A hand lifts a metal plate cover to reveal a bar chart with a line chart on top that progresses upwards

Seeing high CPAs? Use data to discover if the cost is worth the value.

When you’re evaluating the CPA on digital campaign reporting, it’s easy to focus your eyes on the channel that brings in the lowest cost and simply optimize toward that. But this can lead you to miss the big picture. Read on to discover how The Trade Desk elevated the value of Connected TV in their Q3 marketing campaigns.

When you’re evaluating the CPA on digital campaign reporting, it’s easy to focus your eyes on the channel that brings in the lowest cost and simply optimize to that. In The Trade Desk’s own Q3 brand marketing campaign, we leveraged CTV despite the considerably higher CPA. After diving into performance data, we found that CTV drove the highest value of any channel we used, including online video, display, and CTV.

To help you enhance your own campaigns, we compiled three learnings from our Q3 campaign:

1. Frequency analysis can help you reinvest budget

In Q3, our marketing department leveraged three levels of frequency controls to ensure the best possible ad experience for each user. This also helps us to prioritize targeted reach across the following levels in our campaign hierarchy: ad group, total campaign flight, and total CTV channel.

Applying advanced frequency controls led to a 77% increase in household reach. In our frequency-control analysis, we also identified a point of diminishing returns that allowed us to understand when to stop targeting current customers and reinvest in reaching new customers. Campaign-level frequencies below 16 delivered a 37% lower cost per site visit than frequencies of 16 and above. Conversely, 16-plus frequencies had 1.5 times the cost of those below that level. (If you’d like to learn about using frequency reporting to find ideal frequency, check out our three-part series.)

2. Live sports led to site-visit conversions, which decreased the cost per site visit

To keep pace with the boom of live sports availability on programmatic advertising, our marketing team made a purposeful entry into the live sports space this year. Our B2B ads appeared across a spectrum of professional and collegiate sporting events, and while it may not seem intuitive, we found that non-DTC advertisers can also benefit from unexpected contextual environments like these. Our ads that appeared within live sports deals drove a 55% increase in the site-visit conversion rate and a 37% decrease in the cost per site visit.

3. Content signals provided a clearer view of what drove results

Leveraging content signals, we obtained a more detailed view into CTV channel campaign delivery. When these data points are reported by our vendors, we have access to genre, program duration, program name, live status, rating, and production quality. We were able to discover precisely which MLB matchups delivered the most efficient media metrics for us.

While great online video inventory is available via the open exchange and private marketplaces across our platform, buying on CTV means granting your brand access to all five major TV content providers as well as traditional cable network content like news, comedy, and sports. This includes a strong slate of live inventory. We efficiently invested 62% of our CTV spend in livestream TV, and according to our detailed reporting, this was the right move.

We’re also focused on reaching our customers on premium inventory, because utilizing our TV Quality Index (TVQI) product, we learned that our five most premium contracts averaged a 50% higher conversion rate than our bottom five. Bottom line? When we focused on quality despite the cost, it paid off — and then some.

To find out more about CTV, reach out to your account manager today.

Disclaimer: The Trade Desk provides this information for the general knowledge of its clients or prospective clients and does not make any representations or guarantees of any kind with regards to the future performance of the information set forth.