Hulu: you know it, you love it, you probably binge it (guilty). If you’re like me, you’re on the cheap, ad-supported plan because you graduated college and suddenly had to pay for both Spotify and Hulu. Even though Hulu sells an ads-free service package, 70% of viewers are on the cheaper, ad-supported plan. This means that there are 58 million binge-watchers like myself seeing ads that may or may not be relevant to watch just one more episode of Bob’s Burgers that aren’t being served your content. 

Not only are these people watching ads, but Hulu strives to make the way audiences view ads on their platform as relevant and friendly as possible in order to keep them on the ad-supported plan, or losing them altogether.  So why should you consider adding Hulu into your marketing strategy for 2020? Not only is Hulu an untapped gold mine that not a lot of digital marketers consider, but with the coronavirus quarantines and stay-at-home lockdowns in effect, streaming services usage has increased by 12% since the beginning of March.

How is Hulu Different from Traditional TV Advertising?

If you’re thinking that Hulu is like traditional television advertising, think again! Traditional television advertising is completely content-based advertising, in which you target TV shows and its air time. Although this can be good for brand awareness, you don’t have the opportunity to send your message to the right audience at the right time – you’re hitting everyone with your content. 

Hulu is different due to its audience-based targeting. Since it is a streaming service instead of traditional television, the user has more information on the platform that you are able to use for targeting. Audience targeting options on Hulu include zip code, age, gender, interests, and more. Additionally, you have the option to target your ads further by program genre. This helps ensure that your message hits the right audience at the right time.

Hulu also has its own self-service portal to view reports on performance in real-time. The self-service portal also contains Measurement Solutions such as Attribution, Audience Validation, and Brand Lift Studies. Not only does Hulu provide these tools for you to view how your marketing efforts are performing in the platform, but they also work with a third party authentication and verification service for its users, meaning that fraud is virtually nonexistent and that bots will not waste your marketing dollars “watching” your ad.

Things to Consider Before Advertising 

Be Thoughtful About Your Targeting 

Streaming media is good in the sense that you have so many options for targeting, including right down to the very zip code. You’ve done the research, you know your target audience, and you’ve found the genres they watch, but buddy – you’re not done yet! 

In order to effectively send a message to your audience, you need to look deeper than if they are a binge watcher and what genres they like to watch. If a user has a show in mind when they open Hulu, they may not see your ad.  A majority of Hulu advertisements are found while browsing through the platform. Or, some Hulu advertising types only work through a browser, so are your ads optimized for both browser, TV, and mobile experience? You have to consider these questions when determining the targeting settings and coming up with ad content:

  • What devices are your audiences streaming on? With Hulu, you can watch it on your TV, your phone, a tablet, a computer – will your ad motivate them and speak to them enough for a user to find the remote and click on your ad?
  • When do they stream?
  • Where do they stream?

Vary Your Campaigns 

Like all digital marketing strategies, your campaigns should have some variety to them. You don’t want your audience to get bored of seeing your same message over and over again. You also don’t want to give them the exact same ad content and format each time. Repetitiveness + bored streamer = a recipe for tuning out and using AdBlock! Hulu has a wide variety of ad types to choose from: interactive/choice-based, transactional, situational…the list goes on. Take advantage of the variation that Hulu offers you – you never know what ad format will fit best if you don’t try it!

Budgets and Creative

It’s easy to look at a budget and think of one good, solid ad to create. You want to be the best, and you want your ad to be just perfect! I get that, but hear me out: instead of spending all of your budget on one, figure out how to stretch it into more than one ad. Sure, you can pool all of your money into one really good, super tailored, amazing ad, but if it doesn’t resonate with your target audience, you’ll just be wasting a good looking ad on users who won’t respond. Take your budget, spread it around, test creative to see what people respond to. That way, you’re getting more bang for your buck for your ads and can put the rest of the testing budget toward the best performing ad. Don’t know where to start with video content? Check out this post on using video content to increase conversions and promote your brand.

Case Studies – Courtesy of Hulu!

Wanna see how Hulu has helped different markets with their advertising? Check out these case studies from Hulu for your market and see how Hulu Advertising can help you reach your marketing goals.