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Maximising reach: Cable TV advertising strategies

The precise targeting capabilities of over-the-top (OTT) methods (i.e., connected TV advertising) have tremendously and irreversibly changed the game. But there are still significant use cases for cable TV ads.

If your #1 priority is demand generation and you need a guaranteed audience for your message, cable TV is one of the best ways to do it. The same goes for advertisers who are promoting a product or service with broad appeal, such as consumer goods or healthcare services. And if you’re a local business, tapping into local channels helps you reach people in your immediate vicinity.

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Like any strategy, though, cable TV advertising requires careful planning and execution. Here are some tips for maximising reach through cable TV ads.

6 Tips for maximising reach through cable TV ads

1. Know your target audience

Before launching a cable TV advertising campaign, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your target audience. Since you’ll have to buy ad space in specific time slots and channels, the only way to maximise your chances of hitting the right viewers is if you know (a) what they’re watching, (b) when they’re watching it, and (c) the size of the audience for that particular show or time slot.

As an example, if your product/service caters to middle-aged and older adults, running ads during primetime on news channels or lifestyle networks will probably yield better results. For younger adults, channels like MTV and Comedy Central will likely be a better fit.

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2. Use data to inform your strategy

Although you don’t have access to the precise metrics an ad platform like Hulu can offer, you do have tonnes of data at your disposal. For instance, networks themselves can provide you with their audience demographics and viewership numbers (which are often broken down by time slot).

But beyond that, cable TV providers also offer data on viewer habits and preferences. This includes information like which shows have higher engagement rates and what types of ads perform best during certain slots.

Leveraging this data will allow you to make more informed decisions about when and where to place your ads, increasing the reach and effectiveness of your campaign.

3. Use programmatic linear TV ad buying

Programmatic buying is a method of purchasing ad space through automated systems instead of manually negotiating with networks. This allows for more precise audience targeting and efficient use of your budget.

Programmatic buying is not just limited to OTT platforms like Hulu. It’s also available for linear TV platforms (which include cable TV) and can be a highly effective strategy for reaching your target audience while staying within budget.

With programmatic linear TV ad buying, you have access to advanced targeting options such as geolocation and household income, which can help fine-tune your campaign. With the ability to segment viewers at the media or user level, you can optimise your ad placement for maximum reach and engagement.

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4. Use interactive and engaging storytelling

Creating ads that engage viewers through interactive elements or compelling narratives can enhance brand recall and engagement‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč. Cable TV offers a unique opportunity to grab viewers’ attention since they are actively watching the content instead of simply scrolling through.

Some ways to make your cable TV ads more interactive include incorporating quizzes, polls, or surveys into the commercials. You can also create multiple versions of the same ad and have viewers choose which ending they want to see.

This type of interaction not only increases engagement but also provides valuable data for future campaigns.

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5. Incorporate scannable content into your CTAs

Of course, you want to incorporate strong calls to action in your commercials to prompt immediate viewer response, driving them to your website or engaging with your brand in other ways‚Äč‚Äč. Since they’re viewing the content on a television screen, the best way to do this is to make it easy for them to take the next steps. There’s no easier way to do that than a QR code.

If the goal of your ad is to navigate to a web page, store, or app download screen, including a scannable QR code redirects your users on the spot. You’ll boost your conversions significantly by making the journey smoother.

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6. Utilise cross-platform integration

Integrating TV ads with online content and social media campaigns can create a more cohesive advertising experience, making consumer engagement more consistent across multiple touchpoints‚Äč. This also provides opportunities for viewers to easily access additional information or interact with your brand on different channels.

For example, you can incorporate hashtags into your commercials that viewers can use to join in on conversations about the product or service. You can also include social media handles and website links in your ads for easy navigation.

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Final thoughts

Although streaming services have undoubtedly challenged cable TV’s dominance in advertising, it remains a powerful tool for reaching specific audiences and generating demand. Utilising the strategies mentioned above can help you maximise the effectiveness of your cable TV ad campaigns and stay ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of television advertising.

So, don’t count out cable TV just yet ‚ÄĒ it still has a crucial role to play in your marketing efforts. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be on your way to tapping into the potential of cable TV advertising for your business.


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