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Why Connected TV Is the Next Big Ad Opportunity



This post was sponsored by SteelHouse. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Ask any digital marketer, and they’ll tell you there are a couple of channels that they just can’t do without.

The first is paid search, which lets you capture qualified users right when they’re showing intent and interest in your offering.

Can you guess the second one?

If you guessed social, you’re right.

With social ads, marketers can leverage a ton of targeting data to serve ads to users who match their ideal audience, which makes them far more likely to convert.

Both of those channels are essential for any marketer looking to make an impact on their bottom line.

What do they have in common? Well, a number of things.

  • Precise targeting.
  • Good user experience.
  • Great performance.

For most mature marketing organizations, however, these channels eventually reach a tipping point.

There comes a time when any additional budget spent only leads to diminishing returns.

For marketers looking to spend budget and see an enormous impact, they need to look elsewhere – they need to look to Connected TV.

Connected TV is the next great performance channel because it shares the same core strengths as search and social. It comes equipped with:

  • Precise targeting capabilities.
  • A great user experience.
  • Strong performance that can be reliably tracked.

Let’s dive into what makes Connected TV an effective performance channel.

Connected TV Is a Growing Performance Channel

You can’t drive performance if you don’t have an audience to pull from.

Thankfully, people are changing the way they’re watching television – and that’s good news for advertisers.

According to eMarketer, more than 195 million Americans will stream Connected TV programming this year. Those numbers are expected to keep climbing as more viewers make streaming a bigger part of their entertainment mix.

Search, Social & Connected TV: Why Connected TV Is the Next Big Ad Opportunity

When you combine Connected TV’s increased adoption with its advertising capabilities, you get a recipe for performance.

Connected TV is a far departure from traditional TV advertising; there’s no guesswork when it comes to targeting and reporting. It combines the quality user-experience of television (i.e., unwinding on the couch with their favorite shows) with the data-informed approach of digital advertising.

You can target your exact audience using either first or third-party data, then track who saw your ad and the actions they take afterward – whether it be a site visit, a conversion, or any number of vital metrics.

And this all pays off with performance.

Based on a review of SteelHouse Performance TV + Audience Extension campaigns, we saw a significant performance in key metrics over the course of 2018:

  • 1.51% average impression visit rate.
  • 6X average ROAS.

Not only is Connected TV effective at driving users to your site, it’s also great at prompting conversions.

We’ve seen its ability to move vital metrics that lead to a real impact on a brand’s bottom line – and it’s convinced us that Connected TV will grow into the next great performance channel.

Connected TV Is Part a True Cross-Device Experience

Connected TV has proven to be effective at getting users to visit advertiser websites and convincing them to convert – especially if a brand’s message is kept top of mind across multiple channels and devices.

Ad recall is one of Connected TV’s strengths – ads streamed on television generate 32% more ad recall than the next closest device – which means viewers are more likely to notice and engage with related content they see elsewhere.

SteelHouse Audience Extension is designed with this in mind.

Here’s how it works: once a viewer sees your ad on Connected TV, it then automatically serves related ads across display and mobile to that same viewer.

It achieves something that is vital for any advertiser – it delivers a consistent and coherent message that stays with users wherever they spend their digital time.

Keeping viewers engaged with your brand message is key, and Audience Extension helps deliver that one-two punch.

If you’re looking to maximize your impact, be sure to integrate Connected TV into your overall marketing strategy in a way that complements your other ad efforts, and deliver a coherent message that stays with viewers.

Connected TV is the Big 3rd Budget Opportunity

It’s time to start looking at Connected TV as a performance channel, because it is one.

That’s why we created SteelHouse Performance TV.

It’s measurable in Google Analytics (exclusively through SteelHouse at time of publication) so you can measure it right alongside the rest of your performance channels.

And with SteelHouse’s fully customizable reporting suite, you can get insight into metrics like site visits and ROAS as well as network-level reporting that shows you who is seeing your ads on which streaming channel.

This level of insight gives you more vision into who is engaging with your ads and where, and can better help you understand where your audience is watching.

Connected TV combines the experience of television with the precision of digital – and that’s a big deal for advertisers.

Traditional TV has always been seen as a branding play, but those days are over. You can drive reliable performance from television ads.

We’ve seen the results, and we’re excited to see even more as we continue to create exactly what performance TV means for the industry at large.

It’s just a matter of time before advertisers see ads streaming over Connected TV as the third big budget opportunity.

Television has been transformed into a performance channel – into performance TV – and that means a huge opportunity for advertisers everywhere.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by SteelHouse. Used with permission.
In-Post Photos: Image by SteelHouse. Used with permission.

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See the ‘top signals’ informing your Google Ads bidding strategies



Google’s smart bidding strategies use a host of signals to inform bids with each auction. Now, Google is starting to show which signals are driving performance to optimize bids for people more or less likely to convert.

Top signals. The signals shown might include device type, location, day of week, time of day, keywords, remarketing and Customer Match lists and potentially some other signals. You might also see combinations of signals such as time and keyword. Signals in red are less likely to convert in that strategy, while signals in green are more likely to convert.

(Click to enlarge.) Top signals for portfolio bidding strategies now show in Google Ads.

Where to see top signals reporting. The top signals will show in the bid strategy report. Keep in mind, that report is only available for portfolio bid strategies. The bid strategy report is located from Tools > Shared Library > Bid Strategies. Then select a portfolio strategy.

Google said it will show for Target CPA and Maximize conversions on Search, but you may be able to see top signals for other portfolio strategies. The example above is just for eCPC, in fact.

Why we care. Understanding which contextual signals have particular influence on your automated bidding can give you insights into your target customers and potentially inform your strategy. For example, if you see a keyword being “down signaled,” it may just be a poor match for that particular bid strategy, or perhaps there are ad or landing page optimizations you could make to improve its likelihood to convert.

You might also see trends that can inform other marketing efforts such as email send times. The screenshot above, for example, shows weekends are a strong signal. That could be a good time to test email flights rather than on weekdays.

More about pay-per-click advertising

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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Google’s ‘Duplex on the web’ enables the Assistant to buy movie tickets for you



Google is making it possible to use the Assistant (via Duplex) to buy movie tickets online. Back in May at Google I/O, the company announced that it was expanding the AI-powered Duplex beyond restaurant reservations to booking rental cars and buying movie tickets.

Duplex on the web. Called “Duplex on the web,” users will be able to use the Google Assistant for new reservations and purchase categories. Movies is the latest example.

As shown below, Android users in the U.S. or U.K. can ask the Assistant for movie showtimes or search movies in the Google app. The Assistant will then lead searchers through a “buy tickets” process that involves theater selection, movie times and, if available, seat selection. A saved payment card needs to be in Chrome to work in this case.

Expanding to many more categories. It’s not clear that users will prefer this process to manually booking tickets. However, it illustrates how Google is bringing the sophistication of its Duplex technology to the broader mobile internet.

It’s also not clear how much back end integration needs to be done by publishers to enable this; I suspect not that much. Regardless, I’m sure Google has a roadmap that extends to many other categories where online scheduling, reservations and basic transactions are involved.

Rand Fishkin has been speaking, including at SMX East, about how Google has evolved from “everyone’s search engine to everyone’s competitor” and the SEO implications of this. My view is a bit different.

Why we should care. Google has now talked repeatedly about “helping users get things done in search and with the Google Assistant. This is about making search more transactional and owning the transaction. Google is doing this in shopping and across the board in local (e.g., food ordering).

Google is trying to remove friction and compress the process between search and a sale. It’s handing that process off much less and less to third parties and site owners. This helps Google 1) improve the consumer experience, 2) keep users within its system, 3) create a closed loop for analytics and 4) generate fees or revenue from commerce, which has implications for smart speakers.

If these capabilities (i.e., Duplex on the web) take off, publishers and brands will need to be partnered or integrated with Google actions/services or risk losing the transaction to a competitor. It will also mean that Google owns the customer.

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He previously held leadership roles at LSA, The Kelsey Group and TechTV. Follow him Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.

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Google Search Console adds Product results filters to performance report



Google announced it has added new filters to the performance report within Google Search Console to show you how well your product results are doing in search. Google now captures and displays click and impression data when rich results display based on your use of product rich results markup.

The report. Find this data under the Performance report by clicking on “search appearance” and then on “product results.” You’ll see clicks and impressions and can further segment by device, geography and queries.

What it looks like. Here is a screen shot of the report:

What is a product rich result? Below is a screenshot of what a product rich result looks like, but you can learn more about this in this developer document. Product rich results typically show product ratings, price, availability and some description information. Note that product rich results are not new, just the report in Search Console.

An example of a product rich result in Google search results.

Why we care. The more data the better for SEOs and publishers, and this gives us more granular data on the impact of us adding product rich result markup to our pages. Google said this will show you how much traffic comes from experiences with rich data like price and availability and how does shopping traffic change over time, and the shopping search queries your website shows.

About The Author

Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.

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