Home Opinions Tap into the power of contextual targeting on CTV

Tap into the power of contextual targeting on CTV

Connected TV enables brands to deliver ads to people that no longer watch linear TV, complementing their broadcast buys. Media planners can leverage context, targeting the audience alongside content where the message is most likely to resonate and so maximising the chances of attention. They could align their ad inventory with a new boxset drop, for example. This contextual targeting can be used to drive consumers to action, including on a secondary screen, with shoppable ads contributing to this interactivity. Brands cannot afford to miss out on a growing audience that prefers streaming over linear TV, and CTV is their solution.

James Collins, Senior Vice President – Media Networks, Rakuten Advertising
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Ad-supported and broadcast video on-demand (AVoD and BVoD) are booming in popularity, as people look for cheaper alternatives to subscription services. This has been amplified by the cost-of-living crisis; according to Kantar, of the 1.66 million people in the UK who dropped out of the SVoD market during the last quarter (Q2 2022), almost two-thirds use BBC iPlayer at least once-a-week.

Reinforcing this trend is the entry of major brands into the AVoD market, including Disney+ and Netflix. With these services offering access to a huge variety of audiences, advertisers can now reach more people than ever before through AVoD. Therefore, Connected TV (CTV), as one of the most popular ways to watch this type of content, has become an established part of the TV marketing mix.

Targeting the right audiences

CTV enables brands to deliver ads to people that no longer watch linear TV. Far from only reaching niche streaming audiences, this has fast become a sizeable chunk of the population. In fact, research from Rakuten Advertising finding that 41% of viewers globally prefer streaming over traditional TV.

This presents a sizeable opportunity for brands to integrate more contextual targeting into their TV advertising strategy. CTV platforms provide media planners with the opportunity to identify their target audience’s content preferences – purchasing inventory and upweighting ad spend accordingly.

The power of contextual advertising on CTV, in comparison to linear TV, is in enabling brands to engage with a target audience alongside content where the message is most likely to resonate. By leveraging this context, media planners can minimise the chance of turning their audience away.

Targeting a collective of individuals who share similar viewing behaviours provides the opportunity to buy ad inventory more strategically. For example, media planners can align their ad inventory with viewing peaks: new boxsets and the latest blockbuster drops bring an influx of viewers eager to indulge in that content, so buyers should act accordingly and upweight ad spend here.

These moments are concentrated periods where the target audience is most engaged – so, it’s best to act on it. Placing ads at the right time and place means they won’t jar or intrude and can be more seamlessly integrated into the viewing experience. This is what drives resonance and action.

Connect viewing with shopping

Once media planners have identified their target audience, mapped out their CTV inventory, and aligned it with the right content, the next question is how this will drive impact and engagement.

There is a correlation between consumers who have a secondary device to hand and those searching for and engaging with brands advertised on CTV. According to Rakuten Advertising, over half (55%) of viewers in the UK have their mobile phone with them while streaming content. Additionally, 69% of Brits surveyed in the same report stated that they purchase or occasionally purchase products or services they search for, having seen it advertised on CTV. This is a clear purchasing pattern that media planners must lean on to make the most of their CTV advertising strategy, applying contextual targeting to increase the chance of action that will eventually lead to a conversion in the future.

Moreover, brands should connect viewing with shopping, through the use of actionable, interactive, shoppable ads. For example, brands can use location services to tailor ads based on where the viewer is, such as giving them a QR code pointing them to a nearby sales event. By bringing multi-screen to life, brands can encourage viewers to research and purchase in a personal and relevant way. In this regard, the content that people watch on CTV has an unrivalled power to drive behavioural change. This presents huge opportunities for brands to shift awareness from the biggest screen in the house onto a smaller secondary device, to browse and make purchasing decisions.

Integrate CTV into a wider strategy

With this in mind, the integration of context through CTV will encourage action through greater resonance and interactivity. CTV has become essential to modern media planning as a result, but integration is the key word here. CTV has the power to deliver action without relying on individual or demographic data points, but it can’t be siloed from the wider TV advertising strategy.

CTV is the perfect supplement – rather than a replacement – for buying traditional TV inventory.

Building CTV into a wider strategy which incorporates traditional TV advertising is the most effective way to drive brand awareness. Brands cannot afford to miss out on this growing audience that prefers streaming over linear TV. With contextual targeting complementing a broadcast ad strategy, advertisers can reach the audiences that are most likely to remember and buy into their brand.


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