National and household brands aren’t the only advertisers that can capitalize on the engagement of connected TV (CTV) advertising. Local small and midsize businesses (SMBs) can also make a big impact by investing in this ad tactic. It’s a great opportunity to target specific viewers, which they can’t do with traditional TV commercials. Thus, local media sellers are in an excellent position to capture these dollars associated with SMBs and CTV advertising.

Why Is CTV Advertising Growing as a Local Digital Tactic?

Several factors are impacting CTV advertising growth in the local ecosystem. First, consumers spend more time watching streaming than linear TV. These platforms are the most popular destination for TV viewing, according to Nielsen. Additionally, 83% of U.S. households have at least one subscription, and the average number of services is four.

Second, almost all streaming platforms have ad-supported tiers. The only exception is Apple TV+, but there are rumors that this is coming. As people seek savings, they are choosing subscriptions with ads. The number of these exceeded 100 million last year.

Third, the rise of free ad-supported television (FAST) channels has also contributed to people watching more CTV. People like that these channels are free and don’t mind the ads.

Finally, there’s a somewhat different sentiment around CTV ads. Viewers can’t skip them, and they are often more relevant due to targeting options. As a result, people may pay more attention and take action.

The CTV Outlook in 2024

According to BIA Advisory Services, CTV and OTT are the fastest-growing local digital tactics. Much of this growth relates to political spending. However, it’s not the only industry investing in CTV. Local SMBs also want to target cord-cutters and track and measure ad performance beyond traditional TV.

Local businesses that buy ads from radio companies also purchased CTV from them in 2023, according to the RAB-Borrell 12th annual benchmarking report on radio digital sales. It was a top pick for their buying plans in 2024 as well.

SMBs and CTV advertising make a nice pair. If you want to capture these dollars, you’ll need the right strategy and technology.

SMBs and CTV Advertising: Crafting a Strategy

You likely don’t have to explain CTV to SMBs. As consumers, they are aware of these services and how ads run. What they may be unaware of is the trafficking or execution of a CTV ad. You can explain this with simple and clear language.

How CTV Ads Work: A Simple Overview

To run a CTV ad, you use a supply-side platform (SSP) that connects publishers (streaming content inventory) to a programmatic marketplace. These publishers set brand safety guidelines, categories and pricing. It’s similar to a DSP, except the publishers take the lead.

One key thing to point out to them in this process is that not all SSPs provide premium inventory. It all depends on your third-party digital platform and its SSP partner. Potential advertisers will definitely ask questions about this!

Selling CTV Ads to SMBs

Once you have the mechanics out of the way, you’ll want to make these points about why CTV is an excellent digital tactic for them:

  • It’s on the big screen: The difference between CTV and over-the-top (OTT) is that people stream on smart TVs or through a connected device like a Fire TV Stick. Advertisers like this and can see how it’s similar to but better than traditional TV.
  • Watchers can’t skip the ads: Ad-supported streaming services don’t allow someone to fast-forward through ads.
  • They offer advanced targeting: Options include behaviors and interests, ZIP codes, states and designated market areas (DMAs).
  • CTV ads can be shoppable: With a QR code, viewers can scan and reach a landing page to convert. They already have their phone in their hand, so it’s a quick reaction if they like what they see.
  • Content creation can be easy: Advertisers can repurpose other videos or produce new ones using cost-effective video platforms. They can even use AI to develop the creative.
  • CTV ads work for many goals: A CTV ad can help advertisers reach many goals, including website traffic, brand awareness, promotions, recruitment, events and more.

Making these points and showing how CTV complements other digital tactics enables you to put together an omnichannel campaign. It means more revenue for you and better performance for SMBs.

Do You Have the Right Technology to Confidently Sell CTV Ads?

There’s no doubt you can successfully sell CTV ads to SMBs. The barrier may be your technology. Some streaming services have self-service options, which are difficult to configure and aren’t feasible at scale. Other options include working with an agency to traffic the spots, and they take a nice chunk of your margin.

The alternative is using a third-party digital platform, but as noted above, they don’t always have all the features you need. The quality of the inventory in their SSP may also be suspect. Here’s what you want in a CTV advertising platform:

  • The ability to propose, order, bill and track all digital components of the campaign in one spot
  • A solution that uses a compliant, premium-only SSP
  • Capabilities for CTV blends, which allow you to designate what percentage of ads will run on CTV versus OTT (You can choose 100% CTV.)
  • A system that’s scalable and doesn’t require extra ad operations work from you as a seller
  • Detailed campaign reporting that’s easy to understand

Where can you find a third-party digital partner that delivers all this and more? Marketron NXT is the answer to capturing more CTV ad revenue from SMBs.

It’s the only third-party digital platform designed for radio stations. It’s easy, effective and reliable. Learn how it works and why it’s the best option for local media sales teams!

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