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Targeting Live Sports With CTV Is an Inroad to Reaching Local Audiences

Local broadcasts through Linear TV have long been a key element for reaching regional audiences. And staying connected to local sports has been a driver for people to maintain their cable subscriptions. Now through the rapid expansion of streaming services, 44% of sports watchers are consuming their favorite sports outside of Linear TV, according to The Trade Desk’s Future of TV Report.

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With NFL and NBA seasons approaching, and MLB playoffs right around the corner, and streaming services continuing to ink deals with sports leagues, there’s a ripe opportunity to reach sports fans through CTV. Now is a better time than ever before to reach local audiences through the powerful storytelling medium of TV mixed with the precision audience targeting, more accurate reporting, and meaningful analytics of digital advertising.

Dynamic local targeting for the future in live sports

Buying Connected TV (CTV) inventory programmatically offers bidding in real-time, through automated auctions and bundled deals. Advertisers are able to purchase impressions via private marketplace (PMP) deals targeting live sports across all major leagues including NFL, NCAA, MLB, NBA, and NHL within seconds. Ads can be dynamically served across multiple devices in an efficient, simple, and brand-safe manner.

CTV has become critical for a full-funnel solution to maximize reach and build brand affinity among key audiences. CTV advertising is exponentially growing and has the ability to reach local audiences while targeting your most ideal shoppers.

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One reason local advertisers may hesitate to switch to CTV is the misconception that CTV can’t target specific geographic-based markets, a key capability needed to deliver localized marketing. Local advertisers have previously been forced into spending marketing budgets on lower quality advertising content across digital spaces, including inventory with questionable brand safety, to ensure local targeting. However, CTV does allow advertisers to get geographically specific targeted ads to either DMAs or zip codes for markets watching premium TV content. And as viewing behavior continues to evolve, local businesses have the opportunity to adopt CTV early and reach their audience where they are watching.

Buying in for the long-term

One of CTV’s biggest appeals to advertisers who have previously bought linear television spots is the ability to measure success in a way that is not possible with traditional TV. Once you are able to identify what your audience responds to most, CTV is flexible enough to focus your advertising dollars with more precision. CTV ads have become a mainstay for marketers aiming to diversify their media strategy. Television has been one of the most powerful and influential channels for advertising in history. The visuals and sounds shown on the biggest screen in the household draws people in, engages them, and continues to entertain them as your ad plays.

It’s also important to note that CTV will remain unaffected as the deprecation of third-party cookies continues throughout 2022. Having experience with cookieless targeting will be a big boon to your marketing results as other channels begin to respond to the death of third-party cookies. Savvy advertisers need to take this opportunity and create a comprehensive CTV strategy that utilizes data to provide better targeting, accuracy, and, ultimately, a better ROI. As well, you are able to utilize CTV ads for your retargeting strategy; a CTV strategy can include retargeting people who have already viewed and completed your ad in addition to people who visited your website recently. This channel-specific strategy will help create more audience touchpoints, which will lead to higher conversions. And with the news of Amazon taking over an exclusive Thursday Night Football package next year, the transition towards streaming live sports will continue to guarantee expansive audiences.

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Traditionally, advertisers have been limited in their ability to connect marketing success from digital to traditional TV buys. But by combining the two opportunities and focusing on your marketing funnel across all stages, you’ll be able to target and move local viewers along the path to purchase.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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