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10 Agency Tips For Creating Professional CTV Videos

How To Create Personalized Video Content To Connect With Your Target Audience

Streaming television content is on the rise. Connected TV (CTV) was expected to take off last year even before the arrival of the coronavirus. However with the pandemic forcing the public to remain at home for extended periods of time streaming consumption levels rose beyond all projections. The average time spent viewing CTV increased 81% since last year. Today 80% of households in the US have at least one CTV device and 75% have at least one CTV service.

Due to the pandemic, eCommerce, which has already irrevocably altered the retail landscape, has increased to unforeseen levels as people were forced to order almost everything online as opposed to visiting physical retail locations. Now it seems there’s no turning back as consumers are expected to spend an all-time high of over $700 billion via eCommerce in 2021. Since a typical viewer watches CTV content while in possession of their mobile devices, OTT/CTV has become an increasingly attractive method to generate eComm traffic.

CTV Marketing Basics

Consumer behavior and attitudes evolve, advertisers must adapt their ad strategies to keep pace. As a result of these shifts in consumer behavior, media buyers have already begun reallocating their ad dollars towards CTV in order to benefit from its hyper-targeting capability. This also necessitates a change in the creative process so as to develop interactive experiences and personalization at scale.

With any new medium comes a new set of best practices as advertising is no longer a one size fits all game. To take full advantage of the opportunities CTV brings, there are certain case-specific creative considerations for producing CTV/OTT video ads. A great deal of effort goes into using data to identify and connect with target audiences. However, in most cases, advertisers are using the same commercial message with all consumers across all platforms. That kind of standardization no longer applies as CTV and streaming become an integral part of the media landscape. It is now necessary to put just as much effort into the creative side in order to communicate a story that every targeted user will find engaging.

Successful dynamic creative optimization depends on three critical components: data, content, and the ability to incorporate them into a cohesive marketing strategy. With the technology currently available, it is possible to create a highly relevant customer experience and then modify it to form alternate versions based on a variety of real-time metrics.

LEVERAGING CTV TARGETING CAPABILITIES TO A/B TEST

Like many other digital marketing channels offers enhanced targeting and testing capability. However, the hyper-targeting and personalization capabilities of CTV give brands a singular opportunity to place especially relevant content in front of target audiences. 

Another consideration is the opportunity to conduct A/B testing for specific audiences in order to learn what is effective. The best way to take advantage of CTV advertising is to fully utilize its targeting and testing capabilities to run several versions of the creative. While the prospect of generating multiple creatives for the purposes of A/B testing may seem prohibitively expensive, it is actually possible to do it in a cost-effective way. With a minimal amount of extra effort during the pre-production phase, it’s entirely feasible to produce multiple versions of video creative tailored for select viewing audiences. Adjusting elements like talent, music, graphics, and messaging allows advertisers to generate hyper-relevant creatives for the audience they are targeting. It should also be noted that cost-effective solutions can be found in existing videos that can be shortened and repurposed to create a multi-purpose inventory of ads for CTV.

Live-Action vs. In-Studio Production: Which is better for CTV?

When it comes to CTV creative production, advertisers have two main options. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. The first option is an original production with a live-action shoot. While you can get exactly what you want visually, this method is usually more expensive as it requires a studio or shooting on location, talent, props, lighting, sound recording, etc.

The second option is to produce creativity in the studio using pre-existing assets and a wide variety of post-production tools like AfterFX, Cinema4D, and Adobe Premiere. While this solution does have a few limitations as compared to a live-action shoot, the in-studio technology does allow for a large amount of creativity at a significantly lower cost. In the ideation phase, consider if live-action or in-studio animation will be the best fit for your brand and your target audience. Connected Television advertising is an effective platform for both in terms of delivering a relevant story.

10 Tips For Creative CTV Production:

  • Be authentic and stay true to your brand identity. 
  • Regardless of whether your goal is acquisition, awareness, or conversion, it’s important to always introduce yourself as you are putting your message in front of potential new customers.
  • Remain mindful of the story you’re telling and make sure the narrative is consistent in all versions of the creative.
  • Highlight core values and unique selling propositions. 
  • Even a simple storyboard can get the entire production team on the same page.
  • Grab attention with unusual or eye-catching visuals. Use humor if appropriate.
  • Keeping the logo and URL on-screen for the duration of the ad and include a clear call to action. CTV advertising is not clickable but studies have shown that most people watch streaming content with a digital device in hand or nearby. 
  • Leave space for customization. Consider having your talent recording multiple script options or record variations on your voiceover.
  • Gather all of the footage you may need in a single shoot and then craft iterative versions of your creative(s) through post-production editing. 
  • If relying on pre-existing assets, use motion graphics and animation to keep the content dynamic in order to heighten engagement. 

As the presence of connected TVs and the consumption of streaming content increase in US households on a daily basis, brands have a unique opportunity to change the TV advertising game. Data-driven creativity creates more engagement with consumers, making campaigns more effective. Studies reveal that a majority of consumers are comfortable with ads that are customized and are increasingly expecting tailored experiences.

In addition to making their spots more effective based upon the data collected, brands can now obtain valuable insights regarding which offers are popular with different consumer groups. Now more than ever, it is vital for brands to be able to quickly adapt their marketing strategies so that their messages address consumers directly and intuitively in order to establish a connection and build a relationship.

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