Commentary: Complement Linear TV with CTV Advertising to Achieve Incremental Reach
This article originally appeared in MarTechSeries
By: Ryan Horn, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Simpli.fi
The pandemic has served as an accelerator for the consumption of streamed television content. This follows recent industry trends as traditional TV continues to see a decrease in viewers while cord cutting continues to become more popular as streamed content surges. So much so that “cord-nevers‚” those who have never paid for linear television, have even emerged as their own market segment. Due to the changes in consumer viewing habits, TV advertisers are now in a challenging position. How do they reach the same audience when more viewers are changing how and where they consume content? One of the best practices for these companies is to add CTV advertising into their portfolio and run it concurrently alongside their linear buys. By doing so, advertisers can achieve incremental reach — the ability to extend your audience by reaching consumers you are unable to or would be unable to reach through linear TV ads — to capitalize on their investments. Simply put, this will allow advertisers to ensure they’re capturing those still viewing on linear TV along with those who have switched to streaming.
THE ADVANTAGE OF UTILIZING CTV ADVERTISING
CTV advertising offers an expansive list of benefits for advertisers. First off, CTV advertising has the ability to target individuals more precisely than those who would be watching linear. While advertisers on linear TV have a general baseline understanding of who may be watching what content and when, CTV advertising provides much more precise targeting capabilities when compared to linear. The framework of linear television forces advertisers to pick a specific show or time slot. With CTV advertising, you can cast a much larger net since your ads can be served at any time, within any content. In other words, with CTV, advertisers can target prospects based on their online and offline behaviors to make sure they are targeting the right consumer at the right time across any connected device, regardless of what show they are watching or when they tune in. Advertisers can still, of course, serve ads on specific content via CTV just like they would with linear, but there are more options to be able to effectively hit the same type of audience as linear in order to achieve the coveted incremental reach. Simply put, you can get your same message to the same people no matter where they are consuming their content — whether it’s linear or CTV — by running both concurrently.
HOW TO BOLSTER LINEAR TV AD BUYS WITH CTV ADVERTISING
For years, linear TV advertising reigned king as different events and shows raked in millions of viewers making television historically the best way to reach large audiences. Previously, few other formats and media outlets could captivate as many eyeballs as events such as the advertising jackpot, the Superbowl, which routinely has over 100 million viewers tuned in. However, in recent years, streaming platforms and their original content have begun to eat into those audiences causing the traditional TV crowds to slowly start to erode. Pay TV subscriptions declined 7.5% year-over-year over the past 12 months, representing the largest drop ever for pay TV. With consumers spending more time in their houses over the pandemic, how and where they consumed content drastically changed resulting in the loss of subscriptions for pay TV.
Cord cutters, those who leave linear TV subscription packages for the use of CTV only, and cord-nevers have cemented their own space for consideration as they continue to grow in numbers. Whether it be price or interest in specific content, more people have been leaving linear TV than ever before‚Äì a trend that will continue long after the pandemic. CTV provides the perfect opportunity for advertisers to capture the desired audience with the same TV spot creative they have used with linear TV, the same long tail form of content, in a non-skippable format. When run concurrently with linear advertising, it guarantees advertisers that they can capture all eyes of their audiences no matter how they are watching programs.
PROVING RETURN ON INVESTMENT WITH CTV ATTRIBUTION CAPABILITIES
Advertisers will see that CTV advertising provides more precisely targeted ads, which require fewer impressions to drive the same if not more action. Additionally, CTV advertising attribution provides advertisers with a way to track both online and offline actions to show the real ROI of their advertising campaigns. Therefore, advertisers can take advantage of the advanced measurement capabilities available with CTV to find out what is working and what is not in real-time and optimize accordingly during the middle of the campaign. This granular level of attribution gives advertisers the ability to drive extremely high level performance for their CTV campaigns.
Although linear television is not going anywhere quite yet, the best practice for advertisers that use it is to run CTV advertisements concurrently with it to achieve incremental reach. Companies that can round out their campaigns with both advertising strategies in place are best set up to see success. CTV advertising provides advertisers a way to ensure they are still able to connect with their target audiences no matter the shift in viewing habits. And with the advanced attribution capabilities, you’re able to prove performance of the buy, adding a perfect complement to linear TV advertising and ensuring that you’re achieving incremental reach without letting your audience erode or wasting impressions.
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