Advertising 5 Min Read

Post-Holiday Report: Connected TV Proves its Direct Response Potential

Written by Tim Edmundson

The dust has settled on another holiday shopping season, and now it’s time to evaluate and analyze what went right for advertisers. Advertisers turned to the usual ad channels to drive as many shoppers to convert as possible. This year, however, Connected TV (CTV) was added to the list. Or as we’ve come to call it based on its ad performance, Performance TV

SteelHouse has been launching and optimizing campaigns across CTV for years now, and during that time we’ve learned quite a bit about what the fastest-growing ad segment is capable of. While the market tends to see CTV as an extension of traditional television, and treats it as such (AKA a great tool for brand marketing), we’ve discovered that CTV is at its best when it’s being used as a direct response marketing channel. 

Hundreds of advertisers leveraged SteelHouse Performance TV this past holiday shopping season to drive streaming TV viewers to their websites to convert, and we analyzed those campaigns along with much more in our Post-Holiday Report. Here’s a quick snapshot of some key highlights – for the full story, be sure to download the full report. 

Key Takeaway #1: Connected TV Drives ROAS & Visit Rate

When you’re talking about performance marketing, ROAS is a key piece of the conversation. Based on analysis of SteelHouse Performance TV campaigns launched across Connected TV, we found they drove an average 3.27 ROAS for Q4. 

Advertisers were able to serve high-quality video ad creative to engaged viewers, and it resulted in those same viewers converting. We also noted a healthy amount of viewers engage with display ads through Performance TV’s Audience Extension, which serves related ads to the same viewers across display and mobile.

We also found CTV ads were effective at influencing viewers to visit websites. As the holidays progressed, so too did the amount of visits driven to advertiser sites.

Key Takeaway #2: Connected TV Drives Efficient Performance

Advertisers drove strong direct response with their CTV ads this past holiday season – which is great – and they were able to do it efficiently.

Based on our analysis, CTV campaigns drove an average $5.22 Cost Per Visit (CPV) over the length of Q4. This metric was comparable to those seen by YouTube and non-brand paid search CPCs. 

Site visits ramped up as the holidays approached, which in turn led to lower CPV and more efficient ad spending. December CPV saw a 20% drop when compared to October, and a 3% drop versus November; once the holiday shopping frenzy set in the CPV held steady.

And not only does it drive site visits efficiently, it does the same with messaging. Thanks to an average 96% ad completion rate, CTV ads recorded an average Cost per Completed View of $0.04 throughout all of Q4.

Key Takeaway #3: Connected TV Enhances Retargeting, Conversions

Connected TV appears to have an uplifting halo effect. Since CTV ads are served on TV screens, and thus carry the brand-recall impact traditional television ads carry, the ad experience helps keep a brand fresh in shoppers’ minds, and thus leads to better performance across the board. Notable jumps were seen by advertisers on site-wide metrics, as well as increases in display retargeting metrics immediately after launching their campaigns. 

We saw this time and again for multiple brands across multiple verticals. For example, a leader in worldwide travel booking launched their CTV campaign in early November, and saw upticks in both sitewide conversions and retargeting performance. 

Increases in conversions and conversion rates
Average daily site-wide conversions: +11%
Average display retargeting conversion rate: +30%

Connected TV Proves its Direct Response Potential

The 2019 holiday shopping season was a great one for both advertisers and Connected TV advertising. With the metric benchmarks and impact we’ve reviewed above in our key post-holiday takeaways, it’s clear to see that CTV has a place amongst top tried-and-true performance marketing channels. SteelHouse has brought direct response to streaming television, and Performance TV is designed to make the most of that opportunity. 

If what you’ve read intrigues you in any way, we highly recommend downloading the full Post-Holiday Report. It’s full of additional insights, including trends around Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Cyber Week. Equipped with that knowledge, you should be able to better navigate the ad challenges that 2020 will bring – as well as integrate streaming TV into your performance marketing mix.