Connected TV 10 Min Read

How to Modify Your Connected TV Advertising Strategy During COVID-19

Written by Melissa Yap

During these times of crisis, it has never been more important for brands to remain sensitive to their advertising efforts across the marketing mix and on Connected TV. From a branding perspective, we’ve seen some examples of brands adapting their message, such as Nike’s ‘Play For the World’ video campaign, which highlights their roster of athletes and those of us everyday who are keeping in top form but also keeping the rest of the community safe. Ikea built a video campaign from the #StayHome movement, paying homage to home as a place to cherish, where we can truly be ourselves and at peace during this unprecedented time. Meanwhile, Apple’s ‘Creativity Goes On’ ad inspires those of us in quarantine to exercise our creative muscle and think beyond the confines of our homes.

Other advertisers have been called out for being tone-deaf, which highlights the importance of being able to quickly switch out their current creative for ads that resonate with the current climate, with appropriate messaging to match. SteelHouse Performance TV feature facilitates this easily, allowing advertisers to swap creative on the fly, meaning once you have an ad ready to go, you can get it live with little lead time. 

Brand perception aside, we’ve seen brands who are prioritizing their performance marketing efforts are driving strong results. Tech giants like Google and Facebook also reported a higher than expected ad revenue in the first quarter of this year, all thanks to performance marketing. One of our customers, a leading homewares supplier, drove a 48% higher ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) through our Performance TV Retargeting platform. They approached this through a performance marketers lens by tweaking their lower-funnel strategy: 

  1. Tested their own display-only retargeting against SteelHouse Performance TV Retargeting to target lower-funnel site visitors, cart abandoners and users who had visited 5+ pages.
  2. Their current display-only retargeting campaigns were limited to web and mobile only, however, using the SteelHouse Performance TV platform ensured ads were served across top-tier networks like  CNN, ESPN and HGTV, that equated to a premium ad experience. The ads featured prominent calls-to-action, with compelling audio and visuals to engage viewers and draw them to the website.
  3. Performance TV ads immersed an already engaged audience across all of their digital devices, featuring dynamic product feeds to showcase previously viewed products and bring users back to the site to complete their purchase. The combination of ads screened across multiple devices was the key to their success, which delivered a better return versus their original display-only retargeting strategy on key metrics including ROAS, Cost Per Visit, Site Visits and Conversions. 

We have also noted a few other strategy recommendations that Connected TV advertisers should also keep in mind:

  • Spend Smarter:  Nielsen research finds viewers stream 61% more Connected TV during major crises, making Connected TV a strong solution for advertisers during this time. Advertisers should take stock of their current inventory and evaluate where their budgets are currently being allocated, to make their advertising dollars stretch further. For example, putting sponsorship or podcast activations on pause and instead focusing on performance-driven, direct response campaigns – which are easily facilitated and measured on Performance TV.
  • Prioritize Deals and Discounts: It’s not new news that the economical ramifications of COVID-19 will have lasting effects beyond the flattening of the curve. Forecasts are looking grim, and consumers are tightening their wallets as a result. We compiled together some of key observations in our E-Commerce Impact Report. Now is definitely the time for advertisers not to be shy, and highlight any deals and promotions.
  • Cast a Wide (Audience) Net: Meet your shoppers where they are. COVID-19 restrictions start to ease in some states, while others stay in lockdown. Whatever the case may be, for advertisers – audience targeting should be a key focus. Not only should it be precise, but easily measured, so advertisers can continue to optimize their campaigns. SteelHouse Performance TV lets you target pretty much every type of audience, on all platforms:
    • In-Market Shoppers: Target viewers who have exhibited online and offline behavior proving they’re in-market for your products.
    • Brick-and-Mortar: Target shoppers who have a history of visiting or shopping at physical retail locations.
    • Deal Seekers: Reach viewers who exhibit bargain hunting behavior.
    • Mall Shoppers: Target users who own a device (like a phone) which has visited a mall within the last 90 days.

Think of it as a two-prong approach:

  1. Advertisers reap the benefits of audience targeting capabilities thanks to our partnership with Oracle Data Cloud
  2. A precise audience targeting strategy gives you a glimpse into who is looking and buying your product, which then allows you to optimize and shift your campaign accordingly as consumer behaviour changes. SteelHouse Performance TV boasts a powerful analytics platform for this very reason, and is compatible with Google Analytics, to help advertisers better understand how their Performance TV ads are performing alongside all of their other digital channels. 

The curve may be flattening, but the domino effect on advertisers will continue to linger on. These strategies can not only be adopted in time of crises but serve as a guide for brands looking to take on a performance marketing approach to their overall strategy.