The Key To CTV Success Is Putting Your Audience First

It's no secret that all eyes are on streaming TV, as consumers continue to shift their viewing habits. Viewers now spend nearly two hours a day watching streaming content. And this isn't a behavior limited to cord-cutters. Even among households that also watch linear TV, most have at least one connected device. And almost half of US adults consume content on those devices daily.

But advertisers new to CTV often approach streaming buys the same way they approach linear. They focus on large-scale inventory from only the biggest providers. This strategy tends to overlook the unique advantages CTV offers. Brands find the best return on investment by focusing on their audience and buying across diverse inventory sources that make sense for their target customer. This allows advertisers to reach consumers wherever they’re viewing content. 

Here’s how advertisers can take a more holistic, audience-first approach to TV.


Decide what success looks like and how to measure it 

What type of behavior is the campaign intended to drive? Depending on individual business goals, various metrics can be used to determine success. These can include brand awareness, brand lift, incremental reach, website visits or conversion actions like form submissions or purchases. 

Regardless of campaign goals, brands should never launch without a plan for accurately measuring results across all publishers and networks.


Dedicate meaningful budget to each targeting line

As advertisers consider budget allocation, it’s important to figure out the right mix between linear and streaming. Rather than thinking of the two in silos, brands should evaluate how much of their audience consumes content across each platform. 

Although the exact breakout will vary, Comcast suggests the bulk of a media budget should go toward linear, with the remaining 20%-30% devoted to streaming. 

It’s essential to devote enough budget to each targeting line for the results to be readable. If the budget is spread too thin, it won’t be possible to determine performance. The inevitable result is wasted ad dollars.


Start with retargeting and existing customers 

No campaign can be successful without a clearly defined target audience. To start, brands should place a retargeting pixel on their websites. Since visitors have already shown interest by coming to the site, it’s an effective way to stay top-of-mind and drive consideration. 

Next, advertisers should look to their most valuable source of information: their current customer base. Segment customers based on where they're at in the customer journey, then reengage them to drive response. 

While this tends to be brands’ most high-value audience, it's also finite. Creating a look-alike audience with similar attributes to current customers is one way to reach new, incremental audiences. 

Finally, advertisers can take advantage of the robust third-party data available within the programmatic ecosystem to create an audience based on demographics, purchase habits and interests that align with their offering.


Diversify the campaign’s media buys

While it can be tempting to limit a campaign to a handful of premium networks and publishers via direct deals, this is not efficient. It also makes it impossible to control all the factors necessary to measure campaign success. A majority of streaming inventory is still available via direct deals and private marketplaces rather than the open programmatic marketplace, but that is changing quickly. 

Programmatic impressions increased by 80% from 2020 to 2021, comprising 23% of total transactions on digital video inventory. Brands can use a DSP to execute their campaign while accessing a breadth of inventory sources with a uniform targeting methodology. A platform like this also provides crucial levers to control for reach and frequency and measure performance across all inventory sources. 

With all the buzz around streaming, it can seem easiest to run a buy with the first network or publisher that demands attention. But careful consideration of each component – and planning each step around the campaign’s target audience – will better position a brand to test, learn and scale based on measurable results. This means incorporating streaming thoughtfully and intentionally while ensuring every media dollar counts.


Learn more about measuring streaming TV

Read VP of Analytics Matt Hultgren’s article about how the way you use data can make or break your streaming campaign’s success.


This article was first published on Adexchanger.