How to Maximize the Ad-Supported Tiers of Connected TV

Back to Blog - by Otniel Calderon

2022 was an excellent year for connected TV (CTV) as more consumers switched their viewing habits from cable to connected platforms. In 2014, only 50% of households in the U.S. were using connected platforms. By 2018, that figure had grown to 74%, and today it’s 87% — a vast majority and proof that CTV is the place for advertisers to be.

As viewers have switched, providers and networks have followed. What was once an environment of one of two options is now flooded with streaming platforms and OTT devices. In an environment packed with streaming-first (Netflix) and nearly every TV network launching a streaming platform, the opportunity to reach consumers through ad-supported CTV content gets more and more interesting.

Consequently, ad spending is increasingly in line with viewership. In 2021, advertisers spent an estimated $14 billion on CTV advertising alone. As an advertiser, you know the numbers don’t lie. If you’re not already gearing up to focus more on CTV in the coming year, now is the time to start.

What Connected TV Advertising Trends Mean for Brands

In years past, CTV once had a unique barrier of entry that caused many advertisers to consider it an unapproachable channel for successful marketing efforts. Because streaming giants such as Netflix and HBO Max only had premium tiers without ads, the platfrom did not inherently lend itself to advertising.

Fortunately, with the advent of ad-supported tiers and more streaming platforms entering the game, advertisers now have a wealth of options to choose from when considering advertising on CTV. Rather than relying on the limited means CTV once had for advertising, you now have the ability to create advertising strategies for some of the biggest names in streaming. In doing so, you also have the opportunity to reach a wider audience than ever before, all thanks to the recent CTV trend of ad-supported tiers.

How to Break Into Ad-Supported CTV Tiers

With all of these new options and opportunities for advertising success, you might still be unsure how to begin. As an advertiser, you know how important it is to understand these trends and put your content where viewers are. Yet many have questions about getting started with advertising on CTV, such as:

  • How do I scale ads to reach as many viewers as possible?
  • How does ad buying actually work?
  • Do I have to buy CTV ads by platform and individual provider?
  • Are there specific networks to be on the lookout for?
  • What is the cost of entry?
  • Are there any monthly minimums?

Fortunately, we have answers to your CTV questions and solutions for advertising blind spots you might be facing. Despite how ubiquitous connected TV is becoming, your business might face challenges when first obtaining placement on these newer tiers. You might even fall into the trap of using only a single platform or network. This is why educating yourself on the many facets of CTV is so important. As a creative and strategist, you must learn how to get your message across via different platforms and make the most of running specific advertisements on ad-supported CTV platforms.

Learning how CTV ad targeting works is also crucial. As noted, everyone is streaming television, but one of the key differentiators and benefits of streaming vs. linear is the ability to reach your specific audience with targeted data rather than casting a wide net on all tiers. While new technology is constantly entering the market as CTV becomes more popular, every advertiser must use targeting practices that best suit their goals, audience, and budget.

Different types of targeting are available, but you should spend more time and energy on contextual targeting vs. audience targeting.

Audience targeting:

With audience targeting, brands can obtain first-party data from the publisher or the advertiser and target with third-party data from prebuilt audience segments. You can then target audiences based in categories built from:

  • Deterministic “connected life” data (including viewership and mobile app usage data).
  • Machine learning capabilities to enhance existing audience segments.
  • Curated segments from an advertiser’s first-party data and preferred partner data sets.
  • Third-party audiences that can be enhanced with Samsung’s proprietary data or scaled through Samsung technology.

Contextual targeting:

With contextual targeting, brands target ads according to inventory or content, thematically, by location, or alongside a particular title.

How to Get a Placement on CTV’s Ad-Supported Tiers

As the data shows, advertising on connected TV is a surefire way to reach the majority of viewers. However, you must understand how CTV works and avoid any potential pitfalls to ensure your ad-supported content finds success. The following three steps will help you on your journey:

1.Start by exploring platforms.

As an advertiser, it’s essential to determine your audience’s viewing preferences. This will guide which platforms or channels you want to prioritize. With platforms in mind, this information will impact which ad networks you ultimately forge partnerships with. Understanding which networks have access to your brand’s ideal type of content is an essential investment for advertisers.

You can choose between popular networks like The Trade Desk, a demand-side platform for ad buyers looking to buy ads programmatically, or Alphabet, which has expanded alongside the growth of YouTube TV and hosts a growing library of professional and amateur content.

2. Invest in different ad creative.

Gone are the day of only relying on 15- and 30-second, pre-roll, midroll, post-roll, and traditional ad spots. Brands can now consider a variety of creative formats, such as:

  • Display ads.
  • Video ads.
  • Pop-ups.

Advertising on connected TV gives your brand different creative opportunities that it might not have encountered before. Depending on which platforms you invest in, you’ll be exposed to new ad types and designs. And because consumers are viewing content on different devices, there is the ability to get your ad in front of them in unique ways.

3. Layer on advanced targeting.

While choosing certain channels or networks, you will naturally place your ad in front of a general audience that might align with your brand. But you can further make your ads stand out to the right viewer.

You can benefit from the additional audience targeting available via connected TV to ensure your message gets in front of the best possible viewer for your brand. Consider some of the targeting attributes from earlier, like contextual targeting and audience targeting. Explore various targeting modes to get the most out of this advanced form of cross-channel advertising.

Now Is the Time to Invest in the Ad-Supported CTV World

If you’re ready to connect with customers in new ways, with fresh designs and formats, and on the channels where they are increasingly spending their time, contact our team today.

Find out more about how Digilant works with brands to understand the emerging world of connected TV and help you capitalize on its opportunities for ad-supported streaming.

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