Get Creative With Your CTV Strategy

By Andrew Budkofsky, Chief Revenue Office, Glewed TV
CTV is often touted as the hottest new medium in advertising. Seemingly every week, there’s a new press release from a streamer about how their latest show was their biggest hit yet. At the same time, because CTV is relatively new, marketers haven’t had time yet to work out a comprehensive strategy for reaching those viewers. It might be scary, but in order to truly harness the power of CTV, advertisers need to be willing to take risks and focus on targeting their customers wherever they may be, even if it means investing in newer platforms beyond Hulu and YouTube. 
Marketers sometimes prefer the path of least resistance, and “comfortable” ways to invest in new mediums. But the longer marketers wait to build out a proper CTV strategy, the more difficult – and expensive – it will be for them to target audiences in the long run. With CTV rates as high as they are right now, this strategy sort of makes sense for brands looking to experiment without committing fully. But the longer marketers wait to build out a proper CTV strategy, the more difficult – and expensive – it will be for them to target audiences in the long run. 
To create an effective, creative CTV strategy, advertisers have to think about several elements. First, and most importantly, what audiences should they be targeting? What interests do these audiences have? What types of content do they consume? What times of day are they usually streaming content? Who are they consuming content with? And most importantly, how do they utilize the medium, and the players within it, to achieve their KPI’s.
Once advertisers have a complete understanding of who they should be focusing their spend on, it’s time to start thinking about the creative. I’ve noticed that some brands are simply repurposing their ads from traditional linear TV and modifying them to fit the demands of whichever CTV platform they choose to advertise on. This might work for some, but brands should also start thinking about how they can experiment with format and content. Above all, advertisers should see CTV as an opportunity to flex their creative muscles.  
The way people consume content on streaming platforms is vastly different from linear TV; for one thing, viewers often have the option to skip ads entirely, or to watch a single ad at the beginning of the show in exchange for an otherwise ad-free experience. In light of this, advertisers have to come up with ways to engage viewers from the get-go. That could mean playing around with interactive elements, such as having viewers answer a survey or play a game, or employing shorter ad formats to ensure that audiences are able to see the entirety of the ad. Depending on how granular you want to get, you could also include references to the show or platform to create a more personalized experience.
Next, once you’ve decided on your creative and format, it’s time to think about where you want to place those ads. Luckily, we live in a time where there are seemingly as many publishers as viewers – which is to say, no matter the niche, there’s likely to be a publisher that caters to it. For example: DangerTV aggregates exciting, adrenaline-pumping content into one platform, so brands whose products are geared to this audience or perform especially well amongst this demographic would naturally look to advertise there. In the case of platforms like YouTube that have an enormous, constantly growing library of content, advertisers really need to hone in on creators and subjects that align with what their target customer is interested in, and make sure that their ads are placed accordingly.
Brands can also take an alternate route to CTV advertising – instead of spending money with the platform, they can strike deals directly with content creators to have their products featured within the show itself. While this route is more time-intensive than “traditional” CTV advertising, it does at least guarantee that people will be looking at your brand, perhaps for longer than they would during a regular ad break. 
As more people move away from linear television, CTV is going to be an increasingly important avenue for advertisers to reach audiences. What works on linear television for brands is not guaranteed to work on streaming, and marketers need to adjust accordingly. It’s time to redefine the CTV marketing playbook. 

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