Over the past few years, people have used a variety of streaming platforms to access their favorite content. As the connected TV landscape becomes more diverse, the industry’s major players — Apple, Amazon, and YouTube — are guarding the CTV data they accumulate. While these companies have a few reasons for doing so, the practice makes it difficult for advertisers to see what’s really resonating with the public.
As consumers trend more toward OTT viewing, viewership data becomes increasingly important to advertisers. However, this data is split across devices, platforms, and services, creating a fragmented environment. Advertisers rely on these major players sharing the data to ensure their campaigns aren’t being over-viewed by the same viewers across different platforms.
This data helps advertisers understand reach and targeting and ultimately measure ad performance. Once they have enough data, they can adjust their budgets in real time based on what’s working. If big companies like Roku and YouTube don’t share data, advertisers will struggle to track consumer touchpoints and risk wasting valuable ad spend.
While there isn’t an end-all, be-all solution to avoiding these challenges, there are ways for marketers to see what resonates with audiences and plan ahead.
Challenges and Opportunities in CTV Advertising
When data isn’t shared, two problems come up.
First, advertisers have to work with less visibility and transparency. Without the attribution data, it’s hard to see which CTV ads led to an eventual sale. That lack of visibility makes it hard for advertisers to track channel performance. Second, as companies decide not to share their data, they have more power over advertisers and give them little choice but to rely on their platforms.
Despite these challenges, though, CTV is still a huge opportunity for advertisers to connect with consumers, especially when compared to the premium fees of linear TV. On average, CTV campaigns lower costs for advertisers. Additionally, as more streaming platforms enter the market, these companies face higher competition to secure advertising dollars, creating a buyer’s market as buyers spend more on the platform offering the most competitive rate.
Further, CTV advertising offers great reach. In fact, eMarketer predicts that by the end of 2022, there will be over 204 million CTV users in the United States. Not only that, but the targeting capabilities it offers enable advertisers to choose from thousands of demographic and behavior-based attributes to ensure better, more relevant messaging. Plus, when advertisers do have access to viewership data, they can measure CTV ads, yielding greater insights that empower them to make data-driven decisions — rather than rely on hunches and gut feelings.
Best Practices for Advertisers to Navigate the CTV Landscape
While the CTV landscape is certainly fragmented and big players do silo information, there are ways advertisers can optimize what is available and maximize outcomes. Here are few helpful tactics for advertisers looking to measure ad performance and make the best possible decisions for their CTV campaigns:
1. Identify your audience.
As with any marketing initiative, it’s essential to start by understanding your consumer profile. Who are they? What are their demographics, buying behavior, media behavior, etc.? With this profile in mind, you can then confirm whether CTV is the right investment for your brand.
2. Target your consumer specifically.
Once you determine that your audience correlates with the CTV viewer, take advantage of the data-driven targeting available. CTV offers control over where ads are being played. This means you can tailor your buys to target specific groups of customers with certain ads. For example, young female consumers might resonate with various messages differently from older male consumers, so target these groups with different ads across the respective platforms they’re using.
3. Take advantage of the omnichannel consumer.
One of the biggest benefits of CTV is how closely it intertwines with other digital advertising channels and tactics. Enable retargeting tactics so consumers continue to see your ads as they browse. Consumers are most likely browsing on their phone or tablet while watching content so you can encourage them to visit your site in the ad. Also, consider providing an offer with a unique referral code based on the content they’re watching. Combining CTV buys with the other digital advertising tactics creates a seamless omnichannel customer journey.
4. Consider investing in an attribution partner.
Many advertisers are familiar with using attribution partners for their digital advertising initiatives, and CTV is no different. There are solutions on the market, like TVSquared, that enable you to track campaigns across the entire TV ecosystem. Similarly, companies like Cuebiq empower brands to track foot traffic across all platforms. While this does not solve the challenges related to data guarding, they are a helpful tool for now.
5. Embrace new opportunities.
CTV provides a great opportunity for advertisers to tap into a fresh market. Plus, with Google removing third-party cookies this year, advertisers will have to look to new solutions and tactics to reach consumers. CTV is an inherently cookieless environment, so putting aside 5–10% of your budget to test and try these channels prepares you for a smoother transition at the end of 2022.
Navigating the CTV landscape can feel overwhelming for advertisers, but it doesn’t have to. To learn more about how Digilant can support your CTV advertising efforts, get in touch today!