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Building a Solid Streaming Strategy: A Quick Guide

Published: Nov. 15, 2023

With the growing complexity of digital advertising, crafting an effective streaming strategy is more crucial than ever. A well-defined CTV strategy not only propels your brand into the spotlight but also ensures that every investment, message, and campaign aligns seamlessly with overarching goals. It helps you focus on what’s important. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the core components of building a streaming strategy that not only captures attention but drives meaningful results. From defining goals to outmaneuvering competitors, we'll unravel the secrets to a robust streaming strategy.

Understanding the Essence of Strategy

What is Strategy, and Why Does it Matter?

At its core, a strategy is the blueprint that guides your efforts, aligning every move with your business objectives. Precision is paramount in streaming advertising, so a well-crafted streaming strategy ensures that your campaigns resonate cohesively with your audience, maximizing impact and ROI.

The Building Blocks of a Streaming Strategy

1. Why (Goals): What is the Ultimate Goal of My Streaming Campaign?

At the heart of any streaming strategy lies a clear understanding of your goals. Are you aiming for brand awareness, increased traffic, boosted sales, or perhaps app installations? Defining these goals provides a roadmap for your entire campaign. Your goals act as the guiding star, shaping every decision and tactic in your streaming strategy.

When it comes to measuring success in streaming, key performance indicators (KPIs) such as site visits, revenue generated from users exposed to CTV ads, and return on ad spend (ROAS) become essential benchmarks. For instance, if your primary goal is brand awareness, you might track metrics like unique reach and frequency to ensure your message is resonating with a broad audience. On the other hand, if your focus is on driving sales, KPIs such as conversion rates and attributed revenue can gauge the impact of your streaming efforts on the bottom line.

In essence, the ultimate goal of your streaming campaign sets the tone for the entire journey. It dictates not only the metrics you measure but also the strategies you employ to achieve success. Whether you're in pursuit of broader brand recognition or aiming for tangible business outcomes, clarifying your goals is the first step towards building a streaming strategy that delivers meaningful results.

2. Who (Target Audience): Who Exactly Am I Trying to Reach?

Understanding your strategic audience goes beyond basic demographics. Fully defined buyer personas are crafted based on a deep understanding of your viewers, incorporating industry best practices. Employ a mix of qualitative and quantitative research to gather demographic information such as age, gender, location, and income. However, the essence of best practices lies in delving into psychographics—attitudes, values, interests, and lifestyles. Utilize surveys, interviews, and social media analysis to gather this data effectively.

Creating impactful B2C buyer personas involves crafting detailed narratives for each persona, incorporating their challenges, aspirations, and pain points. This process humanizes your audience, allowing you to connect with them on a deeper level. For a streaming strategy, align your campaign messaging with the interests and preferences of your buyer personas.

These buyer personas should also guide your campaign targeting strategy, identifying the platforms, genres, and specific content that resonate with your audience. This not only maximizes the impact of your streaming efforts but also influences how you measure your reach metrics. An integration of buyer personas, targeting strategy, and industry best practices ensures a cohesive approach, enhancing the precision and impact of your streaming campaigns.

3. What (Message in Creative Strategy): What Value Does My Message Deliver?

The heart of your streaming campaign lies in your creative strategy's message. It's not just about what you say; it's about the value you deliver to your audience. Center your message around addressing the jobs-to-be-done for your viewers—the fundamental problems or tasks they're seeking solutions for. This business-oriented concept ensures that your creative strategy speaks directly to their needs, positioning your brand as the answer they've been looking for.

Craft a compelling message by understanding the brand attributes most appealing to your audience. Identify what makes your product or service unique and desirable, differentiating you from the competition. Your streaming campaign should be more than information; it should tell a story that resonates with your audience's values and aspirations.

Promotions play a crucial role in delivering value. Go beyond standard advertising and create promotions that resonate personally with your audience. Utilize limited-time offers, exclusive deals, or tailored promotions that align with your audience's preferences. These promotions become an integral part of the value your message delivers, creating urgency and excitement. Ensure your core message is memorable, succinct, and aligned with your brand identity, leaving a lasting impression that associates key values with your brand.

4. When (Timing, How Long, How Often): When Should My Campaign Run, and How Frequently?

Timing is a critical element to define in your streaming strategy. Consider your product's nature and determine the most opportune moments to showcase it. Some products benefit from a continuous, always-on campaign, providing a steady presence in consumers' minds. Others find success with seasonal bursts, strategically aligning with periods of heightened interest.

The temporal considerations extend to the duration of your campaign. Decide how long it should run for optimal results—whether a continuous, ever-present approach or a seasonal, intermittent schedule aligns with your goals. Additionally, carefully choose the frequency of your campaign to strike the right balance, ensuring your message remains impactful without overwhelming your audience. The 'when' factor involves a practical balancing act between timing, campaign duration, and frequency goals, ultimately shaping an effective streaming strategy.

5. Where (Media Buying Avenues): Where Can I Find My Strategic Audience on TV?

Determining where your strategic audience can be found in the vast landscape of Connected TV (CTV) is a pivotal aspect of your streaming strategy. Simulmedia, as a trusted partner, can assist in pinpointing the ideal places to connect with your audience on TV. The CTV supply chain is dynamic, so it's essential to comprehend the diverse avenues available for media buying.

Understanding the distinction between publishers and sellers is crucial to navigating the CTV ecosystem well. Publishers create and produce content but also sell ad inventory, while sellers distribute the content through their apps and sell some percentage of the ad inventory within that content (depending on their licensing agreement with the content producer). Marketers must decide whether to engage directly with content producers for a more tailored association or explore different distributors, including Ad-Supported Video on Demand (AVOD) or Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST) apps, Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (vMVPDs), and device manufacturers.

However, navigating multiple points in the supply chain comes with its challenges. Marketers should be mindful of potential over-frequency issues that may arise when working with various sellers, as one seller may not have visibility into where another places your ads. Striking a balance between targeted association and avoiding over-frequencing becomes a crucial consideration in optimizing media buying strategies within the intricate CTV landscape.

6. How (Campaign Strategy): How Can I Optimize Campaign Strategy Across the Funnel?

A successful CTV campaign strategy requires a nuanced understanding of your target audience and product. Upper-funnel campaigns serve as the launchpad, strategically casting a broad net for brand awareness. Addressing key questions about your audience and product lays the foundation for impactful campaigns. This approach involves considering geographic priorities, leveraging geotargeting for precision, and recognizing the intricate landscape of demographic targeting.

In the realm of demographics, a tailored strategy is essential. While a broad approach may suit mass appeal, certain products benefit from a more nuanced demographic targeting approach. Understanding the multifaceted nature of your audience's behavioral characteristics is also crucial. This insight allows for finely-tuned outreach strategies that create a profound connection with diverse consumer segments.

Beyond demographics and behaviors, contextual targeting through content genres becomes vital. With the challenges posed by the demise of third-party cookies, genres act as effective proxies for audience profiles. Aligning your brand with specific content genres that resonate with your target audience ensures contextual relevance. Additionally, identifying viewer behavior and leveraging this insight for lookalike modeling can be a powerful strategy – and Simulmedia can help marketers with that.

In essence, optimizing your campaign strategy involves answering crucial questions, tailoring your approach at each stage of the customer journey, and ensuring a cohesive and effective streaming strategy. From casting a broad net for brand awareness to delving into nuanced demographic and behavioral targeting, a comprehensive strategy is the key to streaming success.

7. How Much (Investment, Cost per Reach Targets): How Much Should I Invest, and What Are My Reach Targets?

Strategic investment planning for the streaming channel requires a comprehensive understanding not only in comparison to linear TV but also concerning other advertising channels. The high-impact nature of TV advertising, which often radiates a halo effect on other channels, emphasizes the need for a thoughtful allocation of resources.

In this context, utilizing planning tools and media mix models becomes instrumental in determining the optimal budget for each channel, including the Connected TV (CTV) channel. Simulmedia, serving as a strategic partner, offers valuable insights into the distribution of the audience between linear TV and ad-supported CTV. This collaborative effort ensures that the investment is tailored to the audience's media consumption patterns, maximizing the impact of the streaming strategy across diverse channels.

To further refine this strategic investment, it's imperative to formulate clear cost-per-reach goals. Understanding the desired reach and impact of your CTV campaign allows for precise calculations that guide the allocation of resources. By establishing these goals, marketers can measure the effectiveness of their streaming strategy and fine-tune their approach for optimal outcomes.

8. Against What (Competitor Analysis): What Are My Competitors Doing, and How Can I Disrupt?

A thorough analysis of competitors' CTV efforts is imperative to formulate a disruptive and impactful CTV strategy. Understanding the reach and success of competitors in the CTV landscape sets the stage for strategic maneuvers that can elevate your brand's share of voice and market presence.

Gauging a competitor's advertising reach within the shared target audience may present challenges, but reaching out to Simulmedia unlocks valuable insights. With a clearer picture of competitors' strategies, the next step involves the implementation of conquesting campaigns. This strategic approach entails targeting the same audience reached by competitors, not only disrupting their established share of voice but also amplifying your visibility among potential customers. The choice between a red ocean strategy, amplifying spend in DMAs where competitors dominate, and a blue ocean strategy, focusing on less-contested territories, provides a tactical framework to strategically position your brand and outmaneuver competitors in the competitive CTV landscape.

Conclusion: Navigating the Streaming Waters with Precision

The streaming world continues to evolve at a hectic pace, and so precision and strategy are the keys to success. Crafting a streaming strategy that aligns with goals, resonates with your audience, and outmaneuvers competitors ensures your brand stays ahead. As you embark on your streaming journey, let these questions provide direction to thinking about your streaming strategy and propel your brand to new heights of visibility and engagement.

Ready to elevate your streaming strategy with hard-to-get viewership and competitive data? Reach out to one of our experts to get started.