Use CTV to Drive Awareness, Engagement and Conversions for Your Organization
Connected TV (CTV) is a growing form of advertising for nonprofits that encompasses a variety of long-form video content (typically 15- and 30- second spots) played when you watch content through streaming providers, like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Paramount+ on your TV, computer or phone.
Adults watch CTV for an average of an hour and 51 minutes per day, making it the fastest-growing major ad format in the U.S., according to eMarketer. CTV spending increased by 21% this year and will account for 10% of total U.S. advertising spending in 2023.
Let’s dive into the marketing funnel to learn how to drive donor awareness, engagement and conversions using CTV.
Donor Awareness and Cultivation for CTV
CTV can help your organization build and strengthen relationships with key audiences. This starts through sophisticated audience targeting. Unlike traditional TV, which targets based on a generalization of who is watching, the ads that play via CTV might feel more directly targeted at you. CTV allows advertisers to target ads based on a variety of factors, such as household income (HHI), age, interests, viewing habits and the exact geographic location of individual viewers.
For example, your nonprofit can use CTV to reach potential new donors at scale. Nonprofits focused on the environment can target viewers who have recently watched content about the earth who are in key age and income groups, and living in select cities. You can also reach the people who need to know about your programs and offerings — a charter school could reach parents of incoming kindergarteners who live in the zip codes the school serves.
Donor Engagement for CTV
CTV ads can help your organization to drive engagement from key audiences immediately or at a later time. Some CTV formats allow you to wrap your video in an interactive “skin” that shares a link to your website and/or a QR code viewers can scan.
Some CTV buying partners can set up sequential targeting tactics that allow your nonprofit to serve another type of advertising, like a display banner, on the user’s mobile phone or desktop after they have seen your CTV ad. In all cases, having a CTV campaign will create a halo effect for your other types of communications. Serving CTV ads to your target audience will amplify the impact of your paid social ads, display and native campaigns, ad buys on news sites, emails and other communications.
For example, the people your organization’s CTV ads reach might be more likely to open your organization’s emails after seeing your video content. Additionally, these audiences may have scrolled past your paid social ads dozens of times without clicking on them — but after seeing your CTV ad, your paid social ad catches their eye and compels them to click to your site.
You likely won’t see many low-funnel conversions attributed directly to CTV, but that doesn’t mean it’s not helping to lift performance. Though results vary by organization and goal, one nonprofit recently saw a 13-times lift in conversions from users who viewed both CTV and lower-funnel ad formats. After viewing a CTV ad, your audience will be more prepared to interact with other communications they see from your organization. And they’ll also be more likely to proactively seek you out.
CTV can increase search interest. For example, a few days after viewing your organization’s CTV ad and opening your email, a millennial passionate about the environment may hear about wildfires in their state. Wanting to take action, they search for your organization’s name on Google because they remembered the important work you’re doing. Once landing on your website, they decide to set up a monthly donation.
CTV can also generate organic traffic. When the parent of an incoming kindergartener remembers that their school district’s application deadline is coming up, they may then think about the inspiring parent testimonial they heard in your nonprofit’s CTV ad and go to your website. Within minutes, they can submit an application for their child.
How to Launch a CTV Campaign
Many demand-side platforms (DSPs) allow advertisers to buy CTV ads in real-time auctions whenever a viewer in their target audience comes across a CTV ad slot. The best way to access this type of ad buying is through experienced media-buying vendors.
Here are some questions to ask a media buying partner:
- Are they able to reach your target audience?
- What inventory sources do they have access to?
- Do they have quality control measures in place to ensure your ads show up in appropriate environments?
- Do they offer nonprofit discounts?
- Do they have budget minimums?
- Do they offer engaging options, like QR code overlays on CTV ads, or lower-funnel strategies, like sequential targeting of display banners?
CTV can have a higher price tag than many other media formats, so it’s important to spend your budget as efficiently as possible.
Here are some things you can do to keep your costs low and increase ROI:
- Focus on a target audience that has been tested and proven successful in other environments.
- Consider launching in top-performing regions rather than a nationwide campaign.
- Include a strong call to action in your content
- Ask vendors for nonprofit discounts.
- Consider buying on a cost-per-completed-view (CPCV) basis instead of a cost-per-thousand-impressions basis to ensure you’re only spending your budget on people who watch your ad in full.
- Make sure your search presence — search engine marketing and search engine optimization) is strong.
CTV allows your nonprofit to get your most compelling messages in front of the right audiences, build a connection, and eventually increase engagement and conversions that support your mission. Video can create a memorable and personable bond that is difficult to generate through other types of communication. This means CTV can be one of the most powerful tools for your nonprofit.
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Megan Landau is a media director at Media Cause, a nonprofit marketing and fundraising agency. She worked in the for-profit world prior to joining Media Cause, managing media budgets and campaigns for clients, including Ford, InnovAge, Denver International Airport, and Hack Reactor.
Megan loves being able to bring her media experience to the nonprofit world through her work at Media Cause. She thrives when she’s able to use her creative, big-picture-oriented ENFP brain alongside nitty gritty performance data.