Connected TV (CTV) is gaining mass adoption, as more and more consumers are getting their TV fix through devices like Roku, Apple TV, Sling TV, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. Because streaming allows consumers to watch on their own terms and schedule, they’re no longer building their evenings around the pre-determined airtimes of their favorite primetime shows. Rather, with Connected TV, any time is primetime.
And for TV advertisers entering planning seasons, CTV offers a digital strategy that provides a new way to drive incremental impact on the biggest screen in the household. Here are some things you should keep in mind, as you head into upfronts season:
(1) You may have an audience blind spot.
If you’re not already running ads on CTV, it’s likely you have a blind spot in your audience strategy. Between 2015 and 2017, alone, the time consumers spent watching traditional television dropped by 11% while connected TV experienced 11% growth. So, the need to expand your advertising strategies to meet these increasingly connected audiences is clear.
Just think about who makes up your target audience. According to Salesforce’s Connected Audience Report, millennial and Gen Z consumers (those born between 1981-1999) are more likely to stream digital content on a regular basis, including TV, video, and movies, than to watch broadcast and cable TV. Baby boomers are also jumping on the CTV bandwagon — with almost half increasing their streaming video subscription usage in the past two years – representing how important and powerful the medium is for reaching your customer-base.
(2) Communicate which audiences are most important to you.
As you approach your CTV buy and contact networks and broadcasters, clearly communicate that you want to buy differently for users watching on internet-connected devices. The value of programmatic stems from the fact that it allows you to target your true audience as opposed to relying on the blanket approach of traditional TV advertising.
So, instead of making your upfront commitments on a show-by-show basis, focus on audience targeting by leveraging programmatic CTV capabilities. While targeting on traditional television is typically restricted to age and gender, you can use your first-party data to identify and reach your target customers, or precisely the people with whom the ads will resonate most. For those brands without first-party data, look to other sources, including third party, location, and contextual data, to reach your target audience base.
(3) Focus on the bigger picture.
Finally, because CTV is powered by digital, it’s critical to use a multi-channel demand-side platform (DSP) to extend your reach to other devices in the household. With cross-device capabilities, you can strengthen your brand voice through sequential messaging, reaching consumers no matter which devices they’re browsing on with seamless and cohesive advertising experiences.
Cross-device also allows CTV to become more than a tool for building brand awareness, as it simultaneously enables consumer retargeting. And as cross-device graphs enable user identification across different devices, you will gain full visibility into the customer journey. Optimizing ad strategies based on cross-channel campaign performance can help you better engage and motivate consumers towards a purchase.
Ultimately, the value of connected TV advertising stems from the simple fact that it’s a growing destination for audiences, everywhere. As connected TV content continues to go mainstream, it’s up to you to meet them halfway with engaging and impactful ad experiences. And, while connected TV makes any time primetime for viewers, when executed correctly, it also has the potential to transform every moment into primetime for advertisers trying to reach their audiences.
To learn more about how to best prepare your CTV advertising strategy as we head into the TV Upfronts, be sure to check out our guide here.