The Future of CTV Advertising: What Brands Need to Know

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With chatter pointing to the fact that we are entering an endemic era globally, many brands and marketers are discussing how to make their ad budgets drive positive outcomes in what may be another tumultuous year ahead. As the number of CTV viewers continues to rise, so will ad spend; the latest projections forecast CTV advertising spend to grow by 23% in 2022. 

Linear and CTV buying models will converge in 2022. CTV ad spend has grown substantially over the past couple of years; however, linear TV still remains five times larger. Brands have shown that they are moving to leverage both mediums to maximize ROI. With this, we will continue to see an increased transparency in terms of both inventory and data across the mediums.

So, what’s the best way to effectively spend those dollars, and how can brands make the most of CTV advertising? Let’s unpack a few key tips that brand marketers should leverage to execute on a winning CTV advertising strategy.

Hyperlocalize CTV advertising to reach relevant audiences 

U.S. consumers are now spending 78 minutes more streaming video than they are watching broadcast or cable TV. Consumers are smart, well informed, and their opinions are constantly shifting across an array of different market verticals. It is crucial that brand marketers have the right strategy and technology in place to make sure they’re capturing and leveraging data that will allow them to best inform their CTV ad strategy. 

This also means that, as an industry, we’ve moved past the antiquated, traditional broadcast model of a standard 30-second spot. Leveraging the exact same ad creative to reach all audiences is not only ineffective, but is also something that could register as tone deaf, given how diverse consumer sentiment is and how quickly it evolves based on the target market, region, and vertical. 

Marketers can leverage hyper-localized CTV ads to reach more customers, with on-trend ad experiences to better resonate with target audiences. For instance, perhaps a prominent car manufacturer customizes its national ad campaign for the CTV space by overlaying the ad with a custom banner that aims to target customers in hot market regions at the local dealership level. Now, a viewer watching said ad in California sees not only the national campaign but also a push to contact their local dealership to check out the latest deal; a viewer in New York sees the same national push but with their own local dealership visible. As a result, the ad feels more personalized and contextually relevant to the consumer.

The future is dynamic brand storytelling

To that point, and given just how many consumers are watching ad-supported CTV content, now is the time to get creative with CTV ad spots and think personal. The future of CTV is not flat; it’s dynamic. We’ve made great progress this year as an industry in taking CTV ad technology and pushing the boundaries of what was once considered effective. Today’s advanced ad formats allow brands to not only hyperlocalize but also personalize CTV ads at scale, and in very near real time. 

There are a number of options available for marketers looking to dive deeper into personalization. For instance, perhaps the CTV ad includes interactive elements, such as a QR-code to encourage engagement from consumers. Digging deeper doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch. Advertisers can also leverage old content, or content previously made available on other mediums, and adapt it to make it relevant to new trending topics. 

The CTV market is heating up. Now is an innovative time to get into the space and make the most of it. We are in the first phase of CTV adtech. In this next phase, we have a real opportunity to come together with one objective in mind: better understanding, and catering to, our target audiences. Marketers, now is the time to take hold of current innovations and embrace the latest technology to chase after new, more meaningful ad interactions in the year ahead. Together, we can create a unique, superior, personalized viewing experience in 2022.

Albert Yu is VP of Analytics & Monetization at ElementalTV.