Competition isn’t always fair, and in hindsight, sometimes it can seem like one side is set up to lose from the beginning. VHS vs. Beta-Max. Apple vs. Blackberry. Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD.
The same is true of streaming vs. linear TV. This media matchup started in the early 2010s, as Netflix led the ad-free streaming revolution. Consumers increasingly had access to high-speed internet and Netflix gave them the chance to “cut the cord,” allowing them to both save money on their cable bill and enjoy hit TV shows ad-free.
Such a strong value proposition proved irresistible for viewers, who quickly took to streaming in record numbers. However, as more services entered the fray and pure streaming profits began to wobble, the media landscape began to change again. Companies like Netflix, Disney, Hulu, and more created ad-supported tiers, ushering in a new era of TV.
Introducing Connected TV, Advertising’s New Frontier
Connected TV (CTV) has revolutionized the way audiences consume content and interact with advertisements. In this digital age, CTV offers a plethora of ad-supported channels that brands can access to reach their target audiences effectively. These channels span across various platforms, providing advertisers with diverse opportunities to connect with viewers. CTV ads can seamlessly run on a wide range of platforms, including popular streaming services like Peacock TV, Hulu, and Disney+. These platforms have become household names, offering an extensive library of content that attracts millions of viewers.
What makes CTV a compelling advertising medium is its ability to engage audiences on different devices, including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This cross-device compatibility ensures that advertisers can reach consumers wherever they are, enhancing brand visibility and recall.
With such a powerful reach, it’s no wonder that advertising spend in this sector is seeing tremendous growth. A May 2023 survey of US agency and marketing professionals from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in conjunction with Standard Media Index (SMI) and Advertiser Perceptions found that advertisers are overwhelmingly reallocating ad dollars from linear TV to this platform. In fact, 65% of marketers who responded to an IAB survey said that they consider CTV a “must buy” format, followed closely by social media video-based advertising.
So why this push? And should you be investing more of your marketing budget into CTV? Let’s look at some of the facts.
Unleashing the possibilities with data
The CTV audience is huge and continues to grow by leaps and bounds every year. According to a report from Comscore, 81% of U.S. households with Wi-Fi are streaming TV, up 20% from 2022. Comscore also reports that CTV reached a huge milestone this year, with cord-cutters outnumbering linear for the first time (44% to 41%) in 2023.
In addition to their incredible reach, CTV platforms are unique as they provide marketers with a wealth of incredibly detailed data, including viewer demographics, viewing habits, and even real-time engagement metrics. This data then can be used to create highly targeted and relevant strategies and ad campaigns. For instance, if a brand wants to promote a new line of fitness equipment, it can deliver its ads exclusively to viewers who have shown an interest in fitness-related content. This level of precision not only maximizes the impact of the ad but also minimizes wasted ad spend.
In addition, CTV can seamlessly integrate with other digital channels, including social media, email marketing, and search advertising, reaching consumers across multiple touchpoints.
By leveraging the vast amount of data available through CTV platforms, brands can tailor their messages in hyper-specific ways to ensure that they reach the right people at the right time, increasing the effectiveness of their ads and boosting their overall ROI.
But what about the cost?
With all of these features, marketers might be bracing for massive costs when it comes to launching a CTV campaign. However, one of the key advantages of CTV is its cost-effectiveness.
One of the ways CTV helps advertisers get the most out of their budget is that engaging content for this platform can be produced on a smaller budget. Marketers can leverage user-generated content, animation, and creative storytelling techniques to craft impactful messages without breaking the bank.
In addition, the flexibility of CTV allows for shorter ad durations, enabling marketers to focus on delivering concise and impactful narratives. By prioritizing creativity and authenticity over production costs, marketers can establish a strong connection with their audience, driving engagement and brand loyalty.
CTV’s precision targeting also contributes to cost savings, as it drastically reduces media waste, a common challenge faced by traditional broadcast mediums. With CTV, ads can be tailored to only be delivered to specific demographics, interests, and viewing behaviors, ensuring that the content reaches the most relevant audience. This targeted approach not only maximizes the impact of the message but also minimizes unnecessary expenses associated with reaching uninterested viewers.
Crafting Compelling CTV Campaigns
Now that we’ve highlighted the precision, integration, and cost savings of CTV advertising, let’s dive into the practical aspects of mastering this powerful tool: Crafting compelling CTV campaigns. It starts with understanding your target audience and their preferences.
The key to a successful CTV campaign is creating content that resonates with your viewers. Whether it’s a short, impactful ad or a longer, story-driven piece, the content must be engaging and relevant. Remember that viewers have the option to skip or ignore ads, so capturing their attention within the first few seconds is crucial.
Once you know what story you want to tell, it is time to put those unparalleled analytics to work with audience segmentation. Marketers can divide their audience into highly specific groups based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. By tailoring messages specifically to these segments, brands can increase the effectiveness of their campaigns exponentially. For example, a restaurant chain could use audience segmentation to target different ads to families, young professionals, and seniors. Each ad could highlight menu items and offers tailored to the preferences of that specific group. This level of personalization ensures that viewers are presented with content that resonates with them, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
Finally, CTV advertising should seamlessly integrate with this cross-device behavior. Brands can enhance the viewer’s experience by providing continuity across devices. For instance, a viewer might see a CTV ad on their smart TV in the evening and then receive a follow-up message on their mobile device the next morning. This continuity reinforces the message and keeps the brand top of mind for the viewer.
Pulling it all together
There isn’t just one key to CTV. A successful approach is informed by meticulous, data-driven strategies that include precision targeting, compelling content creation, and seamless cross-device experiences. By pulling all of these components together, brands can transcend the conventional boundaries of advertising, stepping into a realm where meaningful interactions with consumers through CTV redefine brand-customer relationships.
By embracing the principles of precision, integration, and cost-effectiveness that CTV offers, brands can not only navigate the complexities of the digital age but also position themselves as industry pioneers, heralding a new era of targeted, efficient, and compelling advertising. In the world of advertising, the future is undoubtedly CTV, and the time to seize its boundless potential is now.
At E29 Marketing, we recognize the transformative power of CTV in shaping the future of advertising. It’s not just a technological advancement; it’s a strategic imperative that propels brands into a new era of advertising efficacy. Contact us today if you are ready to take the leap and be a part of the next generation of advertising.