How To Run and Measure Ads on Connected TVs

As streaming video on the internet becomes increasingly prevalent, more and more viewers are turning away from traditional linear TV and embracing digital channels. With the advent of connected TV (CTV) — like Sony or Samsung Smart TVs — and connected devices — like Roku,  Apple TV,  or Xbox — marketers can now extend their reach beyond traditional desktop or mobile channels. CTVs offer a new opportunity to engage with consumers in their living rooms and deliver personalized and targeted messages directly to their screens.

However, running and measuring ads on CTVs can be challenging without the right tools and strategies in place.  Let’s discuss how marketers can effectively run and measure ads on CTVs — and why having a mobile measurement partner (MMP) like Branch is essential for achieving success.

Understanding OTT and CTV advertising

First, let’s break down a few definitions:

  • Over-the-Top (OTT) video content is easily accessed via the internet, as opposed to through a traditional cable set-top box or satellite TV link. Popular examples of OTT video content includes Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube TV, all of which can be streamed from your mobile phone, tablet, or smart TV.
  • Connected TV (CTV) specifically refers to internet-enabled TVs and television devices with inbuilt capabilities to connect directly with the Internet. Think: Rokus or Chromecasts.

Over-the-top (OTT) advertising involves displaying ads on a television screen through an internet-connected device such as a streaming box or CTV . These can be display ads, video ads, or interactive ads.

Unlike with traditional, linear TV, OTT advertisements are targeted to specific audiences and can be personalized based on viewer data – like viewing history, location, and interests. This targeting capability enables marketers to deliver more relevant and engaging ads to their audience, resulting in higher engagement and conversion rates.

Running OTT ads

To run ads on CTVs, marketers must first select the right platform. There are several platforms to choose from, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TV. Once a platform is selected, marketers can use the platform’s ad management tool to create and upload their ad. Marketers can choose from different ad formats and targeting options to reach their desired audience. It’s essential to ensure that the ad is optimized for the TV screen and is visually appealing to capture the viewer’s attention.

Did you know? 

QR codes are an incredibly useful tool that can easily be added to your OTT campaigns, providing your viewers with an effortless and engaging experience. Whether it’s for shopping, accessing content, or further exploring your website, integrating QR codes into your television ads will captivate your audience and allow them to interact with your brand digitally.

The challenges with measuring OTT ads

Measuring the effectiveness of OTT advertisements can be challenging without the right tools. Marketers need to track metrics like impressions, clicks, and conversions to understand the impact of their traditional digital ads. However, OTT ads do not have built-in tracking capabilities, making it difficult to measure these metrics. This is where an MMP like Branch comes in.

What is an MMP?

An MMP is a third-party measurement partner that provides marketers with the tools and insights to measure their campaigns’ effectiveness across multiple platforms and devices. An MMP integrates with different ad platforms and tracks user behavior across different devices, enabling marketers to measure the impact of their campaigns across various touchpoints.

MMPs provide deep linking for advertisements and allow marketers to measure campaign performance without bias or influence. They also enable marketers to track user behavior. Since CTVs do not have built-in tracking capabilities, an MMP is essential for measuring metrics likes impressions, clicks, and conversions. Without an MMP, marketers may have an inaccurate understanding of how their ads are performing, which can lead to wasted ad spend and missed opportunities.

How Branch enables OTT advertising

Branch is the ideal MMP for cross-device measurement and attribution because it provides marketers with a comprehensive view of their customer journey across different touchpoints. Branch’s platform allows marketers to track user behavior across devices, including CTVs, and attribute conversions to the right channel and campaign. This attribution capability enables marketers to understand which channels and campaigns are driving the most impact so they can optimize ad spend accordingly.

Branch currently has two exciting new Beta features to add to our OTT/CTV offerings:

Cross-device attribution (connected TV to mobile conversion)
Branch has enhanced our OTT offerings by providing marketers with a complete understanding of the user journey — from CTV ad view to mobile app installs and in-app conversions. This enables marketers to trace users from viewing a CTV ad all the way through an in-app conversion. This gives marketers insight into how best to grow audience reach and engagement.

Dedicated OTT analytics within the Branch dashboard
With Branch, marketers can also get all their OTT data in one dashboard view. The OTT dedicated Branch Dashboard allows you to accurately measure, analyze, and optimize CTV campaigns and see how those channels perform compared to other channels.

The dashboard page provides granular measurement and analysis solutions for all kinds of CTV campaigns, including cross-device (CTV to mobile) and same-device (CTV to CTV) campaigns.

Brands with CTV apps can leverage the Branch dedicated OTT dashboard to:

  • Compare performance across all platforms straight from the Branch Dashboard.
  • Measure the user journey from CTV-ad-to-CTV-app attribution.
  • Measure the success of paid media on CTV devices and drive CTV app installs and post-install events. Marketers are able to use these insights to measure and optimize marketing activities.
  • Easily track installs, subscriptions, logins, and in-app events coming from the CTV app to prove ROI.
Benefits of using Branch

Branch enables OTT advertising by integrating with different ad platforms and tracking user behavior across devices. With Branch, marketers can measure metrics like impressions and conversions for their CTV ads and then attribute conversions to the right channel and campaign. Branch’s platform also provides marketers with insights into their audience’s behavior, enabling them to create more targeted and personalized ads for their CTV audience.

Using Branch for OTT advertising offers several benefits, including:

  • Comprehensive view of the customer journey across devices
  • Attribution of conversions to the right channel and campaign to optimize ad spend
  • Audience insights for creating more targeted and personalized ads
  • Ability to track and measure metrics for CTV ads, which would otherwise be difficult to measure without an MMP

OTT advertising offers a new opportunity for marketers to engage with their audience and deliver personalized and targeted messages directly to their living rooms. Having an MMP like Branch is essential for measuring the impact of CTV ads across multiple devices and channels, enabling marketers to optimize their ad spend and create more effective campaigns. By leveraging Branch, marketers can effectively run and measure ads on CTVs and achieve success in this emerging channel.

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