6 CTV & OTT Marketing Strategies You Must Know Now

Stephanie Taylor

Driven by the increasing viewership shift from traditional cable TV to streaming platforms, Connected TV (CTV) advertising is projected to reach $30.1 billion in 2024. This shift from linear to digital gives advertisers a more targeted and interactive way to reach their chosen demographic.

As CTV evolves, marketers must adapt and refine their strategies to realize its full potential.

Explore 6 key tactics that can help maximize your CTV and Over-the-Top (OTT) strategy, ensuring you reach your desired audience and engage them in innovative ways that work.

📺 Want to learn more about Connected TV (CTV) and Over-The-Top (OTT)? Read our guide here.

The Top 6 CTV & OTT Marketing Strategies for Success

The early days of Connected TV (CTV) advertising focused on matching the ad’s context with the right show or channel. Brands would place their ads on specific programs or networks that their target customers would likely watch.

Example: A brand wanting to attract sports fans would place ads on channels like ESPN and FoxSports. 

As more and more CTV inventory options became available, it became easier for brands to find and advertise on shows and channels that suited their desired audience. Nowadays, CTV is an established media tactic, and data-driven audience targeting has successfully expanded existing and potential customer reach.

Below are 6 tactics we recommend for a winning CTV and OTT strategy.

1. Retarget Your Site Visitors Across CTV Inventory

One of the most effective Connected TV (CTV) advertising strategies involves targeting TV advertisements to individuals who have previously visited a brand’s website. This method connects web visitors with TV ads relevant to their interests, creating a more personalized and engaging advertising experience. Doing this holds significant value.

Example: A small athletic wear company tracks visitors to its website. They notice many customers browsing running shoes. They target those same website visitors with specific running shoe ads on Connected TV platforms.

Marketers using this strategy should consider the scale limitations based on available First-Party data. If there isn’t enough First-Party data, you may not have enough audience data to execute this strategy.

How We Apply This at KORTX

KORTX offers audience inventory sources not available on the open market. KORTX’s Axon Audience Manager also enhances this strategy by offering advanced audience management tools. 

With Axon, marketers can identify and target their website visitors and gain deeper insights into their behaviors and preferences. Axon’s capabilities, like detailed user profiling, allow for better targeting on CTV platforms, making it an invaluable tool for brands. 

This offers a significant competitive advantage, especially for brands aiming to optimize their CTV strategies with precise targeting, regardless of their budget size.

2. A Solution for the “Unreachables”

Cord-cutters grow yearly and will only continue as viewers switch to CTV. At a growth rate of 22.4% YoY, CTV is one of the fastest-growing ad formats.

For marketers, this means that an increasing number of consumers are no longer reachable through linear TV spots, and a brand’s media mix must be adjusted accordingly.

Luckily, increased Connected TV adoption and content streaming more than makes up for the drop in linear TV consumption.

How We Apply This at KORTX

Our data providers can distinguish between users who cut the cord from cable providers and those who never had cable providers. This often indicates a generational divide, a distinct aspect to consider when targeting your most relevant audience.

Combining cord-cutter audience targeting with other viewership segments, such as “Light TV Viewers” and “Heavy Content Streamers,” offers a comprehensive audience strategy for brands wanting to minimize linear TV budget waste and extend reach. 

This is also important against the sought-after younger demographic, who tend to be cord-cutters and content streamers.

📚 Related article: Does Netflix offer CTV advertising? Find out in Branding & Chill: Netflix Advertising Guide.

3. Rethink Measurement & Performance Priorities

CTV is often measured through high video completion rate (VCR) performance, and marketers have come to expect VCR percentages of 95%+ for CTV campaigns.

After studying numerous CTV campaigns and their VCR (video completion rate) performance, our experts have found that focusing less on or adjusting vanity metrics like VCR opens up major opportunities to reach users across various OTT devices and channels. 

Example: Adjusting VCR goals to a range of 85%-90% increased scale against target audiences and allowed KORTX to access inventory across OTT platforms and devices that would have otherwise been unattainable.

Marketers should consider a minimal drop in VCR as a smart trade-off for boosting incremental reach and engaging a target audience regardless of the OTT/CTV device or inventory source.

How We Apply This at KORTX

Measuring site lift and broad site conversions based on cross-device matching is a better way to measure CTV and OTT campaign success. This is especially true if the campaign has a goal beyond simple awareness.

KORTX can track your site visitors based on visits from devices connected to the same Wi-Fi as the CTV/OTT device. 

Since many homes have multiple smart TVs, mobile devices, and computers, our KORTX Device Graph can connect and attribute devices to a single user using data like browser activity and GPS pings. With this, advertisers can deliver consistent ads relevant to each user across all devices.

📚 Related article: The Art of Cross-Device Targeting: Read about how KORTX’s Device Graph can help you connect to every device in a household.

4. Target Out of-Season TV Viewers

Seasonality is typically a main driver of linear TV strategy. Professional sports, children’s school schedules, holidays, social engagements (like ‘wedding season’), and life generally have seasons. 

How We Apply This at KORTX

Thanks to Third-Party data and using TV viewership data to target CTV audiences, we can reach viewers anytime, not just during specific seasons or shows.

Example: You can target NFL fans not only when they’re watching football on Sundays but also when they watch other shows. This strategy, powered by ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) data, means you’re not limited to just advertising during NFL games.

This approach also works for other TV genres, networks, and shows that match your brand’s target audience. Once you identify viewers with Third-Party data, you can use a wide range of CTV options to reach them more broadly.

How do you perceive targeted advertising from both the consumer and marketer’s viewpoints?

“Being a cord-cutter myself, I’m able to see both sides of this–the back-end of targeting since I work in ad operations, and also, how I’ve been targeted.

I’m a Xennial (that special, niche generation between Gen X and Millennials). While my generation definitely needed to subscribe to cable packages in the 2000s and 2010s, we have easily switched to streaming-only in the past few years. However, we still want our traditional cable channels, so I make sure I have all of my local news, regional sports, and traditional cable networks somewhere in my streaming mix.

For me, that means Hulu + Live TV, and several other premium subscriptions. I can see myself targeted with Third-Party data on my ad-supported platforms. I can watch a football game or a typically male-targeted TV show and still receive an ad for Maybelline Mascara, Revlon Anti-Aging Moisturizer, or many other age-and-gender-appropriate commercials.

That’s the beauty (pun completely intended) of 3P data. You’re targeting the person, not the content that they’re watching. All viewing habits aren’t the same, and when the viewer surprises you with the type of content they’re watching, you can still reach them with relevant ad content.”

Image Description

Ad Operations Specialist, KORTX 

5. Reconsider the Fallacy of “High-Profile” Channels & Inventory

Clinging to “premium” inventory isn’t an effective strategy. When considering your advertising channels, you must analyze where your target audience actually spends their time, which may not always be on the high-profile, traditionally labeled “premium” platforms.

Options like free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) offer content to viewers for free, supported by ads. Unlike linear TV, you can access FAST channels from connected TVs, mobile devices, and more.

How We Apply This at KORTX

Diversifying your advertising reach to include a variety of channels, from niche networks to less conventional streaming services, can often lead to discovering untapped audiences. This enhances your reach but also offers a more cost-effective use of your advertising budget.

Also, what may be considered non-premium or less popular content could resonate more strongly with your target demographic, leading to higher engagement rates on FAST platforms like Tubi. The real ‘premium’ experience in advertising comes from connecting with and engaging your audience, regardless of the platform’s traditional prestige.

How do you think the traditional focus on premium inventory in advertising impacts the effectiveness and reach of CTV campaigns?

“Premium inventory is often prohibitively expensive and offers limited scope. More importantly, it may not be where the majority of your audience is actually engaging. It’s time to move away from prioritizing only high-profile publishers.

This approach is more inclusive and increases the likelihood of ad success, as it aligns directly with where the audience is. It’s not about emulating the strategies of giants like Google but understanding and catering to your unique audience. Moreover, this method is more cost-effective. You’re not shelling out steep costs like a $60 CPM for Hulu; simultaneously, you’re broadening your reach.

Limiting ourselves to a small selection of premium inventory means we’re potentially overlooking areas where our potential customers might be.”

Image Description

Director of Strategy, KORTX 

6. Add Interactivity to Your Ads

Interactive CTV ads encourage additional engagement among viewers. Interactive CTV allows viewers to engage with the ad through QR codes, clickable elements, or other interactive capabilities within the connected TV inventory.

Interactive CTV boasts the highest engagement rates among all types of ads, as 36% of respondents say they interact with these ads the most.

How We Apply This at KORTX

At KORTX, we offer several ad placement options to engage viewers including:

  • Picture-in-Picture: Advertise during live sports and other events
  • Border: Add branded frames to live streaming.
  • Shoppable: Allow viewers to shop via QR codes.
  • Overlay: Customizable content displayed over video assets.
  • Carousel: Showcase your best products or services.
  • >> Learn more about Interactive CTV Ads.

These interactive elements offer a direct link to your product or service.

📚 Related article: Interactive CTV Ads are the Secret to Higher Engagement and Longer Viewing Rates: Read more about hooking your viewers with interactive CTV ads.

Win With Your CTT/OTT Marketing Strategy

Data-driven CTV campaigns offer endless ways to create strategies targeting viewers on their home’s biggest and most engaging screen. By combining the strengths of traditional TV and digital video, CTV becomes a powerful tool for brands to increase awareness and reach more people.

Let’s Build Your Custom CTV & OTT Strategy Today

We’ll help craft your custom CTV strategy using comprehensive First-Party and Third-Party audience data.

About the Author

Stephanie Taylor is a digital marketing enthusiast who loves tearing it up on the karaoke stage and watching her beloved Michigan Wolverine football team play their away games on her ad-supported CTV platform!


Stephanie Taylor

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