Connected TV

Launch-Worthy Best Practices For a Paid Search Marketer’s First CTV Campaign

Paid search marketers already have the tools they need to find success on the TV screen

Launch-Worthy Best Practices For a Paid Search Marketer’s First CTV Campaign

5 Min Read

Hooman Javidan-Nejad and Eric Hatzenbuhler joined SMX for a two-part series on making the jump from paid search to Connected TV. Javidan-Nejad, MNTN’s Director of Performance Marketing, shared the best practices any paid search marketer can take to the larger screen. From campaign set-up to where to find a test budget, he demonstrated that paid search marketers already have the tools in place to add this new channel.

On day 2, Hatzenbuhler, Senior Digital Marketing Manager, shared insights from his previous experience running paid search campaigns, as well as managing MNTN’s performance channels–both paid search and CTV. He shared what he does to create a strong foundation for his CTV campaigns, as well as some of his tips for success. 

The TV Screen is Now Available for B2B Advertising

In the first session, Javidan-Nejad outlined why Connected TV solves some of the issues that B2B advertisers had with linear TV. He highlighted three big changes:

  1. Precision Targeting: While B2B audiences were notoriously difficult to find on linear TV, Connected TV offers advanced and specific targeting. B2B businesses can get as granular as job title or company size, making TV an efficient marketing tool.
  2. Affordable Video Creative: Gone are the days of relying on expensive creative agencies to get video assets. Now solutions like Quickframe allow B2B businesses to create and iterate.
  3. Measurement: Linear TV offered minimal reporting that was only available after the fact. Connected TV’s digital roots offer real-time reporting and results.

Paid Search Marketers Already Have the Skills They Need for Success 

Javidan-Nejad went on to highlight that as paid search marketers, attendees already have the key skills they need to make the jump into CTV advertising.

  1. Create a Sophisticated Account Structure: Javidan-Nejad highlighted that no paid search account has just one campaign. Instead, it’s a collection of various campaigns that address potential customers over the various stages of their purchasing. The same is true with Connected TV. “When you create a CTV ad account and ad campaigns, you want to make sure you organize those ads and different campaigns to cover the full funnel,” he said. Broad audiences allow for upper-funnel prospecting, while retargeting can reach those lower funnel audiences.
  2. Optimize Your Budget: Next, Javidan-Nejad gave a budget-sourcing strategy for those who feel they can’t fit CTV into a tight ad budget. He suggests looking at underperforming keywords and pulling budget from these campaigns to fund a CTV alternative. 
  3. Use Your Existing Keywords: With an already established keyword strategy for paid search, it’s easy to take those same targets and translate them to the TV screen. “You can use some of those learnings to structure your Connected TV advertising campaigns…learn about who is interested in finding out more about you by looking at the search terms,” Javidan-Nejad said. 
  4. A/B Test to Find What Works: A/B testing is an essential part of a well-rounded paid search strategy. Javidan Nejad highlighted that this also needs to be part of a CTV strategy. Creative and audience testing should be a key skill set brought from paid search. 
  5. Make Relevancy a Key Component: Javidan-Nejad also noted the importance of maintaining relevancy when making the jump to CTV. Just like paid search, all elements need to align, from video creative to landing pages.

Another consideration that Javidan-Nejad highlighted is the brand-safe nature of Connected TV. Just like paid search is a safe solution for B2B advertisers, so is CTV, especially when using a reputable partner who offers non-skippable, premium inventory. 

MNTN’s Own Paid Search Marketer Shares His Top Tips For Success in CTV

In the following session, Hatzenbuhler put the (ad) money where our mouth is and showed real-life examples of how he uses CTV advertising day-to-day in his role as Senior Digital Marketing Manager. As he noted at the outset, not only is he a CTV marketer, but also a paid search marketer–the two go hand-in-hand. CTV is an essential tool to create demand, while paid search captures it. With years of experience in the paid search field, Hatzenbuhler uses these best practices to bridge the gap from the computer screen to the TV screen.

While Javidan-Nejad shared multiple tips, Hatzenbuhler decided to focus on three of them. 

“These are what I think of as the foundational pillars. If you don’t have these three set up appropriately and in the best way for your business and your account, then it’s going to be difficult to scale and drive performance,” he explained.

First, the setup is essential. This can be pulled directly from your paid search structure. Hatzenbuhler outlined how he does this at MNTN:

  • Prospecting: This is split into two key groups: those with an interest in marketing (the broadest audience), as well as by job function. “As a B2B marketing team, we’re really focused on reaching other marketers…the job functionality and the ability to target people based on job function, industry, and role is vital for us.” 
  • Mid-funnel: CRM data is used to run an ABM campaign.
  • Lower-funnel: Hatzenbuhler uses a broad campaign to target any visitors to the website in the past 30 days. However, he highlights that it’s also possible to drill down to specific engaged users, like those who have visited for a length of time or viewed multiple web pages.

Once live, Hatzenbuhler suggests managing ad budgets regularly. He checks his campaigns in the middle of the month and again at the end. As he shifts budgets, he is also mindful of the impact on frequency. “Frequency is really key,” he highlighted. “Especially with the ABM and retargeting audiences…just like brand on the paid search side, those are finite audiences. So the more you invest, the higher your frequency goes.” 

Just like with paid search, Hatzenbuhler also focused on the importance of A/B testing. He reminded viewers to test only one variable at a time, from video creative to the landing page. Plus, even with seemingly instantaneous results, it’s essential to give these tests enough time to run. He suggests being mindful of the lookback window and allowing A/B tests to run at least as long as that window.

Hatzenbuhler shared a real-life example from his own A/B tests. Recently, he tested a 15-second ad against a 30-second one. “The results were a little bit surprising and also a little inconclusive depending on your desired outcome and KPIs.” The 15s ad resulted in a 22% higher visit rate, but an 18% lower conversion rate. These surprising results are a key reason Hatzenbuhler and team continue to test; the outcome can never be assumed.