Television is still the go-to medium for reaching large numbers of people in a short amount of time. However, smart marketers also use the plentiful online and mobile options to increase the reach of their TV campaigns even further. Which is where programmatic video comes in. Programmatic video is video advertising, bought through software, like a demand side platform. Unlike traditional, manual purchasing, programmatic impressions are bought automatically. So instead of buying video ads in bulk, each impression is selected individually.

In the past few years, the Dutch television landscape changed drastically due to the rise of online video. Or, as the Dutch institute for promotion and optimisation of television commercials phrased it in their year report 2015 (Dutch): new online video platforms are creating a new reality, in which TV content remains an important factor. The new possibilities lead to a different use of the TV screen and contribute to the growth of total screen time (via TV, smartphone, tablet or PC).

More and more brands and marketers are using the new possibilities of online video to generate additional reach for their TV campaigns, and parties like Google and Facebook are also placing their bets on online video. Quite literally, because a fast growing number of video impressions is purchased programmatically. Just like on the display market. On top of that, more and more publishers are joining the online auction.

Important advantages

The new possibilities of online video give advertisers a couple of important advantages. First of all, these extra channels will generate a larger reach, on top of their TV campaigns. Meticulous research by the international video advertising platform Videology shows the significant impact of cross-screen TV planning by several large brands in sectors like Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthy & Beauty, Cars and Technology.

On top of increased reach, online advertising can target specific audiences more accurately. It’s often cheaper as well, and online video ads can reach people who aren’t watching television. So, how can marketers benefit from programmatic online video to optimise their TV campaigns? A few pointers:

1. Decide where you want to show your ads (and where you don’t) with a black- and whitelist####

Brand managers are used to buying in on specific channels because panel research shows that this is where their target audience is. There are also shows they’d rather avoid. Like insurance companies who prefer not to advertise before or after the news, because of an unwanted connection to negative news items. Which is also why many brand managers fear they might lose control by choosing to use programmatic video at an online auction.

Quite the opposite is true. Thanks to black- and whitelisting, you have a much greater control of the environment of an impression, reducing the risk of unwanted surprises. ‘Online auction’ doesn’t equal ‘low quality’ either. Many premium publishers offer their inventory on online auctions. In the Netherlands, major publishers like RTL XL, KIJK and Telegraaf offer a lot of advertising space through the online auction.

2. Discover the possibilities of targeting by time and location####

TV is very price sensitive when it comes to time targeting. Primetime is a lot more expensive than advertising during the day. This isn’t the case with online video: an impression at 13.00 can cost as much as an impression at 21.00. Marketers can select prime time impressions, without paying extra. A pizza delivery company might want to advertise between 17.00 and 23.00. For promoting a new film, advertising from Wednesday to Saturday might be your best bet.

By creatively managing the time your campaign is live, you can greatly increase its efficiency. This also counts for the possibility to target videos based on location. A retailer who only has stores in certain areas can limit its ads to those specific places. The options for this are very accurate. Take Facebook for instance, where you can advertise within a specific radius.

3. Use the data to optimise your campaign####

TV’s options for optimisation are limited. Online video gives you a greater insight in the reaction of consumers to your brand message, both in terms of clicks as viewer behaviour. For instance: at which point to people stop watching? Which video is performing best? And how effective is adding a call to action? These data are extremely valuable because they give marketers the possibility to learn and continuously optimise according.

Based on these data, you can optimise KPI’s (like VTR, CTR, CPA or viewability). In addition to this, you can use the interaction data to learn more about your target audience. You can use this info to build audiences on Facebook to make your follow-up communication more effective.

For instance by simply targeting, but also by sending traffic to your own online environment, to further communicate with leads. Each customer contact becomes a possibility to learn more and make your next video more effective. An opportunity no marketer should miss out on!

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