5 Tips for Maximizing Your Performance CTV Strategy
With its precise targeting and direct attribution capabilities, OTT/CTV advertising has become a powerful new performance-based opportunity for marketers. As more and more brands have discovered the potential to effectively reach high-value audiences and measure return on ad spend (ROAS), spending on OTT/CTV advertising has skyrocketed and is expected to surge 40% this year to over $14.4 billion—more than doubling by 2024 to nearly $30 billion.
But for marketers who are new to the channel, especially those who are familiar with linear TV, OTT/CTV might feel a bit disorienting. On the surface, it mimics linear TV—viewers watch episodic programming much like they would in the linear world, with ad insertions that mirror commercials.
However, from an advertising standpoint, OTT has some inherent advantages, especially for performance marketers. In the linear world, advertisers have to find programs or channels that over-index against the desired audience. On OTT, this audience filtering is done pre-bid. That means if you want to reach audiences who are in-market for a product or service, you can use real data to reach that exact audience with very little waste because of the dynamic ad insertion.
Additionally, when working with linear or traditional TV ad measurement, data at the household or impression level is impossible to come by. On OTT, it’s the standard. That means brands and advertisers have the ability to connect household exposures to real-world actions, like online purchases, form submissions, or even in-person store visits.
For performance marketers, these are the pillars of success, centered around precision targeting and deterministic measurement.
- Adopt a fast, fluid, and iterative approach. With performance CTV vs. linear television, it’s much easier to launch, adjust, and optimize targeting. Unlike linear TV, where an ad buy will stay in rotation for a fixed period of time, CTV buys can (and should be) much more dynamic, fluid, and iterative. That means you’ll want to have multiple pieces of content in a variety of lengths, with different characters and different messaging to reach specific audiences. In fact, you can even repurpose social content for CTV—the style and format are similar, and it’s a great way to save money on creative so you can invest in buying more media.
- Leverage your customer data. You already know that your first-party data is extremely powerful when it comes to understanding who buys from you and why. With CTV, you can use that data to target both existing and prospective customers in a variety of ways: 1) use your CRM list to target existing customers with new product launches; 2) exclude existing users to reach only new audiences for prospecting campaigns; and 3) use known user data to surface look-a-like consumers to connect with new high-value prospects. But don’t stop there.
- Tap into third-party data. There is a huge variety of third-party data sources available that can help to target ads on CTV, including data on purchases, viewership, search and browser history, location, in-store visits, and more. By working with a data partner to devise and deploy your CTV strategy, brands can tap into a treasure trove of insights that can help fine-tune targeting to reach highly-engaged audiences.
- Use full attribution insights. While Google and Meta certainly provide conversion data, they remain walled gardens when it comes to the full consumer journey. You know what ad or keyword drove the click, but prior to that click is a mystery, making multi-touch attribution difficult. With CTV, you can get full attribution visibility—when someone makes a purchase, you can look back to see which ad they saw on what platform, during which program, and at what time of day. By understanding this sequence and the attributes of every ad exposure, not just the last one, marketers can fine-tune ad targeting and delivery to maximize conversions and identify new users who are most likely to convert.
- Work with a partner who can bring it all together. A successful performance CTV strategy has a lot of moving parts. While there are many ad tech vendors that offer different solutions, not all of them have the full scope of resources to help you make the most of your advertising on this medium. Look for a partner who can offer both first- and third-party data integrations, directly access a wide variety of streaming publishers, and provide both attribution tracking and real-time optimization, with complete transparency into the process so there are no surprises.
Performance CTV provides an opportunity for marketers to reach highly-targeted, highly engaged audiences. But to be effective, marketers must meet audience expectations for personalization, and that means taking a dynamic, agile, and iterative approach with targeting and execution. Finding the right performance CTV partner can make all the difference when it comes to optimizing your strategy and maximizing ROAS in this fast-growing, highly-profitable market.
Ben Brenner is VP of Business Development & Strategy at Digital Remedy.