Advertising 10 Min Read

Connected TV Advertising: Why Choosing SteelHouse is Better Than Working Directly With Major Streaming Platforms

Written by Melissa Yap

If you read through our poke at so-called data-driven advertisers, you’ve probably noticed the running theme of performance that is inherent in everything that we do. While there are plenty of emerging players adding Connected TV advertising to their repertoire claiming to do what we do, what about the streaming TV players in the space? Not naming names or anything, but this begs the question – are you really getting your bang for your buck by going direct, or is there a more efficient way to go about it?

These household names might be scoring goals and winning clients from a pure branding perspective, but they’re not necessarily scoring points with everything else. In fact, SteelHouse offers the measurability, accountability and automation unrivaled by the direct streaming TV platforms in Connected TV advertising.

Branding and Performance Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

Advertisers turn to these big name Connected TV advertising giants when they’re looking to do a pure branding buy, or if they have a one-off campaign where they want to make a big splash. Through our decade of experience in the business of performance marketing, we realize there is often a misperception that branding and measurement are mutually exclusive. We’ve taken the time to educate prospective clients that this isn’t the case. SteelHouse Performance TV offers a premium viewing experience on the big screen, combined with a superior reporting suite that tracks all of the customer touchpoints, on every device, up until the point of conversion. Furthermore, there is no need to limit Connected TV to one-off campaigns, as it can (and should) be considered as a direct-response channel, similar to how you would treat social media and search campaigns in your marketing mix. These types of campaigns can be left to run, because they consistently deliver performance on your ad spend.

The Limitations of Walled Gardens

Brand safety is one reason why brands choose to advertise within these walled gardens, since they want a level of control in where and when their ad will end up. However in doing so, this also means advertisers are restricted to a single service, their inventory, and their audience. Advertisers wanting to spread their wings can reap the same benefits of advertising on brand-safe, premium content with the bonus of accessing a wider swath of inventory and viewers through SteelHouse Performance TV. We’ve selected 125+ of the best streaming TV networks to showcase your advertising content – including those behind walled gardens. This means your ad, depending on your targeting segments – will be served across any of these TV networks, all within a single campaign without having to go through the hassle of setting up separate budgets across different publishers. 

Stick with us here, as we’re about to explain why this is one of the biggest advantages of choosing SteelHouse Performance TV. 

As pioneers in the Connected TV space, and experts in all things performance marketing, we understand that reporting capabilities vary across CTV solutions, but overall falls short.  Advertisers who want a granular breakdown on the performance of their Connected TV ads are in for a rude awakening. One well-known household name in Connected TV advertising offers very surface level reporting that doesn’t hold much weight in terms of performance. After all, not all metrics are created equal, and by going direct with this streaming TV competitor, you’ll only get limited metrics like impressions, clicks, click through rate and which genre your audience is viewing. It doesn’t tell a full story of how and where your ads are being served in order to glean enough actionable insight. This might be enough for an advertiser who cares for brand awareness, but in reality should be tied in with performance so that advertisers can optimize their advertising strategy to drive meaningful results. 

On the flipside, network level reporting is standard in our SteelHouse Performance TV suite, which reports on all of the major metrics down to the point of conversion. Our Google Analytics integration – a must-have for all performance marketers – captures every major touchpoint your user has with your brand across all devices. We ensure that an advertisers bottom line  is at the forefront of the conversation with our advertisers, not an afterthought.

Connected TV Advertising: SteelHouse Performance TV versus Direct TV Streaming Reporting

SteelHouse Performance TV redefines network level reporting and was built as a direct-response channel first and foremost. This means the user interface reports on over 900 metrics, but it also provides insight into which TV network and device/s are driving results. Advertisers can view how their ads are performing next to their other digital channels – not to mention that all of this functionality can be accessed and customized in real-time.

“I don’t mind commercials, but watching the same ad 20 times in an hour is anti-productive.”

We’re noticing a familiar pattern in the types of pain points that viewers are often experiencing – in this case, ad repetition to the point that it becomes annoying, rather than memorable. User research by eMarketer reveals only 10% of viewers don’t find digital ads annoying, so from an advertisers perspective, striking a balance is key. One of our biggest competitors are notorious for ad frequency to the point of viewers wanting to switch channels or leave their sofas, and this is not representative of a premium ad experience. Nor is it representative of a brand safe experience either – who wants to sit through that many ads in one sitting? 

SteelHouse Performance TV automates the Connected TV ad buying experience and our technology controls the frequency so that your ad is not being overserved to an audience and fuses with our Living Room Quality ad experience, which was designed for uninterrupted and fully engaged viewing. We have also introduced A/B testing into our campaigns, so advertisers can compare the performance of one creative with another instead of delivering the same ad multiple times within a program.

However, studies show  that viewers generally have a second device on hand when watching TV. This is where our Audience Extension feature steps in to complement this user behavior, and is layered on to serve related display ads and ultimately drive users to the advertiser’s website. We’ve found that this improves performance by 8x compared to serving only Connected TV ads alone.

Now that you have an idea of the value that SteelHouse can bring to an advertiser, it’s time to put our platform to work (a phrase we love to hear everyday)! Whether you’re dipping your toes into the Connected TV space, looking to make a switch between platforms or supplementing your search and social campaigns, we have a place for you.