The number of CTV users among Millennials (only in the US) has already reached almost 57 million, and by 2025, this rate is expected to exceed 62.5 million.
This statistical fact proves the growing importance of connected TV in advertising. However, to understand and increase the efficiency of ad campaigns, you need to apply CTV attribution tactics.
This article is here to guide you through the CTV attribution process, as well as to explain the most efficient strategies to follow in order to reach stable advertising income.
CTV refers not only to smart TVs but also to gaming consoles and other Internet-connected devices used to deliver television content. To ensure the effective performance of ad campaigns, you need to understand where users come from; this is exactly what CTV attribution is aimed at.
CTV attribution involves measuring the impact of every specific campaign on consumer behavior and tracking where users come from. Unlike traditional TV, connected devices allow precise data collection and measurement. Therefore, thanks to attribution, you can make data-driven decisions, learn from your mistakes, prioritize the most effective channels, and, as a result, generate more income.
At the same time, you should remember that most CTV ads are not clickable. For instance, a user may see an ad on their smart TV and then use a smartphone to find the product, so measuring the effect of CTV ad campaigns can be challenging.
To perform attribution of CTV effectively, you need to match the devices used for viewing the ad and devices leveraged for shopping (or taking any other desired action).
Some of the most essential metrics for connected TV advertising attribution are as follows.
VTR is the percentage of users who watched an ad to the end. Most often, it is tracked for skippable ads since the unskippable ones will most likely have a 100% VTR (unless users just stop watching the video). Measuring VTR can help create more effective ads, as you will know how many people found them engaging.
Watch time measures the amount of time users spend watching the ads over a specific period of time. This metric allows you to understand how long ads are keeping users engaged, which ads users watch the longest, etc.
This metric specifies the number of users who took the desired action after watching an ad. Measuring the conversion rate is the way to assess the overall effectiveness of advertising efforts. Remember that for attribution of connected TV, it is essential to match CTV devices with those used for converting.
ROAS is the amount of revenue you earn for every dollar spent on CTV advertising. Basically, it measures the effectiveness of an ad in comparison to its cost. By monitoring ROAS, you can identify the most successful ads and improve your future campaigns.
There are several CTV advertising attribution models to choose from, so let’s review each in detail.
This model gives all the credit to the first interaction with the brand. For instance, a user sees a paid ad on a social network, then a CTV ad is delivered based on their social media activity. After that, they see an ad on Google, explore your website, and finally, take the desired action and make a purchase.
Despite multiple touchpoints, the first-touch attribution model implies that a user decides to convert after the first interaction. In our example, this is a social media ad.
Unlike the first-touch attribution model, this one focuses on the last touchpoint. Let’s use the example of “social media ad — CTV ad — Google ad” one more time. According to the last-touch attribution model, Google ad is exactly what convinces a user to convert.
Multi-touch attribution is a more advanced approach since it takes into account multiple touchpoints involved in the customer journey. It can be divided into the following submodels:
Note that to get more precise control, you can create a custom attribution model combining the features of several approaches.
As it is clear from the model name, the view-through attribution approach simply assigns the increase in traffic and conversion rate to CTV ads for a specific period of time after the campaign is launched. It focuses on users who watched the ad but did not click it.
Note that there is one more popular option — a click-through model. However, since most CTV ads are not clickable, it does not work well with CTV advertising.
For accurate and effective CTV attribution, consider implementing the following strategies.
When a CTV campaign is launched, it is essential to identify and store the IPs of households where the ads have been viewed. The next step is identifying other devices connected to the same IP within every household.
When one of these devices is used to take the desired action, you should compare the data to identify matching IPs. This way, you can find out in which households CTV ads led to conversion and discover how effective the ads are.
To understand the real impact of CTV campaigns, optimize their performance, and ensure proper budget allocation, implement incrementality testing, which implies comparing exposed and unexposed audiences.
Basically, it works like A/B testing. For instance, you can deliver a branded ad to the exposed audience, while the unexposed one will watch an unrelated advertisement. You can also show ads to the audience in a specific region, while viewers in a different location will not see these ads.
Launching CTV advertising campaigns can bring great results when performed correctly. However, the visibility into brand safety is often rather limited, while the data landscape is fragmented due to the variety of CTV devices.
In terms of CTV attribution, it can be challenging for you to make sure that your ads are shown in a safe environment, as well as to compare the efficiency of different campaigns.
To deal with these challenges and protect your brand reputation, leverage first-party data and invest in your brand safety. For instance, you can use a programmatic platform with numerous filtering options to make sure that your ads are displayed on safe sources.
CTV devices are getting more and more popular, however, a lot of users still prefer linear TV. Therefore, you should not consider CTV as your only channel. Instead, perceive it as a complement to traditional TV — this approach is the way to extend reach and target unexposed audiences.
To ensure effective attribution, leverage ACR (automatic content recognition). It can help you identify households that were exposed to your ads across both connected and linear TV.
CTV refers to multiple devices, not only to connected TVs. Besides, you are most likely to use an entire set of channels for advertising (for instance, social media).
In terms of attribution, you need to avoid excessiveness and measure campaigns across various channels separately. Otherwise, you may assign some of your CTV advertising achievements to other channels, so the results will be misleading.
If you are in search of a white label programmatic ad exchange platform to generate stable advertising income and provide your supply and demand partners with high-quality CTV traffic (and not only), consider using SmartHub.
By choosing it, you get a marketplace fully compliant with the latest regulations (GDPR, CCPA, etc.) and equipped with multiple filtering and targeting options. There is no need to code — all the essential integrations, like traffic scanners, are already in place, so you can get your ad exchange solution within just 7 days.
For instance, ExplorAds achieved a 487% ROI growth within 4 months, and with SmartHub, you can reach the same heights.
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