CTV Retargeting 2.0 with Vibe.co

7 min read·Dec 07, 2023

Did you know that 97% of visitors who leave never return to a website? Digital retargeting first grew out of that terrifying insight; when it first became available to digital marketers through display, retargeting felt like nothing short of a magic trick, allowing brands to push leads further down the sales funnel with custom messaging all across the internet. 

Today, that same sense of wonder is taking hold of streaming TV advertisers who can now deliver their ads to audiences segmented by their level of online interaction with their brand, right into people’s living rooms on big screen TVs, mobile devices, and tablets. 

Retargeting on TV is so powerful, in fact, that Vibe advertisers have, on average, increased their campaign ROAS over 3X when adding retargeting to their strategy mix. Today, as Vibe introduces even more retargeting options to our platform, those numbers will only keep growing, so let’s dive into the best ways to deploy retargeting for your next CTV campaigns. 

What is CTV Retargeting? 

How Retargeting Works

While most marketers are probably already familiar with web retargeting, which relies heavily on tenuous 3rd party cookie signals, Connected Television ads can be delivered directly to audiences who have either visited, clicked, or purchased from your website in an entirely cookie free environment. The solution? Household IP tracking, which remains disconcertingly effective in the midst of massive signal loss on Apple devices and increasingly stringent privacy regulations sweeping state after state. 

The backbone of retargeting on television is the tracking pixel, a simple piece of code placed on your website header to match IP information across devices (desktop, mobile, TV, tablet). The pixel captures each web visitor’s unique interaction with the site and sends that information to your CTV ad platform so they can leverage that data in your retargeting campaign and, for example, deploy different ad creatives for casual viewers, vs. individuals who have clicked through several of your site’s ages, vs past customers. Just as importantly, advertisers can also leverage that data to exclude those audiences from their campaigns focused on awareness and incremental reach and save their dollars to target the right profiles for each one of their ad sets. 

But the benefits of retargeting on television don’t end with the targeting part; retargeting also provides advertisers with crucial insights in real-time so they can track campaign performance and refine their strategies as they are running, crafting a trackable, integrated, cross-device journey for their audience. This detailed data on viewer interactions, preferences and behavior can then serve as a guide to identify areas of improvement and predict future customer behavior

Why Retargeting Matters

Retargeting campaigns, especially when running in tandem with broader awareness plays, are radically transforming TV’s performance potential, pushing CPMs down and Return on Ad Spend up. In fact, the results of some Vibe client campaigns were so massive we initially thought they had to be a joke: 409% ROAS? 860% ROAS? No way! But these results start making sense when one considers how much less expensive re-engaging costumes really is. 

According to Shopify, repeat customers are responsible for 40% of the average store’s annual revenue, and those numbers climb to 54% after they make a second or third purchase. They also buy 90% more frequently and spend 60% more per transaction. Can you really afford to treat them the same way you would someone who’s never heard of you before?

With the right CTV partner, brands can now re-engage shoppers on a channel still woefully underutilized by most digital advertisers - Connected Television - which accounts for nearly 8 billion hours of premium content consumption per month, across devices. 

CTV Retargeting Best Practices 

At Vibe, we’ve seen first hand how important it is to reach target audiences when they’re at their most engaged: watching premium content and unskippable ads on the device of their choice. That’s why we offer retargeting functionalities across our 600+ premium channel inventory, delivered agnostically on mobile, tablet, and/or connected television for true cross-device retargeting. 

A CTV retargeting strategy is anchored in the understanding that prospective customers are not a monolith and the massive reach of digital channels is not enough to significantly increase conversion rates. In order to truly maximize the impact of every CTV dollar, advertisers should leverage the full power of their custom retargeting audiences and develop thoughtful strategies they are ready to optimize over time. 

While a good retargeting strategy is one that is uniquely suited to your brand’s needs, there are some tried and true best practices to follow for optimal results:

1. Segment retargeting audiences 

Easily develop separate strategies for web visits, clicks, and purchases with Vibe’s custom retargeting module and meet your audience exactly where they are.

Include or exclude different segments of your retargeting pool, not only to better customize your creative and CTAs, but also to collect more significant conversion data on the backend to inform not only your ongoing campaign, but marketing decisions on a broader scale as well. We’ve found that clients taking full advantage of this feature have been able to reduce their CPAs by upwards of 50%. 

2. Continue to build brand loyalty

CTV Retargeting works by gathering web traffic data and leveraging that data for household IP targeting on TV. The data utilized over the course of, say, a month-long retargeting campaign is constantly being refreshed to account for new traffic over the course of that month so visitors to your website who only heard of your brand for the first time a week after your campaign launched are still getting retargeted. This example demonstrates how symbiotic brand and performance campaigns really are. 

Our platform data has consistently shown better results for brands who run awareness and retargeting campaigns concurrently, cementing brand loyalty.

3. Focus on high-quality, premium inventory

Retargeting is one of the most powerful forms of audience engagement out there, especially in TV, but if the last few years have taught us anything, it’s the importance of brand-safe environments that won’t accidentally place your ad next to irrelevant, low quality, or downright offensive content. Make sure to work with a CTV platform with a premium channel and app inventory. Vibe.co, for example, has strong relationships with ESPN+, Disney+, Max, Peacock, and more, that can be leveraged in device-agnostic retargeting campaigns for maximum performance. 

4. Regularly refresh your creative

While your audience’s overall journey does need to remain coherent, seasonal creative refreshes as well as small segment-specific tweaks around CTA working, background graphics, or even - we know this sounds crazy - regional accent customization can really make all the difference in preventing ad fatigue and maintaining brand engagement. 

5. Analyze and optimize

Because Connected TV advertising happens digitally, you can monitor campaign results in real-time with a continuous stream of updated reports, segmented by targeting dimension, day, spend, and more. Make sure to regularly review these results, even before your campaign ends to make adjustments on the fly but also to gather insights for your next campaign. 

6. Gather data ahead of time

We recommend waiting to launch a CTV retargeting campaign until your website has a minimum of 15K monthly web visitors to make the investment worthwhile and to place your CTV ad platform’s retargeting pixel at least one week before campaign launch to ensure maximum deliverability. 

7. Deploy your campaign programmatically

If your team has months to spare to develop personal relationships with every premium channel you want to advertise on and a budget in the millions, maybe programmatic isn’t for you, but if you need consistent, agile, affordable access to premium TV inventory, work with a programmatic CTV platform that will deploy your campaign in minutes at some of the lowest rates in years. 

8. Keep other targeting dimensions wide

The point of your retargeting campaign - especially now that retargeting audiences can be segmented even further - is to re-engage high-value audiences based on their interactions with your brand, not their socio-demographic characteristics. In order to optimize both deliverability and conversion insight, minimize other variables in your campaign targeting strategy. 

9. Develop performance-focused creative assets

Retargeting campaigns are a performance tool par excellence, which should be reflected in the video assets you use for them. Make sure to maintain your brand information on-screen at all times, include strong CTAs both visually and aurally, and keep messaging to the point.

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