A 3-step guide that will help you get started with CTV
Advertising your B2B brand on Connected TV (CTV) for the first time? Great. Here’s a simple 3 step guide that will get you started.
Before we get started, it’s important to establish what we mean by Connected TV (CTV). Connected TV, or over-the-top-TV (OTT), is any form of internet-delivered streaming television. Think Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV, HBO Max, Roku, Amazon Prime Video, and a million others. Most of these platforms have or are introducing an ad-supported tier. This guide covers how to get started advertising on those platforms.
Before we start making ad buys, we need to define our audience. Take out your audience persona sheet (or make one using our template) and try to identify where your audience is hanging out outside of work.
That’s the thing with CTV, since you’re advertising on streaming TV, you’re going to need more insight into where your audience is when they’re not scrolling through LinkedIn or Instagram.
Let’s say your target audience are VPs of operations at biopharma companies. Well, as of this writing there are no TV channels dedicated to biopharma operations.
You’re going to need psychographic data on your audience. Hence, your persona sheet. Do they tend to like business news? Perhaps make a buy on Bloomberg through your CTV platform (see step 2).
The idea is to try to think where they will go to unwind. An easy way to do this is to simply ask your current customers.
You’re going to need to go broad. CTV is not as tightly targeted as buying ads on LinkedIn where you can specify down to job title and company. You’re going to have to live with inefficiencies.
The good news is CTV has pretty cheap CPMs and if your creative is good enough, it’s got an audience that can’t skip ads and doesn’t really want to move off the couch.
You can’t advertise on all of the CTV platforms (like HBO Max, Apple TV+), but for the ones you can advertise on, there are different ad-buying platforms where you can go to make a purchase.
Services like MNTN, Brandzooka, and Vibe allow you to buy ads across different platforms. Or you can buy directly from services like Hulu and Roku – but then your campaigns would only air on those individual platforms.
MNTN is very popular in the CTV ad-buying world, but they have large spend minimums (at least at the time this article was written). I recommend getting started on Vibe. It’s totally self-service and has really low minimums so you can get your feet wet.
Make sure whichever platform you pick has the targeting you need to reach the audience you defined in step 1. I haven’t tried MNTN yet but they claim you can target based on demographic data (industry, title, etc.).
I made you select an ad platform first because each platform will have its own rules in terms of video ad creative length, format, resolution, etc.
Now that you have the platform you’re going to test on, you’re going to have to edit your video ads, or create them from scratch, to fit your platform’s specs.
Try to take a test-first approach with your ads. Instead of putting all your powder into just one ad, make a few different ads with slightly different messages. After a few weeks, use analytics to see which ads are performing best.
You’ll want to cut the ones that are low performers and reinforce the high performers. You should also take these insights into account when crafting your next round of spots.
I know this article makes it seem way too easy to get up-and-running with CTV, but I promise it really is! Paid CTV platforms are designed much like social media ad platforms, so if you have experience with Facebook Ads or Google Ads, you’ll be right at home with purchasing CTV.
The best advice I have is to dive in head-first and constantly experiment and tweak. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to CTV (or advertising in general), you will need to figure out which levers are right for your brand.