.

Despite everything, programmatic advertising gives a broader approach to ad placements by automating the buying process. Programmatic follows a step-by-step process to solve inventory fragmentation by selecting buys and setting frequency controls for effective messaging.

 

Targeting Your Audience

Historically, targeting on linear TV has relied on traditional metrics like age and gender. But, as viewers spread their TV time across new platforms and devices, it’s crucial to find and reach receptive consumers.

Programmatic CTV and OTT campaigns offer more specific audience segments like automotive shoppers, homeowners, fitness enthusiasts, and more. Being able to deliver targeted ads to relevant audiences creates quality leads and higher conversion rates.

That’s where the flexibility of programmatic comes into play. This algorithmic software easily applies audience-based buying across multiple channels of inventory on a single buy.

It essentially orchestrates a connected TV campaign by managing targeted delivery and frequency control. Which improves the market proposition between brand and consumer because relevance is key for user engagement.

 

Marketing Needs to Be Data-Driven

Needless to say, targeting the right audience is only possible if the data behind it is precise and comprehensive. Integrating programmatic into your TV advertising strategy embraces the vast amount of consumer data that can be gleaned by OTT providers, third-party advertisers, first-party data activation, and online purchase and browsing history.

Improvements in technology have given advertisers the ability to recognize and track audiences across the digital space. This allows campaigns to target audiences wherever they enjoy content regardless of device.

Identifying the same household across ESPN, Pluto, HGTV, and Sling TV capitalize on modern viewing habits, as the average household watches 5.4 streaming services per month.

Programmatic campaigns are customized to establish a path to conversion, with distinct metrics and the ability to measure them along multiple touchpoints online and offline. This presents opportunities to streamline cross-screen messaging with an all-in-one platform.

As campaigns launch, measuring the effectiveness as it happens ensures transparency between ad spend and results. Additionally, further analysis can compare CTV ad performance and optimize tactics to make every impression matter more.

Retargeting Already-Engaged Audiences

Retargeting uses campaign measurements to show an additional ad to consumers who are interested in a particular product or service. Because these viewers were engaged with the ad, they are developed into first-party audiences and are added to the retargeting list. 

After data from the ad campaign is collected, sequentially message viewers on mobile phones for layered ad exposure, and refine initial targeting strategies based on the most successful campaign tactics.

Encore Omnichannel technology enables retargeting to message users who subscribe to all OTT/CTV platforms, employing ad exposure across multiple devices and mediums.

Data options are endless and changing at breakneck speeds, from shifting IP addresses to different programmatic platforms and all the measurements in between. Information flow presses on, which is why partnering with an experienced demand-side platform (DSP) ensures consistency for detailed insights on campaign performance.

 

Long-Term Programmatic Ad Strategy

Having a programmatic ad strategy may entail a single campaign to launch in a new market or campaigns for multiple markets.

Introducing programmatic advertising involves several moving pieces at the same time, and advertisers who are new to these capabilities often have a lot of questions. 

Once in place, it establishes a full-funnel approach with brand awareness at the top. Starting with messaging on connected TVs opens avenues for retargeting, influencing certain audience segments down the path to conversion.

Though the modern customer journey moves between screens, CTV campaigns are easy to guide. Planning out every stage of your digital marketing strategy will drive you directly to campaign goals.

With plenty to consider, this framework outlines the process for most campaigns:

  • Creating campaign strategy

  • Segment audiences

  • Be precise, effective, and relevant

  • Track and make adjustments

Creating Campaign Strategy

Defining the goals sets up a clear vision of campaign benchmarks. Specific types of goals can be used to determine success like brand awareness, increased sales, enhanced online traffic, or higher in-store visits. As campaign tactics are prepared, it’s important to keep data measurement in mind.

Putting in the time to examine how these goals should be measured gets the most out of programmatic. Plus, communicating resources and timeframes set the right path forward for advertisers.

Segment Audiences

Looking at advertisements from the viewer’s perspective, the whole programmatic ad-buying process happens instantaneously, so the user experience isn’t affected and advertisers don’t have to waste time negotiating every ad placement.

But, efficient uses of time and budget on the marketing side need to ensure the right audience is being messaged.

Contextual targeting selects advertising content based on keyword searches online. If the user is looking for window and door replacement, they will be presented with CTV ads for a home installation service to increase the likelihood of them acting on it.

Be Precise, Effective, and Relevant

The audience targeting options for OTT and CTV advertising are an enormous improvement over traditional TV. Stack targeting options or blend them for client-specific campaigns and develop a highly effective investment that drives results.

Bear in mind how the connection between brand and consumer unfolds. From the first introduction to conversion, building a level of trust is critical. And of course, retargeting features make it easier to convert new visitors into buyers.

Track and Execute Changes

Determining the success of a campaign with appropriate metrics and feedback provides opportunities for optimization. For example, incoming data may reveal that the ideal consumer is different from the starting demographic.

Programmatic advertising always presents ways to adapt new information, experiment, or learn something new. By doing so you’ll get to know your audience, form engaging ads, and make the right decisions to enhance ad spend.

 

Stability in a Fast-Paced Industry

As digital advertising accelerates, it’s important to gain access to accurate online identification solutions to make stronger campaigns. CTV and OTT work at their best when it's managed by ad ops experts who simplify a sophisticated landscape.

Everything from choosing content platforms to targeting streaming devices has to be explored. Though there’s a significant amount to learn, there’s also an abundance of techniques to message an in-market audience.

Since 2015, Strategus has been leading programmatic innovation for OTT and CTV. Our team has a wealth of experience integrating programmatic into a client’s marketing strategy, merging ad expertise with automated proficiency. If you’re looking for what’s next in OTT/CTV advertising, or interested in learning more contact us today.

Our campaigns fit budgets and objectives with tailored solutions. Partnering with Strategus connects to relevant audiences for better quality leads, increased engagement, and actionable details of your target market.

Posted by Andy Dixon