By the end of 2020, more than 30% of households in the United States were streaming video content through Connected TV or CTV. That figure exceeds the number of cable TV subscribers by several million. According to a Nielsen report, total streaming TV time has increased 74 percent among viewers since last year. The study also revealed that 25 percent of adults have subscriptions to multiple video streaming services. Current projections show that this trend is expected to continue with no end in sight as the number of video streaming services increases. As a result, media buyers are now allocating ad dollars once intended for linear television to CTV, the latest delivery vehicle in the realm of digital advertising.
Making The Marketing Spend Economical and Effective
Digital marketers are following their example, with more and more of them reconfiguring budgets to accommodate more CTV channel advertising as opposed to other digital platforms. In order to stay relevant to consumers, brands are rapidly adapting to this new shift in the media landscape.
The need to remain flexible so as to maximize the effectiveness of this latest form of advertising is motivating advertisers to completely readjust their marketing strategies. Savvy marketers who have seen new media outlets emerge realize that it’s only a matter of time before CTV becomes the dominant platform on which to advertise as we move further into a digital world. Marketers across all product categories are incorporating CTV into their marketing plans due to its hyper-targeting ability, A/B testing capability, the potential for personalization, and the same measurability of metrics as found on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.
Connected TV: Smart TVs And Smarter Target Audiences
The surge in CTV digital advertising is the result of the rising ubiquity of smart televisions with internet connectivity in American homes. While this trend was already clearly visible as smart televisions quickly became more and more affordable, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting quarantines forced the entire country to rely on their televisions or computers for entertainment.
Consequently, the number of smart TVs purchased and subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video has skyrocketed. Marketers have seen the writing on the wall and realize that CTV advertising is not only here to stay but will most likely become one of the dominant methods of marketing and promotion.
The growing popularity of CTV advertising can be attributed to several factors. First, media buyers love the bang for the ad buck they can get due to CTV being a fraction of the cost of buying time on broadcast and even cable TV. CTV advertising becomes even more appealing from a marketing budget standpoint because pre-existing creative assets used on other platforms can be repurposed. Spending becomes more strategic and less of a gamble than linear television and traditional cable.
Next, the ability to target specific audiences and, to a certain extent, personalize ads means brands can create digital video advertising messages that are more likely to resonate and leave an impression on viewers.
Finally, the testing and precise measuring capabilities of CTV advertising allow marketers to track results in real-time as consumers move through the marketing funnel.
Anyone who streams their visual content from the internet can be targeted according to several criteria. Brands can target consumers based on their demographics, location, interests, in-market cues, or buying behaviors. With first-party data, brands can target current customers to increase loyalty or attract new customers. It doesn’t matter which streaming service they use, which platform, which device they’re using, or when. As with other digital media platforms, by strategically applying data, advertisers can connect with the consumers they wish to target whenever and wherever they are watching.
With the data-driven targeting of CTV, personalization of messaging to the consumer and tracking their customer journey has never been easier. This applies to both repeat customers, first-time buyers, or prospects who are considering whether or not to transact.
Any marketing plan which includes CTV, like all digital channels, is sure to provide invaluable data and unique, actionable insights into customer behavior along with measurable results. CTV allows for data collection across the entire funnel since it offers the targeting and measurement capabilities identical or, in some cases, superior to comparable media channels.
Advertisers have quickly recognized that CTV advertising offers the unique benefits previously mentioned, plus the ability to identify someone who has viewed their ad on other platforms. This allows for the retargeting of those customers across multiple devices. Different ways to measure the impressions generated by CTV include using QR codes, foot traffic studies, brand life studies, and search demand lift studies, just to name a few.
CTV enables brands to adjust their marketing strategy during the campaign using real-time creative performance measurement data. When integrated into a cross-channel marketing plan, CTV, with its audience-first angle, is a powerful complement to campaigns on other media delivery platforms.
Since CTV advertising seamlessly integrates with other digital programs, including social media efforts, it can supply an advertiser with data to define a brand’s entire media mix. CTV can be woven into a brand’s social campaign using the same creative across multiple devices. This type of cross-device targeting is rapidly becoming standard practice as consumers now own numerous connected devices in addition to their smartphones and connected televisions. With access to key insights like the video completion rate and ad exposures which lead to transactions, CTV advertising is able to provide brands with user intelligence more definitively and precisely than linear TV ever could.
Based upon current trends, CTV viewing is expected to increase with additional content providers delivering their programming via streaming platform services. Furthermore, traditional TV advertising is on the wane as consumers continue to cut the cord in favor of streaming their entertainment. As the technology develops and SMART TVs become even more sophisticated, and video advertising becomes more personalized, the shift to CTV devices as the sole source of viewing content will accelerate. Marketing agencies have been waiting for the chance to focus their strategy while staying agile enough to capitalize on new opportunities among their target audience. Much to their delight (and that of their advertiser clients), it has finally arrived as video streaming platforms become the next step in the evolution of digital video entertainment.