Data-Driven Insights from 10M+ Hours of CTV Ads
by Tim Edmundson5 min read
- The past year has been a big one for Connected TV as a performance channel, with conversion events increasing 914% YoY on the MNTN platform.
- Its flexibility as both an upper- and lower-funnel ad channel has yielded strong results for advertisers making the most of those capabilities.
- Advertisers tend to run their upper funnel campaigns 57% longer when they pair them with lower-funnel retargeting campaigns.
- Connected TV is an effective solution for times of economic uncertainty; advertisers who kept campaigns live during early COVID-19 months benefited.
The Rise of Connected TV Has Provided a Surge of Data
Connected TV has been a big story in the ad world, and with good reason. Both viewers and advertisers have flocked to streaming television. Viewers because it gives them on-demand, view-any-time control over how they watch television at a lower price point than traditional cable TV. Advertisers are following the viewers, and importantly, engaging with them with more advanced tools that enhance audience targeting and measurement.
Those tools give us a peek behind the curtain on performance, providing us with insight into metrics that television advertisers have only previously dreamed of. Now instead of being limited to reach and impressions served, advertisers can track outcome-focused metrics such as ROAS, CPA, website visits, revenue, and more. So what can we learn by diving into that data? Let’s find out.
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What Stories Can We Tell?
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The scope and scale of Connected TV advertising has exploded over the past few years. Our recent partnership with Digiday revealed that 61% of surveyed marketers launched Connected TV campaigns in the past three years. When examining data sourced from MNTN’s platform, we see what that growth looks like through the lens of a performance marketing channel.
If you’re familiar with Connected TV’s trajectory, you’re no stranger to seeing growth-focused stats. You would be hard pressed to find other stats that represent that level of growth in the CTV space.
Digital Natives Are Thriving on Connected TV
Out of the total of MNTN’s customer base, 62% are first-time TV advertisers. They’re digital natives by nature, meaning they’ve traditionally found success with channels like paid search and social. Now, however, they’ve taken to Connected TV and brought their digital mindsets with them.
That means they’re using Connected TV to address the full sales funnel, from top to bottom. Utilizing upper funnel prospecting campaigns, they’re raising awareness, generating touch points, and simultaneously generating return on ad spend while doing it. That’s thanks to Connected TV’s ability to target specific audiences that are more likely to engage and convert with the brand’s message and offering.
Similarly, they’re deploying lower-funnel campaigns such as retargeting. This tactic makes the most of their website traffic (piggybacking off the success of their upper funnel prospecting campaigns), and re-engages website visitors to bring them back to the site to convert.
A Full-Funnel Approach Pays Off
So does combining these two campaign types enhance performance? The answer is yes. Prospecting and retargeting deliver strong results, and allows advertisers to deliver a cohesive message that lets them tell their story. Storytelling is vitally important when forming a bond with your audience, and the full-funnel strategy also delivers more touch points to stay top of mind.
Evergreen or Seasonal, Connected TV Delivers
We examined how Connected TV campaigns fared for brands looking to make a seasonal push, be it for a holiday that aligns well with their brand, or a sales event that carried high expectations.
Father’s Day campaigns for example, were especially effective for advertisers that aligned well with the reason for the season. This proved that it can play an important role contributing to seasonal success. The top verticals for ROAS performance included:
- Health & Fitness
- Home Goods
What’s more, when examining post-holiday performance, we found that Father’s Day related brands saw increased revenue after the holiday as the calendar transitioned into the summer season. This was an indicator that these advertisers could leverage the optimizations and audience strategies they were using in the pre-holiday buildup, and with a change of ad creative to a more summer-theme, continue to generate strong returns.
That said, advertisers with no tie to the holiday also saw strong performance. These types of advertisers, running more evergreen-type campaigns, generated high return on ad spend as well.
- Phones & Wireless
- Consumer Goods
Weathering Economic Uncertainty
So we’ve seen that Connected TV is effective during seasonal and evergreen circumstances, but what about when the economy’s outlook is uncertain? We looked back on the most recent example, the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak, to get a sense of how advertisers fared.
A marketer’s first instinct may be to scale down their advertising efforts when things may go south, however our data shows that’s a mistake. Advertisers who kept their campaigns live during the height of uncertainty, March to June 2020, saw better return on ad spend as time went on versus those who went dark.
What’s more, when those advertisers saw their campaigns still performing, they increased their budgets. Their ROAS in turn increased right alongside, which indicated that their increased ad spend was proportionately reaching viewers who were ready to buy.
Connected TV has grown into a highly-effective, reliable performance marketing channel for a rapidly rising number of advertisers. As we continue to see brands embrace this use-case for the ad channel, it’s likely that these findings will be repeated in years to come as more inventory opens, and more viewers adopt streaming as their primary way of watching television.
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