CTV strategy: how to scale, complete the funnel, and measure

Published Jan 25 2023 3 minute read Last updated Apr 17 2024
CTV strategy
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  • Ben Elliott
    Written by Ben Elliott

    Director, Advanced TV & Digital Out of Home at StackAdapt

Are you ready to take your advertising to the next level? Connected TV (CTV) advertising is quickly becoming the go-to choice for brands looking to reach a wider audience and drive results. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That's why we reached out to the experts at StackAdapt to ask them 5 key questions about CTV advertising. 

Here we'll share their insights and tips for running a successful CTV campaign and help you make the most of this growing advertising opportunity.

What does CTV stand for?

CTV stands for “connected TV.” The term describes any internet connected TV capable of streaming digital video content, such as smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio, etc). It also includes set-top-box and streaming stick devices that allow you to watch digital content on any TV they are plugged into. Sometimes the term CTV gets confused with OTT, which stands for “over-the-top.” 

What is the difference between OTT and CTV?

OTT describes the delivery of TV content through the internet versus the standard, closed TV system. OTT programming includes all content streamed over the internet. The key difference between OTT and CTV is that OTT refers to content, whereas CTV refers to the specific device (connected TVs). That means OTT content can be streamed via mobile, desktop and CTV.

What is CTV advertising, and how can brands set up CTV campaigns?

Many programmatic platforms now offer CTV advertising. CTV ads are video ads, sold as impressions when a particular audience streams content on demand. The ad spots are bought when a viewer fits into the audience parameters you’ve set for the campaign. That audience will then receive your creative messaging in full-screen, highly-viewable environments – just like a traditional TV spot. 

CTV advertising is an effective channel for marketers to tap into because CTV ads offer you a way to reach cord-cutting households, which are a growing market. This channel also removes the constraints of traditional television advertising, like broadcasting schedules, large spend commitment requirements, reporting delays, and ad pricing limitations. With CTV advertising, marketers benefit from increased accessibility, a lower barrier of entry, and more effective budget allocation. 

How is connected TV advertising measured?

The best metrics to measure for connected TV advertising are video completion rate (VCR) and cost per completed view (CPCV). 

You can collect a pool of users who saw or completed a CTV ad to see if they visited or met a conversion on your site afterward. This will provide more visibility into the conversion journey.

It’s also possible to track engagement with CTV ads using embedded QR codes. When a QR code is included in an ad shown on CTV, your audience can use their mobile phone to scan the code, and visit your landing page. With QR codes, you’ll be able to measure the traffic directed to your landing page thanks to a CTV ad.

An example of CTV advertising:

CTV ads leverage video, which is a medium that has the potential to differentiate your brand from others. With video, you can combine the power of both visuals and audio to communicate your message. Leaning into this format’s unique capabilities will help your message stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the audiences that matter with a solidifying brand message.

In 2022, StackAdapt released a video ad that used a metaphor (campaigns are a race to the finish line!) to highlight how advertising is getting more competitive. Now, it is increasingly hard for brands to stand out.

Is Netflix part of CTV?

Although streaming services like Netflix can stream on an OTT device (like a smart TV), Netflix currently does not offer ad placements to be bid on through CTV. That said, Netflix launched its own ad-supported tier in the US on November 3, 2022, which enables advertisers to run 15- and 30-second videos before and during programs.

How much does connected TV advertising cost?

CTV is a very cost-effective programmatic channel, and CTV is a much lower cost of entry compared to linear TV. Traditional TV commercials are known to be notoriously expensive. This is because advertisers are paying for an ad at the mercy of the network. 

There are limited time slots that every network has available. Your ad will be shown on TV, but because of limited inventory, you can’t be sure when it will be broadcast. The ad may end up shown at a time that’s completely missing your target audience. This results in prohibitively expensive campaigns, especially for small or mid-size agencies. 

CTV advertising provides accurate targeting and precise inventory selection. Your ads can reach particular audiences, improving the quality and effectiveness of your campaigns and, ultimately, make them more cost-effective. 

CTV is a great channel for the awareness component of a full-funnel or cross-channel campaign. It’s an effective way to bring awareness to an attentive audience, who you can later target across other devices. 

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