As more people cut cable and satellite, the need for connected TV advertising becomes essential to a brand’s overall media strategy. While traditional TV campaigns are still relevant to increasing your reach, connected TV ads allow for real-time optimizations and more targeting opportunities. 

Before we jump into best practices, let’s take a step back and define connected TV advertising.

What is Connected TV Advertising?

Connected TV, commonly referred to as CTV, is a device connected to the internet that streams video content. These devices include smart TVs, smartphones, desktops, or tablets that can stream video content. A CTV can be connected internally through built-in apps or externally through over-the-top (OTT) devices, such as an AppleTV or gaming console. 

CTV ads work similarly to traditional TV ads with :15 and :30 video ad length options. These video ads would appear before and during the video content the user is watching. These ads are similar to a pre-roll or mid-roll YouTube advertisement, but most CTV ads don’t allow the user to click-through, making them act more like a traditional TV advertisement.  Because of this, CTV campaigns fall into the brand awareness and upper-funnel prospecting campaigns. 

How to Get the Most Out of Your Connected TV Campaigns

Before launching a connected TV campaign, it’s crucial to pair it with other digital tactics to lead the user through the conversion funnel. These tactics work together to target the right audience at the right time throughout their purchase journey. However, without the right programmatic platform, you could be wasting your budget on low-converting inventory. Below is a breakout of what to consider to get the most out of your connected TV campaigns. 


In the game of football, every player has a specific job to do. Not every player scores a touchdown, but all players contribute to winning the game. The same goes for digital media campaigns. While paid search and remarketing may drive more conversions, those lower-funnel tactics won’t succeed without upper-funnel tactics such as connected TV. 

Connected TV campaigns provide a visual ad that captures the viewer’s attention for :15 to :30 seconds. Since the viewer can’t click on the ad from their device, it’s vital to serve different ad types that complement your CTV campaign, to drive them to your site to convert. When creating your media strategy, consider including other upper-funnel tactics such as video ads, display banners, native ads, social ads, and audio ads. Furthermore, including lower-funnel tactics such as remarketing ads, email nurture campaigns, and paid search campaigns will lead to more conversions than using one tactic alone. 


No campaign will be successful without targeting the right audience. Using various targeting segments will allow you to get the most out of your campaigns and optimize towards the best performing segment:

  • Include all available ad exchanges to allow for the most potential reach.
  • Create deals through a private marketplace to reach specific content or providers.
  • Import 1st party data into the buying platform to upsell your current customers or create a lookalike audience to reach users similar to your customer base.
  • Layer on 3rd party segments and custom segments to align your ad with the right audience.  


Once you create your media strategy and determine your target audience, it’s time to select the platform to execute your campaigns. Connected TV, along with other programmatic tactics, is bought through a demand-side platform (DSP). A DSP is an advertising platform advertisers use to purchase programmatic media in real-time. Choosing the right DSP for your business is a crucial step to your campaign success. 

There are a variety of factors involved when selecting the right platform, including: inventory, technology, brand safety, functionality, reporting and analytics, platform cost, and platform partnership. If you’re a business that utilizes an agency for your programmatic campaigns, chances are, they’ve done all the hard work for you. Evaluating these platforms takes time and commitment for campaign success. 

Best Practices for Optimizing Connected TV Campaigns

Once you have your strategy, targeting, and platform for execution in place, you’re ready to launch your connected TV campaigns. It’s crucial to measure performance metrics correctly, use a variety of ad sizes, and set a frequency cap to ensure your campaign is successful.


There are multiple ways to measure Connected TV performance. For your campaign, you will want to monitor impressions, cost per completed view (CPCV), video completion rate (VCR), video quartile completions, view-through conversions, and reach. Your campaigns should work towards a video completion rate of at least 75%. This metric will help you determine how well the video ads and ad exchanges perform and make the necessary optimizations to improve performance. 

Ad Sizes 

Include a variety of different ad sizes to maximize your campaign reach, lower the cost per completed view, and improve the video completion rate. Creating videos that range from 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds will allow your campaigns to bid on the majority of inventory available based on your targeting tactics. Additionally, including multiple different messages for each video size enables optimizations based on the best-performing ads. 


When targeting multiple Connected TV devices, be sure to set a frequency cap per person rather than the device. This cap will limit ad fatigue the user may experience and allow your campaigns to reach new users to drive better results. Your DSP should provide a report you can use to monitor your reach and frequency by user and device. This report will provide the necessary data to make optimizations based on device and campaign performance.

In Summary:

In conclusion, your connected TV campaigns should pair with other paid media campaigns to drive conversions, take advantage of each targeting tactic available to maximize inventory, and select the right DSP for your business. The campaigns should target at least a 75% video completion rate, utilize a variety of ads and ad sizes, and set a frequency cap to avoid ad fatigue. Using these best practices will set your campaigns up for success.