This holiday season, a growing number of advertisers will use Connected TV (CTV) to reach people in their living rooms while they are gathered around the big screen. The platform provides retailers with a unique opportunity to localize their advertising with personalized messages and not only raise brand awareness, but also drive sales.
According to eMarketer, CTV spend will increase by 28% to nearly $9 billion in 2020. A large percentage of this increase will be reflected in holiday spend. While CTV is certainly used to drive offline behavior, a growing number of advertisers will be aiming to influence online action and, ultimately, increase online sales.
DigitalCommerce360 predicts that U.S. shoppers may spend $138.5 billion with online retailers this holiday season—a 13.5% jump from an estimated $122 billion in web sales during the same period last year. CTV campaigns can help advertisers stand out and connect with audiences so they can earn the largest slice of the spending pie as possible. They can also lean into CTV’s advanced measurement and attribution capabilities to improve their marketing results and campaign efficiency.
That said, there are certain things retailers need to know to get the most from CTV during the busy holiday shopping season. Here are some tips and considerations.
Part of CTV’s appeal is that it allows advertisers and media companies to target local audiences with creative ads that reflect their preferences, behaviors, demographics and locations. These relevant, targeted ads help brands drive trackable conversions. Since you can set specific targeting parameters, you improve the cost efficiency of your spend by only serving ads to the households most likely to take action.
Separate yourself from your competition with splashy creative ads that leverage CTV’s unique formats and capabilities, including overlays and end cards. For example, I have seen a luxury retailer bolster its video ad with an overlay featuring striking imagery of its perfume bottle, thereby conveying the look and feel of the brand in a memorable way.
Brands also run multiple versions of their CTV commercials to touch on different messaging points and tell sequential stories—using overlays and end cards to emphasize key points, while layering on additional messages or sharing call-to-actions (CTA) and promo codes.
Retailers across all categories can leverage these techniques, but expect to see wider adoption from the luxury retail space this holiday season. These brands appreciate the “white space” that is a CTV ad, as well as CTV’s ability to help them stand out in a crowded space and connect with high-net-worth audiences.
Reevaluate TV’s role in the funnel
Most advertisers still see the bulk of television advertising—CTV included—as an upper-funnel, brand awareness play. But with precision targeting and advanced formats and features, you can use CTV campaigns to drive specific actions, such as website clicks or app downloads to usher consumers one step closer on their path to purchase. When running performance-driven campaigns, be sure to leverage end cards and overlays to convey strong CTAs and enticing mobile promotions.
Measure, refine, repeat
Because of CTV and digital video’s targeting and measurement capabilities, retailers can deliver significant KPIs that directly affect ROI, including lift in sales, foot traffic and online traffic. These are the measurement and attribution capabilities advertisers have long been demanding.
For example, a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand could target viewers between the ages of 25 and 35. Then, by analyzing online sales data, the brand could determine if there was an increase in purchases from customers within that age group. Based on those sales figures, it could then determine if the campaign is effective and optimize as needed.
Go where the people are
Linear television ratings continue to decline; meanwhile, CTV audiences continue to grow. According to Convergence Research Group, 34% of U.S. households won’t have a traditional TV subscription by the end of 2019. This means the number of households that subscribe to a streaming service will surpass the number of traditional pay TV subscribers—and that gap will only increase between now and 2021.
Some households subscribe to both linear and OTT services. In other cases, they are cord-cutters, and CTV is the only way to reach them on the big screen. In fact, some brands may find their linear TV campaigns do not deliver in full this holiday season, which happened last year, too.
Don’t overlook the second screen
The holidays are a time for heightened multitasking. Watching TV is no exception. eMarketer estimates 193.5 million U.S. viewers regularly use the internet on a mobile device or laptop while watching TV. So, consider complementing your CTV campaign with retargeting capabilities that ensure viewers exposed to the ad on CTV are also delivered custom creative with enhanced features—such as end cards or shoppable video—designed to increase purchases or drive users to a website.
This will also ensure you adopt a holistic approach that includes digital video, rather than relying on one format alone. Just be sure to customize your ads based on the targeted device to drive performance.
Avoid price surges
Digital advertisers know that CPMs and CPCs typically increase on popular holiday shopping dates, i.e., the Cyber 5: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Saturday, Cyber Sunday and Cyber Monday. It’s no surprise that last year, paid search costs increased on these busy shopping days compared to the rest of the month.
It could still be worth it to reach prospects during this popular stretch, but alternatively or additionally, brands should consider CTV advertising as it now accounts for about half of all video impressions served. The tactic is growing, but not oversaturated. So, you will reach your intended audience while most likely avoiding dramatic price inflation.
With this advice in mind, you can confidently use CTV to drive measurable gains for your business during the competitive shopping season—and beyond. Happy advertising, and happy shopping!
Tremor Video is a video advertising company.