Connected TV offers social media marketers a new channel to consider, as big names like Facebook and TikTok now appear in apps on smart TVs. But even as CTV expands the reach of its campaigns, marketing through TV-based social media apps requires a new strategy.
“The difference is how marketers should think about these apps,” said Katelyn Sorensen, CEO of social media marketing platform Loomly. “Whether it’s the TikTok app for fire stick or some other environment, it will show social media content and you don’t know who’s going to watch.”
Differences between CTV Apps and Social Media Mobile Apps
For starters, if a brand is running a mobile-focused social media campaign, those ads might not be as effective when viewed on the big screen. So marketers need to start thinking more about how these ads will look on a larger form factor.
“For now, it’s about keeping in mind that an ad could be on the TV app and making sure the video will look good on an 82-inch screen,” said Austin Shong, marketing manager of Loomly.
“The evolution of social is it’s moving into TV, which makes a lot of sense right now because of social video content, which is becoming more and more important in the TV industry,” said Sorensen.
Marketers should consider the maturity of the social CTV application they are focusing on for advertisers. For example, Facebook Watch made many of the targeting features of the mature Facebook app available. TikTok TV, which launched in November 2021, is newer and less targeted, although its reach is wide considering that its total audience now exceeds 1 billion users across all devices.
“I anticipate that TikTok TV will adapt over time,” Shong said. “Facebook is a mature app, with advanced placements that track exactly where ads are, whether on a computer, phone or elsewhere. With TikTok, this feature will come if they follow industry trends. Right now it’s hard to create different content for TikTok on the phone versus TV.”
According to Rita Steinberg, director of digital media at Toronto-based agency FUSE Create, a mature social platform can also tell you whether ads on CTV are outperforming ads in other environments.
For example, in a recent campaign, Steinberg saw that a client’s YouTube ads on CTV performed better than other social ads in the campaign. In response, she allocated more of the budget to YouTube CTV ads.
Marketers need to identify their campaign goals and choose the right social app based on that. For example, some CTV social media apps are more for entertainment, which plays better on the big screen if the brand is trying to gain exposure.
“The behavior is different when you watch TikTok on the big screen, and the intent is different for consumers there,” Steinberg said. “For Facebook and Instagram, you log in to see what your friends are doing, you log in for a purpose. For TikTok, you tune in to be entertained, and that aligns with what viewers are also doing on YouTube and aligns more with CTV.
Of course, the rise of Reels for Instagram, which offers short videos similar to those on TikTok (they’re often just reposted from TikTok, in fact), means that this platform is also more often available to people. entertainment purposes.
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Create the best content for social CTV ads
Launching a social media campaign, like any other traditional television programming, requires a more traditional approach. “Marketers can try to reuse as much content as possible, but if you’re looking for best practices on CTV, you need to focus on storytelling,” Steinberg said.
“With a 15 or 30 second ad, you really have to rethink the call to action.”
After all, if your ad is on a social CTV app, that means people are gathered to watch the content together. And they expect to be entertained.
“Streaming apps aren’t an individual experience, they’re a cultural phenomenon,” said Lanny Geffen, director of customer experience and chief strategy officer at FUSE Create. “Brands have to think omnichannel these days. They can show an ad on the big screen, while simultaneously viewers are watching something else on their personal screens. I expect to see any screen continue their experience of a manner appropriate to the device.
For now, screen size is the most important factor that dictates best practices for social CTV campaigns. But that could change as social media and the streaming and smart TV landscapes continue to merge.