SMBs: 5 Questions to Help Jumpstart Your Streaming TV Ad Campaign

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Streaming TV is home to a fast-growing and actively-engaged audience. Today, more and more people are watching TV through a streaming service, and many of these viewers belong to households that are choosing to live without traditional cable TV. They are part of a new generation: Generation Stream. These streamers have contributed to a 57% increase in Streaming TV viewership year-over-year on Hulu alone, and three out of every four of them primarily stream¹  (Find a full breakdown of what makes these viewers tick in our full Advertising Playbook for Streaming TV.)

Advertising on Streaming TV presents an opportunity to put your brand directly in front of these captive viewers and get the word out about your business in a major way. But the biggest challenge is oftentimes only having a few seconds to grab this audience’s attention and keep them engaged.

So, how do you maximize the 30-seconds you have to reach this coveted audience in Streaming TV? The secret lies in asking the right questions upfront.

Here are 5 questions to keep in mind as you start building your Streaming TV advertising campaign.

1. Who is Your Target Audience?

All too often, advertisers have a hard time defining exactly who they are trying to reach with their ads. For example, if you say, “We want to attract people who will buy our products and services,” then you are falling into the trap of casting too wide of a net. Sure, you may get a lot of eyeballs (aka, impressions) on your ad, but will those impressions convert into actual customers? Unfortunately, probably not.

That’s why it’s so important to get a crystal clear idea of who you want to reach before developing any creative or launching any ad campaigns. The more specific you can get around who your target consumers are, the more likely you’ll be able to get your ad in front of the eyeballs that really count. Not only will this help you refine your ad, but it will also influence how you set up your ad campaigns. Keep in mind, that while knowledge is power, getting too granular isn’t always the best strategy. Sometimes this actually narrows your reach too much and, in order to strike that perfect balance, you will want to loosen the reins on the specificity of your targeting.

First start by building audience profiles, using demographic indicators like location, age, gender, purchase interests, and lifestyle to paint a clear picture of your ideal consumer.

By clearly defining your audience, you’ll have the best chance at deploying a successful ad campaign that not only reaches those specific consumers but also resonates with them at a more relevant level.

2. Where does your audience live, work, or play?

Aside from simply identifying where your ideal consumers live, it’s worth connecting the dots between where they work and play too. This will help you develop variations on your ad that speak to consumers in more relevant and timely ways based on their current location, increasing the chances of them taking action on your offer in real-time.

For example, if you’re a health and fitness advertiser and you are looking to reach people interested in working out that go to the gym frequently, you can reach those specific types of people and get your ad in front of them. And who knows – they may even be watching that ad on their mobile device while AT the gym!

3. What is the one message you want to convey to consumers?

You only have a few seconds to grab the attention and pique the interest of the people seeing your ads, so don’t make this experience more complicated than it needs to be. As a general rule of thumb, stick to one clear message and, if possible, make sure it’s communicated at the start of the ad. This is even more important for shorter streaming TV ad spots (i.e. 15 seconds or less) where you have very little time to get your point across and then motivate viewers to act.

4. Why should your audience care?

This is perhaps the most important litmus test of them all. You might think that the message you’ve put forth in your ad is the one that needs to be conveyed, but is it really the message that’s going to resonate most with your audience? Sure, we all have business priorities, but communicating those priorities in a way that doesn’t necessarily speak to the needs, wants, desires or expectations of the people you are trying to turn into actual customers does not make for effective advertising.

You need to ask yourself why your preferred audience should care about what you have to say. And if you find that there’s a disconnect between what you want to say and what your audience wants—or, rather, needs—to hear, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

5. How can consumers take advantage of what you have to offer?

The final step in building an effective streaming TV ad is making sure that your single, clear message is complemented by a single, focused call to action. Once your audience has viewed your ad, what should they do next? Again, you don’t have a lot of time to capture a viewer’s attention, much less to get them to act, so be sure to keep the message focused and make it abundantly clear how consumers can take advantage of whatever it is you have to offer.

Short, sweet, and simple is a great rule of thumb to follow. The more barriers you can eliminate, the more likely you will be to turn prospective customers into paying customers!

Tips to remember before creating your Streaming TV ad?

No matter how big your budget is or how sophisticated your Streaming TV ad might be, if you aren’t clear on your overarching strategy and have a solid understanding of what will motivate your audience to take action, you’ll be hard-pressed to drive results that spark business growth.

Enjoy the development process – get creative with your ad! Just make sure to stay focused and don’t let yourself get blinded by the “fun” or novelty of it. After all, a piece of advertising creative is only as good as the long-term value it drives for any brand or business.

Want more help/resources? Check out Hulu’s Creative Hub—complete with creative guidelines, tech specs, and a creative partner directory—to help you take the first steps toward launching an effective Streaming TV ad campaign for your business.

Learn more about how you can start advertising on Hulu Ad Manager.

Source: Source: Generation Stream – Culture Co-op, April 2020. Conviva State of Streaming, Q4 2019.

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