What Works In Linear And Other Video Platforms May Not Work In Connected TV

On TV And Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video. 

Today’s column is written by Jackie Paulino, senior vice president of customer success at Pixability.

As the industry transitions from linear TV to the new idiosyncrasies of connected TV (CTV), marketers can’t afford to get caught flat-footed.

CTV requires marketers to stay on top of an ever-growing list of providers and platforms, each one presenting different challenges with regard to campaign management, measurement and analytics. At the same time, they also need to consider how to best integrate CTV into their existing TV and video planning.

Though it presents its own set of challenges, CTV also offers a best-of-both-worlds scenario between linear and social video. CTV enables brands to drive awareness with the same impact as in linear channels, but at the same time it delivers a granular level of targeting that could previously only be achieved in social video. As a result, things that work in linear don’t translate one for one to CTV.

Rather than maximizing reach – the traditional role of TV – CTV scales, but only for highly targeted audiences. And rather than being bought by content type, the traditional way TV is purchased, CTV is bought by audience type.

So, while CTV may look and feel like TV, incorporating it into the mix requires a delicate balance of holistic thinking and nuanced tactics.

Silos won’t work

Although the new CTV ecosystem requires a new level of attention to detail, brands’ marketing strategies must begin and end with the complete picture. Some advertisers make the mistake of running CTV campaigns in isolation, failing to consider how the same campaign would work on digital video mega-platforms. Running siloed CTV campaigns won’t give them the full picture of how to optimize good video creative.

At the outset of a campaign, marketers must consider the platforms and opportunities they have at their disposal. A high-level plan identifying every platform they intend on using, combined with the specs and measurement details for each one and core KPIs, will streamline the process and provide additional clarity that will maximize the returns on their marketing investment.

One size doesn’t fit all

Each video-based platform takes a different approach to many concepts which marketers previously didn’t have to think about. While linear measurement was reasonably straightforward, CTV and social video platforms define a view differently, for example, to say nothing about the different creative requirements. These differences matter.

The creative that works on television also may or may not work on CTV, and results from YouTube, Facebook and Instagram may all vary depending on the industry. Marketers need to make creative specific to the platform on which they are running.

For example, when the branding should first appear in an ad depends on the platform – the audience may watch 15 seconds of a CTV ad, but only five seconds of a YouTube ad or only two seconds of a Facebook ad. Engagement and attention vary markedly by platform. Third-party partners like VidMob can quickly accommodate platform-appropriate creative changes, modifying the length or size of the content accordingly.

Furthermore, CTV and social video platforms deliver against different KPIs. YouTube typically delivers high engagement, while Facebook and Instagram offer better direct response results. And CTV is best for driving completed views, making it an excellent vehicle if the primary goal is views and awareness.

Marketers need to match the right KPIs to each platform to deliver the best combination of engagement, direct response and brand lift.

While CTV differs from other video ad platforms like YouTube and Facebook, campaigns on CTV shouldn’t be deployed separately from other video campaigns but rather with an eye toward how to adapt to this unique platform. The marketers that will be most successful will be those who test CTV in the context of what’s working on other video-based platforms and iterate and adapt accordingly.

Follow Pixability (@pixability) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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