What is CTV Advertising and When is the Best Time to Launch

Learn what is CTV advertising and the best time to launch your brand with our expert insights. Read our concise, informative guide for more details.

A retro TV set with a question mark inside

Marketers and Connected TV (CTV) channels will try to convince you that it’s always a good idea to advertise on CTV, but that’s not always true. No surprise, they need your money.

But first, what is CTV advertising and when should your brand or business think about advertising on this platform? CTV advertising refers to the practice of showing ads on Connected TV platforms, which are televisions that connect to the internet or through various devices.

For instance, a video production agency can craft ads that can show up on streaming sticks and gaming consoles. This approach is catching on as more people move from traditional TV to streaming services.

Every business has a different target audience and customer journey. Your brand’s goals should align with how CTV is viewed and consumed.

That’s why we’re going to give you an honest checklist from our team’s experience working both in house at brands and as an agency. Then you can make the decision on the best time to advertise on CTV.

7 Reasons You Know You’re Ready for CTV

The following are the main reasons that will help you know you're ready for CTV:

Reason #1: You Have Tested Linear TV

Have you already tested Linear TV? Linear TV is normal TV, regularly scheduled programming on network and cable. There are great deals on Linear TV, and lots of programming options. Remnant TV is Linear TV inventory that you can pick up on short notice for cheaper rates. Buying local stations across the country or in a specific region can also be effective. If your business is new to TV, then testing Linear might be a simpler, more effective place to start advertising. 

Once you’ve found a successful strategy on Linear TV, it’s easy to run your best-performing commercials and channels on CTV.

Want to learn the difference between OTT vs CTV? Read our blog for more details.

Reason #2: You Are Targeting a Specific Audience

Some products are geared to a niche audience or narrow demographic. If your audience is NOT general, then the broad reach of Linear TV might lead to inefficient advertising. Why should you pay for eyeballs to see your ad when those individuals might be disqualified from your offer or unlikely to be interested?

For example, you are advertising a contact lens subscription service on Day Time TV that skews towards an older audience where 70% of people have vision issues. But why pay for the 30% who don’t have vision issues?

One of CTV’s biggest advantages is that it allows targeting any kind of specific audience interest group imaginable. You can target specific individuals who wear glasses, use contacts lenses, or who have tried competitor services.

Reason #3: You Want Extra Frequency

Once upon a time, we had the rule of three. Show your ad to someone three times and they will remember your brand when it’s time to make a purchase. Then in the digital era it became the rule of seven. Now in the Tik-Tok, multi-screen era, it is the rule of 21. You need your advertising to be seen by an individual 21 times to stick out from all the noise and distractions of the modern media landscape. 

CTV is a powerful way to get effective frequency. Someone has to view your ad in order to begin or continue watching the program they love. You can also push more ads more frequently to specific user groups and maximize your desired frequency. 

In linear TV advertising, achieving frequency is more costly because spot prices are higher, and there is no guarantee that someone will be watching when your ad airs.

Reason #4: You're Ready to Spend $15k-20k for Testing

Even though CTV costs less than Linear TV, you still need to have $15k-20k for a viable one month test. It’s important to reach enough viewers and drive enough conversions for meaningful measurement of performance. Testing on paid digital can be done with a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, but CTV requires a higher outlay.

Reason #5: You Understand Your Attribution

How do you know if a customer came from viewing your ad on CTV? 

When you advertise on Linear TV to a big regional or national audience, you will see a large spike in website traffic or a  bump in purchases. It’s easy to visualize the lift. By contrast, CTV ads are only shown to one person at a time, so there is no spike, and you need a methodology to attribute a user to a CTV campaign. 

A working attribution stack means having all your Google Analytics, Pixels, APIs, and any mobile app attribution set up to correctly attribute a user to Connected TV versus another channel like Meta.

Reason #6: Your Goal is Brand Building vs. Direct Response

Linear TV is great for Direct Response ads (DR). DR ads are ads that compel the viewer to take immediate action like visiting a website to purchase a product or sign up for a new service.

In contrast, Brand ads are about building awareness and connection between a viewer and the brand, so when the time comes to make a decision, the brand will be top of mind for that consumer.

Due to all factors mentioned earlier, CTV is a great resource to layer on top of an existing TV or digital strategy. CTV ads can build additional frequency and awareness among your target audience.

Reason #7: You Have Social Media Creatives to Repurpose

Many modern brands find their initial success on paid digital channels like Meta, TikTok, Google, and YouTube. Those channels are cheap to get started and build your customer base. 

By the time you start thinking about TV, your brand likely already has highly successful videos running on digital channels. And those videos can be repurposed and re-edited into a CTV ad. 

Nowadays people are used to video ads on social media that are often user generated or have lower production value, so it’s fine to run the same style on CTV. By repurposing your social media ads, you can save money on producing a new spot and spend it on a test. 

Additionally, when the time comes to shoot a higher budget TV commercial, you won’t be guessing what works or what doesn’t on TV and you increase your odds of shooting a commercial that hits a homerun.

Work With Filmkraft On Your CTV Video Ads and Creative

Not sure if you’re ready for Connected TV? 

Feel free to get in touch with us. We’d love to talk about your business and give our honest opinion if CTV is the right move.

If you are ready, then our team can repurpose your social videos, shoot a new TV spot, and even help you launch your first CTV campaign.

Filmkraft has launched successful TV commercials for brands like Keepsake Frames, 1-800-Flowers, The Vets, and Lindt.