Sponsored Content: SteelHouse – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Mon, 09 Nov 2020 13:33:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 Connected TV strategies to capture New Year’s resolution shoppers /connected-tv-strategies-to-capture-new-years-resolution-shoppers-343551 Mon, 09 Nov 2020 12:30:00 +0000 /?p=343551 The “New Year, New You” shoppers are coming -- here’s what you need to be ready for them on Connected TV.

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Hey marketers, it’s time to start planning your New Year’s ad campaigns. Especially if you’re in an industry like fitness, wellness, sports or subscription services — essentially anything that ties into the “New Year, New You” mindset. Traditionally 12% of gym-goers sign up in January, but with this year’s brick-and-mortar health restrictions in place, chances are that energy (and spend) will be going toward other self-improvement sources. And you’ll want to be ready to capture your piece.   

Obviously, you’re going to launch paid search and social. Those two are reliable performance channels that will generate a solid return on investment. But there’s a third reliable performance channel you may be missing out on: Connected TV. Let’s take a look at how effective CTV can be for advertisers and why it’s an essential channel to tap into for your New Year campaigns. 

Viewers & advertisers are switching to streaming

When deployed properly, Connected TV advertising can drive direct-response performance similar to search and social. It brings TV commercials into the domain of digital advertising, meaning it comes complete with the targeting and measurement capabilities digital marketers have enjoyed for years. 

2020 has seen solid growth in Connected TV viewer adoption. According to research by Nielsen: 

  • Total streaming TV viewing time has increased 74% year over year. 
  • 25% of adults surveyed reported adding a new service in Q2 alone. 

Advertisers are following the viewers too. The IAB reports 53% of surveyed media buyers plan to move broadcast TV ad dollars to Connected TV. Similarly, 52% of buyers who control cable budgets said they plan to shift budget as well. Digital marketers are also moving budget, with roughly one in four shifting ad dollars from other digital channels.

Getting started on Connected TV

There’s no better time than in the run-up to the New Year to reach your audience while they’re watching TV. Depending on where you are in the country, it’s either cold outside or really cold outside. People stay indoors in the fall and winter, which results in higher TV viewership. 
If Connected TV isn’t part of your New Year ad strategy yet, don’t fret. There’s still plenty of time to get started (our Connected TV ad solution, SteelHouse Performance TV, can get your campaigns up and running almost instantly). Here’s what you need to know to launch an effective Connected TV New Year strategy. 

Identify your goals

Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, Connected TV as an ad channel affords a couple of different options.

If you’re trying to drive new, highly-qualified site traffic to your site, we recommend starting with a prospecting campaign. If you’re looking to take advantage of your current site traffic, retargeting could be a better option. We generally recommend both, so let’s start with a look at prospecting, then retargeting.

Drive high-value site traffic with prospecting

With the New Year come New Year’s resolutions, which means there are plenty of shoppers who are dipping their toes into the waters of self-improvement. Connected TV allows you to make a great first impression on these shoppers, thanks to an ad format that leaves a positive impact. Research conducted by MAGNA discovered: 

  • CTV ads are 67% more effective per exposure at driving purchase intent vs. linear TV.
  • CTV ads result in a 42% lift in brand favorability.

Connected TV advertising’s digital nature means you can reach 3rd-party audiences with highly-targeted campaigns. For example, SteelHouse Performance TV is fully integrated into the Oracle Data Cloud. Its access to tens of thousands of audience categories means you can target based on a wide range of attributes including:

  • In-market status
  • Demographic
  • Geography
  • Interests
  • Shopping history

The makeup of your ideal audience will differ based on industry, but regardless of who they are, we recommend pairing that audience profile with in-market audiences to ensure you’re reaching shoppers looking to buy. That ensures you’re spending budget on viewers who have a higher chance of converting. 

When you’re considering your creative approach, your prospecting ad creative should incorporate a few elements since these are viewers who may be unfamiliar with your brand. These include: 

  • Lifestyle Product Imagery. You not only want your audience to see what you have to offer, but also how it’ll make them feel. Incorporate lifestyle visuals of people enjoying your products.
  • Persistent URL. Since CTV doesn’t allow viewers to click on an ad, you need to make sure your audience knows where to go. Include your URL, either along the bottom or in a corner, throughout the ad. 
  • Commanding CTA. Include a visual and audible CTA to prompt viewers to take action.

This compelling ad format, combined with prevision audience targeting, results in impressive campaign performance. Advertisers on the SteelHouse Performance TV platform have averaged a 1.87% site visit rate and a $4.60 cost per site visit — proving its effectiveness at driving new site traffic. And not only do these campaigns drive users to your site, they also net plenty of conversions on their own. Performance TV campaigns have averaged a 4.4X ROAS across all SteelHouse advertisers. 

Bring them back to convert with retargeting

We recommend you deploy retargeting campaigns to either target your existing site traffic or as a companion piece to your CTV prospecting campaign. 

You should fine-tune your audience targeting to reach viewers based on the actions they’ve taken on your site. Much like its 3rd-party audience capabilities, CTV allows you to curate your audience to ensure you’re only reaching viewers you care about. Here are a few behaviors you can build audiences around: 

  • How often they visited
  • Average time spent on site
  • Time since last conversion
  • Pages they visited
  • Items they shopped for
  • Value of items added to cart

You should focus on behaviors that denote interest in your offering. For example, include users who have visited 2+ pages as it shows they’re curious about learning more. Also prioritize any users who abandoned items in their shopping cart — they might just need a little nudge to come back and convert. 

For your retargeting video creative, we recommend a more direct approach since these shoppers have already visited your site and know your brand.  

  • Get Aggressive.  These shoppers are lower down on the sales funnel now, so consider offering this group more aggressive promos to convince them to convert. 
  • Focus on Your Offering. These shoppers already understand your brand, so make your product offering the focus.

Different tactics, same strong results

Whether you’re looking to drive new prospects into your sales funnel or see them through all the way to conversion, Connected TV has a place in your New Year ad strategy as a performance marketing channel. 

We highly recommend you tap into higher streaming television viewership to reach your audience on an ad channel that offers a compelling experience. If you’re interested in adding Connected TV to your New Year marketing mix, check out what Performance TV has to offer. It’s built to deliver revenue, site visits, and any other important metric you have in mind — so you can kick off the New Year right. 

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CTV and B2B: 3 reasons why Connected TV advertising is primed for B2B /ctv-and-b2b-3-reasons-why-connected-tv-advertising-is-primed-for-b2b-341975 Mon, 12 Oct 2020 17:38:04 +0000 /?p=341975 Combined with its targeting and measurement capabilities, CTV’s ad experience should make it a go-to for B2B marketers looking to stand out.

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If you’re a B2B marketer, there’s a solid chance your marketing strategy look’s something like this: 

  • Email campaign (complete with drip)
  • Search ads
  • Newsletters 
  • Events and tradeshows
  • A white paper here and there
  • ABM for high-value prospects

Not a bad approach, but unfortunately it’s the same exact strategy every single one of your competitors are using. B2B marketing is famous for its cookie-cutter approach and is mired in the attitude of “we know what works, so let’s just stick to it.”

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to deploy tactics and strategies that work. But if everyone’s following the same playbook, then you risk getting lost in the shuffle; you’re just another booth at the event or email in a prospect’s inbox. That said, if the key motivation of the B2B mindset is to put results above all else, then that provides you a different option. 

That option is Connected TV advertising. It’s made a splash in the B2C world because it has given advertisers a data-fueled way to run ads on television. CTV advertising’s targeting and measurement capabilities have made it a vital, direct-response tool for many marketers. And those same advantages translate seamlessly to B2B—while simultaneously giving you a way to cut through the usual B2B clutter. 

1. You get memorable ads that are fully trackable

The idea of TV advertising has long been considered preposterous for B2B marketing. While the prestige and brand-lift it provides would be nice for any brand, B2B calls for meticulous performance tracking and an expectation of concrete results—something linear television cannot provide. And since B2B marketing teams tend to have lower headcount and smaller budgets than their B2C counterparts, they’ve needed to rely on ad channels that provide reliable, repeatable performance.

That’s not an issue with CTV advertising. Thanks to its digital nature, CTV is fully trackable; you aren’t left guessing whether your ad made an impact because you can actually track whether it did, and tie actions your prospects take to your CTV campaign.

SteelHouse Performance TV, our CTV ad solution, lets marketers track key metrics including ROAS, site visit rate, cost per acquisition, and more. And, it’s fully integrated with Google Analytics, allowing you to track its performance alongside the rest of your marketing efforts. 

That level of measurement detail has proven it to be effective at driving user action—and that’s thanks to a superior ad experience. With 15 or 30 second video ads served alongside streaming TV programming, you can tell your brand’s story and make a compelling case for your offering far better than an ad run on display or social. Ads shown on a television screen prompt 32% higher ad recall than those shown on the next closest device, which means these ads carry a natural ability to stick with an audience. And in terms of influencing behavior, a 2019 study conducted by TVB found that 56% of consumers cited TV ads as the most important factor in driving their awareness of a service or product. 

Its TV-ad impact provides a halo-effect for the rest of your marketing efforts; when your email campaign hits their inbox they’ll be more likely to notice. That said, memorable ads don’t mean much if the right people aren’t seeing them, which leads us to points 2 and 3… 

2. You can reach new, distinct third-party audiences

You just can’t be sloppy with audience targeting in the B2B world. Your audience is a pretty set and defined group of prospects; television has never really been an option because it’s lacked the ability to narrow your audience to those that matter. And a lack of precise targeting equates to wasted budget. 

Thankfully, CTV leverages digital-like targeting, similar to a channel like social. By leveraging 3rd party audience data, B2B CTV advertisers can zero in on the prospects that are interested and in-market. 

Case in point, Performance TV is fully integrated with the Oracle Data Cloud. It’s the largest CTV audience data provider available, and offers tens of thousands of audiences that can be targeted—including a wealth of B2B-specific ones that make up millions of prospects (which means it doesn’t suffer from a lack of reach). 

There’s a wide range of audiences you can select to help you reach your audience—here are just a few examples.

  • In-Market Purchase Intent | You can sort audiences by whether they’re in-market to purchase particular types of services, be it SaaS, hardware, software, etc.. 
  • B2B Events | Target users who have registered, attended, or read about a B2B event, conference, or webinar for a number of verticals including technology, retail, healthcare, finance and more. 
  • Decision Makers | IT, finance, small business—you can target decision makers based on their industry, ensuring your ads get in front of prospects who control budgets and have authority to buy. 
  • Past Purchases | You can target business users who have likely made various past purchases in different categories, including cloud, marketing measurement, retail, security, and dozens more.  

With CTV’s targeting capabilities, you’re not left crossing your fingers hoping the person seeing your ad is in the right industry, or has used services like yours in the past, or is a decision maker—you know right from the start that they are. 

3. You can put first-party audience to work

Your first party data is crucial, which means CTV advertising must be able to leverage that info to truly be effective for B2B marketing. 

Because it functions just like a digital ad channel, you can make full use of your first party data. You can do this in two ways.

  • Retargeting | You can retarget site visitors, but you need to use a CTV ad solution that allows for that (not all of them do). SteelHouse Performance TV allows you to pixel your site then use it to retarget those interested prospects. 
  • CRM Upload | Your CRM is vital to nurturing your prospects, and you can upload your CRM list to Performance TV to target users in your sales funnel. 

Both of these are vital tools for bringing prospects further down your sales funnel toward conversion. But when speaking of CRM specifically, your ad campaign’s success will rely heavily on your match rate which can sometimes be tricky. For example, B2B CRMs generally rely on business email addresses. If you’re looking to target those users on other devices and channels, especially CTV, you need to ensure you’re able to feed those emails into your CTV ad solution and match them to a targetable audience. 

Thankfully, the match rates we’ve seen on Performance TV have been high, in some cases matching higher than certain social platforms (which have had trouble with B2B in the past). It’s proven to be an effective way of making CRM lists actionable—which is key for B2B. 

B2B connected TV advertising works

How do we know it works? Because we created and launched our own ad, then ran it on Connected TV. We leveraged our Performance TV platform’s CRM and 3rd party audience targeting to get our ad in front of valuable prospects, which not only helped generate brand awareness among key prospects but also created real familiarity. “I saw your ad on TV last night” has become a common phrase when we meet with prospects, and it’s a testament to Connected TV’s B2B effectiveness. It’s only a matter of time before more B2B brands are leveraging this channel, and we recommend you get started sooner than later to take advantage of getting there first.  

If you’re looking for a way to go beyond the standard B2B marketing playbook, look no further than Connected TV advertising. And if you’re ready to get started, check out what Performance TV has to offer—it’s built to deliver revenue, site visits, and any other important metric you have in mind.

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5 tips for adding connected TV to your holiday ad strategy /5-tips-for-adding-connected-tv-to-your-holiday-ad-strategy-340584 Mon, 14 Sep 2020 11:30:00 +0000 /?p=340584 With streaming TV time at record levels, you can’t afford to leave Connected TV ads out of your holiday game plan.

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There’s no doubt about it: this year you need to add Connected TV to your holiday ad strategy. With total viewing time on Connected TV devices jumping 81% year-over-year, millions of shoppers will be spending more time streaming television than ever before. And while you may initially think that viewers are mostly tuning in to subscription options like Netflix or Disney+, it’s ad-supported Connected TV that’s getting a major chunk of viewership; according to research from the IAB: 

  • 73% of streaming viewers watch ad-supported CTV content.
  • 45% of streaming viewers watch ad-supported CTV the most. 

Meanwhile, this holiday shopping season is set to be massive for e-commerce. Last year saw holiday e-commerce sales grow by 13.2% to $137.6 billion. That double-digit growth occurred before the COVID-19 crisis forced millions of shoppers to turn to online options for everything from gifts to groceries. And with 66% of shoppers saying they plan to buy more online this holiday season, we can expect to see e-commerce sales eclipse last year’s. 

Connected TV advertising sits right at the crossroads of these two major consumer trends. Its digital approach to TV advertising makes it an ideal solution for brands looking to expand their marketing footprint into television. And its ability to act as a direct-response performance ad channel makes it an excellent option for any advertiser looking to tie specific performance goals to their ad spend. SteelHouse Performance TV, our CTV ad solution, has proven especially effective at driving key metrics for our advertisers in 2020. 

We cover the best ways to make the most of this year’s Connected TV opportunity in our 2020 Holiday Marketing Guide, and we highly recommend you check it out. If you’re looking for some quick advice, though, we’ve got you covered—here are the top five things to keep in mind when adding Connected TV to your holiday ad strategy. 

1. Use Connected TV Prospecting to Reach Valuable New Audiences

Connected TV is great at getting your brand in front of new audiences. That’s because it uses audience-first targeting, just like a digital ad channel like social or display. For example, SteelHouse Performance TV leverages the Oracle Date Cloud (the world’s largest CTV audience provider) to give advertisers access to tens of thousands of audience segments. 

Shoppers tend to seek out brands they’re already familiar with when it’s time to buy, so reaching them early in the shopping season is key. Sort your targeting by demographic data, interests, or even geography to find your ideal audience, then pair those audiences with “in-market” segments to ensure you’re targeting shoppers who are looking to buy. Here are a few other best practices: 

  • Start Early | Launch your CTV prospecting campaigns as early as September to start drumming up brand awareness among key audiences. 
  • Launch Multiple Campaigns | Target different kinds of shoppers with different campaigns—target gift buyers with one, and those shopping for themselves with another.
  • Make it Direct-Response | CTV prospecting drives an efficient cost per visit because it’s great at prompting users to take action; give your ad a strong visual and audible CTA.

2. Reconnect with Your Site Visitors via Connected TV Retargeting

Once your prospecting campaigns have driven new audiences to your site, it’s time to tap into that newfound audience pool. CTV retargeting allows you to leverage your first-party data and target site visitors with high-quality ads streamed across television. 

CTV retargeting is an enormous direct-response ad opportunity. With only 10% of marketers seeing video ads as a lower-funnel strategy, you have a competitive advantage with CTV retargeting since it’s something your competition may overlook.

  • Get Aggressive | They visited your site, but they didn’t buy – so these shoppers may need a little extra incentive to convert. Include more aggressive deals and promos in these ads to lure them back.
  • Ramp in November | Launch retargeting campaigns in the run-up to Black Friday and keep them running all the way into the New Year. 
  • Focus on Products | The shoppers you’re retargeting already know your brand, so make your products the focus of your ad.  

3. Immerse Your Audience

Ads streamed on television are great at grabbing user attention, and generate 32% more ad recall than the next closest device. But holiday shoppers tend to jump from device to device. It’s best practice to have related display ads (both in message and aesthetic) running on web and mobile to ensure you deliver a consistent message across multiple channels.

For the sake of simplicity and cohesiveness, you’ll want to use a CTV ad platform that has the ability to launch both CTV and display ads from a single campaign. For that reason, SteelHouse Performance TV utilizes Audience Extension, which serves related display ads across web and mobile to viewers who are also being served your CTV ads. This creates an immersive experience that generates better results than running just display ads alone. Case in point, here’s how a leading home supply retailer’s Performance TV retargeting campaign stacked up against display-only retargeting. 

  • 48% better ROAS
  • 229% more unique site visitors
  • 45% lower cost per site visit
  • 98% fewer impressions per single visit

4. Provide a Living Room Quality Experience

Even though viewers can watch Connected TV on mobile or desktop devices, the vast majority watch it on television. This is good news for advertisers, because: 

This user behavior drives home the importance of using a CTV ad solution that targets TV screens for CTV ads instead of mobile or desktop. A viewer most likely won’t exit out of their stream to visit your site, but they are likely to visit if they can do that and still watch their show. Be careful as some CTV ad solutions will say they offer CTV inventory, but will actually mix in other video inventory that’s served on devices other than TV. 

SteelHouse Performance TV serves CTV ads exclusively to television screens on top streaming networks like Hulu, ESPN, Bravo, FOX Sports, and over 150 others. This ensures your CTV ads are delivering an experience that is traditionally only found in the living room, watching network television. It also delivers valuable brand safety for your ads during the holiday shopping season, and takes advantage of viewers’ natural second screen habits so they can immediately navigate to your site. 

5. Track Cross-Device Shopping Journeys

Accurate cross-device measurement is a necessity for Connected TV advertising. Shoppers aren’t able to convert on their televisions, after all, so you’ll need a way to track from when they first see your CTV ad to when they convert on your site. 

SteelHouse uses Cross-Device Verified Visits, which is our proprietary technology that measures any user visits to your site following a completed in-view display of your ads, in a window of time defined by you. It’s fully integrated into Google Analytics, so you can measure and verify your performance using the leading 3rd party analytics platform as well. Here’s the basic of how it works: 

  • A user watches your ad on Connected TV. 
  • The user visits your site on any household device within the Verified Visit window.
  • The user converts within your conversion window.

Tracking this customer journey is absolutely crucial to measuring success for your CTV campaigns. Cross-device measurement helps connect the dots of your customer’s journey and ensures you know how effective your campaigns are at driving user behavior. Armed with this knowledge, you can make better-informed decisions when it’s time to plan your budgets. 

Seize This Year’s Connected TV Opportunity

This holiday season will be a big one for Connected TV advertisers. With millions more viewers streaming, the audience is out there and waiting. And with CTV’s targeting, measurement, and direct-response ad capabilities, advertisers will be able to effectively reach them and drive action. Check out the 2020 SteelHouse Holiday Marketing Guide for more tips and insights, and have a very merry holiday season. 

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How connected TV measurement proves its performance marketing potential /how-connected-tv-measurement-proves-its-performance-marketing-potential-338874 Mon, 10 Aug 2020 11:30:00 +0000 /?p=338874 Proper measurement on CTV not only shows its value over linear TV advertising, it showcases its performance marketing bonafides

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A lot has been written about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of advertising. Budgets were decimated and marketers scrambled to find other ways to do more with less.

One of the less talked about themes, however, has been how the pandemic served as a major blow to linear TV consumption and as a boon to Connected TV (CTV). There are tons of stats that support this sea-change – 80% of US households now own at least one connected TV (CTV) device, and Nielsen has tracked an 81% YoY increase in CTV viewing time while linear has fallen off. Some TV networks are now even starting to prioritize their content for streaming ahead of linear TV in a nod to the new normal of user behavior.

And at this year’s virtual Upfronts, the TV advertising industry at large seemed to finally acknowledge what we’ve all noticed for some time now: streaming is no longer simply a place to park old content, it’s how and where people watch TV now.

So with the mass exodus of viewers mostly complete and the realization that CTV finally has the scale to be one of the most important advertising channels, advertisers are left wondering: how do we measure it?

The do’s and don’ts of connected TV measurement

Before we address how to approach CTV measurement, it’s best to first address how not to approach it.

Any approach that measures CTV in a similar way to linear TV is already misguided. Linear TV measurement is inherently abstract due to the limitations of broadcast TV. All of the impressive technology in the world of linear TV measurement is deployed to enable statistical modeling, not to deliver precise analytics. That methodology ultimately delivers what amounts to a best guess. 

CTV, on the other hand, is simply digital programmatic advertising but with a TV commercial as an ad unit instead of a banner ad. And its measurement functions much in the same way – it’s not saddled with linear TV’s limitations, but rather uses digital measurement that offers precision over guesstimates. 

As with any other digital marketing channel, marketers have expectations when it comes to measurement. It should give a view into the whole customer journey, it should track conversions, and it should be accountable in 3rd party analytics solutions – and CTV delivers on those needs.

How proper connected TV measurement works

A clear edge CTV has over linear TV is its inherent precision. It unlocks a level of insight that allows advertisers to run ads and know exactly how many people saw them – all the way down to the last digit. CTV also gives advertisers insight into completion rates, providing an exact understanding of how many people saw the ad from start to finish, and how many dropped out. While this is a step up from the world of linear TV advertising, it’s table stakes for CTV platforms.

Performance marketers expect more. Just like with other performance marketing channels, such as paid search and social, performance marketers want a full view into the customer journey to truly understand the impact of their CTV campaigns. That’s why at SteelHouse, our most meaningful CTV measurement kicks in after the ad is shown. Using our cross-device Verified Visits technology, we monitor traffic to the advertiser’s website after a CTV ad is shown. It’s able to identify other devices visiting the site from the same household that saw the ad – allowing us to determine site visits driven by that ad impression.

We continue to monitor the advertiser’s site to see if the users that originated from the CTV campaign eventually convert, delivering a holy grail to direct-response TV advertisers – a way of attributing purchases to the TV ads they run – while delivering an ad measurement experience familiar to all performance marketers.

Proper measurement reveals CTV campaign’s true impact

CTV’s cross-device measurement has helped prove its effectiveness as a direct-response performance channel. Case in point, a leading fine wine & spirits retailer who ran CTV campaigns with SteelHouse was able to effectively track the customer journey thanks to cross-device Verified Visits. It provided insight into who saw their ads on television, and the actions those viewers took afterward. 

The campaign proved to be a success, driving a 1.09% site visit rate, as well as 1.37% conversion rate. Cross-device measurement allowed the advertiser to truly understand the value their campaign brought them – that’s not something linear TV advertisers will ever be able to do.

Proper attribution requires third-party insights

Performance marketers find value in having their campaign data funneled into their 3rd party analytics or campaign management solution of choice. It allows them to understand the performance of their marketing efforts across disparate channels. Unfortunately, this is an area where other CTV platforms can fall short – they tend to rely on siloed measurement only available through their platform.

By reporting user visits from CTV campaigns into an analytics solution like Google Analytics, SteelHouse enables performance marketers to analyze their TV campaign performance in a familiar way. Through this integration, our performance marketing clients regularly make the realization that CTV campaigns on our platform – what we call Performance TV – routinely perform as well (if not better) than other traditional performance marketing channels.

Pick the right way to evaluate connected TV

When evaluating CTV solutions, remind yourself that CTV is simply programmatic advertising. As a performance marketer, you should expect CTV to be just as accountable, efficient, and reliable as any other performance marketing channel. And if a platform can’t deliver on any of those capabilities when running a CTV campaign, find one that can.

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Post-holiday analysis: connected TV becomes performance TV /post-holiday-analysis-connected-tv-becomes-performance-tv-329286 Tue, 18 Feb 2020 12:30:00 +0000 /?p=329286 The 2019 holiday shopping season proved connected TV advertising’s direct response potential.

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The dust has settled on another holiday shopping season, and now it’s time to evaluate and analyze what went right for advertisers. As usual, brands and agencies turned to the tried and true ad channels — paid search, display, social, native, the list goes on — to (hopefully) drive as many shoppers to convert as possible. This year, however, there was a new entry to the list — Connected TV (CTV). Or as we’ve come to call it based on its ad performance, Performance TV.

SteelHouse has been launching and optimizing campaigns across CTV for years now, and during that time we’ve learned quite a bit about what the fastest-growing ad segment is capable of. While the market tends to see CTV as an extension of traditional television and treats it as such (AKA a great tool for brand marketing), we’ve discovered that CTV is at its best when it’s being used as a direct response marketing channel.

Hundreds of advertisers leveraged SteelHouse Performance TV this past holiday shopping season to drive streaming TV viewers to their websites to convert, and we analyzed those campaigns along with much more in our Post-Holiday Report. It breaks down overall e-commerce trends, as well as CTV’s impact on advertisers’ performance this past holiday season. We recommend checking out the full report, but if you’re in a hurry, check out some of the key takeaways below.

Key takeaway #1: Connected TV drives ROAS & visit rate

When you’re talking about performance marketing, ROAS is a key piece of the conversation. Based on the analysis of SteelHouse Performance TV campaigns launched across Connected TV, we found they drove an average 3.27X ROAS for Q4.

Advertisers were able to serve high-quality video ad creative to engaged viewers, and it resulted in those same viewers converting. We also noted a healthy amount of viewers engage with display ads through Performance TV’s Audience Extension, which serves related ads to the same viewers across display and mobile. This helps tap into CTV ads’ natural brand-recall strengths, ensuring that when shoppers encounter similar ads from the advertiser, they are more likely to engage with them.

We also found CTV ads were effective at influencing viewers to visit websites. As the holidays progressed, so, too, did the number of visits driven to advertiser sites. Site visits generated by Performance TV increased 47% from October to December, mirroring the urgency felt by shoppers as the holidays got closer. This resulted in an overall Q4 average site visit rate of 0.65% — a rate that is competitive with other performance marketing channels. 

Key takeaway #2: Connected TV drives efficient performance

Advertisers were able to drive strong direct response with their CTV ads this past holiday season — which is great — and they were able to do it efficiently (that’s even better). 

The holidays are all about efficient ad spend, and CTV delivered. Based on our analysis, CTV campaigns drove an average $5.22 Cost Per Visit (CPV) over the length of Q4. This metric was comparable to those seen by YouTube and non-brand paid search CPCs. 

Site visits ramped up as the holidays approached, which in turn led to lower CPV and more efficient ad spending. December CPV saw a 20% drop when compared to October, and a 3% drop versus November; once the holiday shopping frenzy set in the CPV held steady.

And not only does it drive site visits efficiently, it does the same with messaging. Thanks to an average 96% ad completion rate, CTV ads recorded an average Cost per Completed View of $0.04 throughout all of Q4. Interestingly enough, it was a flat average of $0.04 throughout the quarter — a testament to its reliability and consistency. 

Key takeaway #3: Connected TV enhances retargeting, conversions

Connected TV appears to have an uplifting halo effect. Since CTV ads are served on TV screens, and thus carry the brand-recall impact traditional television ads carry, the ad experience helps keep a brand fresh in shoppers’ minds, and thus leads to better performance across the board. Notable jumps were seen by advertisers on site-wide metrics, as well as increases in display retargeting metrics immediately after launching their campaigns. 

We saw this time and again for multiple brands across multiple verticals. For example, a leader in worldwide travel booking launched their CTV campaign in early November and saw upticks in both sitewide conversions and retargeting performance. 

Increases in conversions and conversion rates for travel booking company
Average daily site-wide conversions: +11%
Average display retargeting conversion rate: +30%

Those kinds of stats aren’t just due to holiday shopping excitement, either. We checked campaigns launched earlier in the year, and sure enough, found a similar impact. A leading outdoor shoe and work boot brand launched Performance TV in early October, just before the big holiday push.

Increases in conversions and conversion rates for outdoor
shoe and work boot brand
Average daily site-wide conversions: +38%
Average display retargeting conversion rate: +10%

Similarly, a leading meal delivery service launched their campaign back in August 2019 and saw the same.

Increases in conversions and conversion rates for meal delivery service
Average daily site-wide conversions: +32%
Average display retargeting conversion rate: +22%

Connected TV proves its direct response potential 

The 2019 holiday shopping season was a great one for both advertisers and Connected TV advertising. With the metric benchmarks and impact we’ve reviewed above in our key post-holiday takeaways, it’s clear to see that CTV has a place amongst top tried-and-true performance marketing channels. SteelHouse has brought direct response to streaming television, and Performance TV is designed to make the most of that opportunity. 

If what you’ve read intrigues you in any way, we highly recommend downloading the full Post-Holiday Report. It’s full of additional insights, including trends around Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Cyber Week. Equipped with that knowledge, you should be able to better navigate the ad challenges that 2020 will bring — as well as integrate streaming TV into your performance marketing mix. 

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Performance marketing comes to television /performance-marketing-comes-to-television-325117 Wed, 20 Nov 2019 12:30:49 +0000 /?p=325117 Long a pure branding play, advertisers can now unlock television’s potential with Connected TV.

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There’s no denying that when it comes to user experience, television advertising is king. It’s hard to beat reaching your audience when they’re relaxing at home on the couch, ready to watch their favorite shows. 

The only problem is that for performance marketers, television has never been great. The term “broadcast” sums it all up — because of a lack of precise audience targeting capabilities, advertisers are forced into casting a pretty broad net. That’s great for branding and raising awareness, but it’s pretty useless when it comes to performance marketing. If you want viewers to take a specific action, like visit a website or drive them to convert, traditional television advertising has never been first choice. 

That’s a shame, because TV ads stick with viewers. Ad recall on television screens is 32% better than with the next closest device. Compare that with display advertising (I bet you can’t even remember the ad you saw on this very page), and there’s little debate on how effective TV ads can be. 

That all begs the question — what if advertisers were able to launch performance campaigns on TV right alongside their other tried and true channels like paid search and social? Well, good news — Connected TV advertising makes that a reality. 

See how to integrate Connected TV into your performance marketing mix with our E-commerce Campaign Starter Pack

Connected TV becomes performance TV

Connected TV is content accessed by apps and streamed over smart TVs, mobile, or over-the-top (OTT) devices. With over 190 million Americans streaming in 2019, it’s the new way of watching television. And while advertisers are still feeling out this new channel, we can tell you that it’s clearly an enormous opportunity for performance marketers.

Here at SteelHouse, we’ve served millions of Connected TV ad impressions through our Performance TV ad platform. Our origins as a business are in digital performance marketing, and we recognize Connected TV has many of the same strengths as other tried and true performance marketing channels like search and social. Its ability to leverage targeting and analytics elevate it from a pure branding play to one where performance can be attributed and tied to specific ads. Connected TV has unlocked television’s performance potential. 

Digital precision transforms TV into a performance machine

Connected TV advertising combines the experience of television with the precision targeting and analytics of digital advertising. With technical capabilities like that, it’s more than able to transform television into a performance machine. Advertisers can target specific audiences by leveraging third- or first-party data (just like social or display), and then track the actions viewers take on other household devices (desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, etc.) after seeing those ads.

Digital advertising’s targeting capabilities are fully available on Connected TV. 

  • Intent
  • Geography
  • Income
  • Demographic
  • Age & gender
  • And more

Advertisers can also track vital metrics that show exactly how ads perform. 

  • Site & page visits
  • First-time site visitors
  • Conversions
  • Performance by device
  • And more

By melding digital advertising capabilities with television, advertisers have a chance to utilize TV in a way that’s never been done before. They can drive lower-funnel action that directly results in sales and conversions — and track it all so they have confidence that their ads are making an impact. That’s huge news for all performance-oriented advertisers. 

Results on par with performance mainstays

Based on an analysis of SteelHouse Performance TV campaigns, we have seen compelling reasons to rate Connected TV right alongside other performance ad channels. We’ve found it’s especially effective at driving three principle metrics that marketers need to embrace — Cost Per Visit, Visit Rate, and Cost Per Completed View. Why are those so important?

  • Cost Per Visit. If you’re trying to prompt users to visit your site, then you need to keep an eye on this one. You want to be sure you’re spending budget efficiently when driving traffic, and our Performance TV campaigns have shown that Connected TV ads are comparable to non-branded search and social when it comes to this valuable metric. 
  • Visit Rate. Connected TV ads are excellent at convincing a high percentage of viewers to visit an advertiser’s website. Performance TV campaigns have driven a rate that’s 2-4X higher than display prospecting or YouTube ads. 
  • Cost Per Completed View. One of Connected TV’s strengths is the fact the ads are unskippable. They average a 97% completion rate, which means its Cost Per Completed View is tiny. Advertisers’ entire message gets delivered, and it only costs pennies. 

Retargeting is a reality on connected TV

Retargeting has been a huge differentiator for channels like display and social, but that’s no longer the case with Connected TV. Retargeting has come to television, with all the same capabilities and metrics that performance marketers are already familiar with. 

It’s been a dream for advertisers to be able to connect the entire household in a single ad experience. With Connected TV, they can. If a consumer visits an advertiser’s website, Connected TV enables them to retarget them with ads while they stream their favorite shows. That means they can keep the user experience consistent, and drive users back to their site to convert. 

At SteelHouse, we’ve taken this a step further with Audience Extension. Once a viewer sees an ad on Connected TV, they are then automatically served related ads across display and mobile, keeping the advertiser’s message top of mind. So, when that viewer is ready to convert, there will be an ad waiting for them. 

Add connected TV to your performance campaigns

With measurable performance and an impact that’s aligned with other performance channels, it’s a no brainer to add Connected TV to your performance marketing mix. Whether the goal is to reach new users or retarget site visitors to drive conversions, it can accomplish both efficiently and effectively. 

Want to learn how to integrate it into your performance marketing mix? Check out our E-commerce Campaign Starter Pack to get a better understanding of the basics of Connected TV advertising, and why it should be considered right alongside display, search, and social. Want to learn more about SteelHouse Performance TV? Check it out here

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