Advertising in the Entertainment Vertical Amidst Coronavirus

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“What are you watching these days?” If you had a nickel for the amount of times this question has come up on a Zoom call, how many nickels would you have? Probably enough to sign up for every streaming service, live-stream entertainment, and virtual event ever, imaginably.

But, in actuality, entertainment is something that’s on the minds of consumers everywhere. As people spend more time inside, they’re seeking entertainment in more forms than ever before—be it things to watch, things to virtually do, or digital content to consume.

And for marketers in this industry, that means increased demand, and don’t just take our word for it. We’ll take a look here at some of the numbers behind the rise in interest for entertainment, and creative ways that you can effectively meet it.

We’ll talk through the ways in which to adapt your creatives, how to approach audience targeting, which bidding strategies to use, and we’ll run through some examples of entertainment brands who’ve gotten it right so far.

So, tune in—the show starts below.

The entertainment vertical is having a moment

Obviously, as stated above, people spending more time indoors = people looking for entertainment. But let’s dig a little deeper than that.

A look into Taboola’s network shows that since January, readership about TV shows and events has increased exponentially.

People are in a constant state of looking for the next thing to do, watch, or consume, and they’re turning to the web to find it. An increase in readership on publisher sites is a strong indication of interest.

Consumers may very well be on the lookout for more content to consume on publisher sites, but even if they’re just perusing the latest talk around the West World release, attention has shifted to virtual entertainment, a category that advertisers should not miss out on.

An increase in ad spend indicates that your competitors have taken notice. Jump on the bandwagon alongside them so as to not miss the moment. 

Wondering if all that spend has the demand to justify it? It does. Entertainment has been a consistently high-demand industry, and that demand is only rising from here.

So, with all of this spend and all of this demand happening out on the open web, how do you ensure that you’re a part of it? How can you make sure that your ad dollars are being allocated correctly as to not swing and miss?

The answer lies in advertising on publisher sites. In too many ways to count, people are limited in resources today. If you want to get their attention, it has to be worth their while, and it should take place in environments they are already opting to spend time on.

People are spending time on trusted publisher sites, and advertising in those same environments allows you to be a welcome addition to readers looking to explore, discover, and find an answer to the aforementioned question everyone is hearing on Zoom.

First things first: Adapting creatives

Launching a timely and effective entertainment campaign today calls for a thoughtful look at creative strategy, but it doesn’t mean you have to start all over from square one.

When creating an ad on a publisher site, you’re able to capture a reader’s attention through an image and a headline that link out to a landing destination of your choosing. We see the greatest success with long-form content.

For awareness goals, video performs well too, but for the purpose of this post, we’ll focus on sponsored content.

Easily adapt the ads you’re seeing success with on social by testing out your highest performing headlines on Taboola. Or, if you’re new to advertising on publisher sites, take a search ad you worked on, add an image that follows Taboola’s best practices (more on that next), and transform it into a timely native ad.

For images, focus on people and limit distractions

The Taboola Trends site allows you to drill down by industry to find out which image elements are driving high click-through rates across Taboola’s network.

For the entertainment vertical, the highest driver of CTRs is having a person as the subject, with a 46% impact. Subsequently, opting for a photo over an illustration, and leaving text and animals out of images increase clicks too.

Use keywords such as ‘confirms’ and ‘closer’

A look at some of the high-performing keywords, as well as the ones with high competition, can help inform the wording you choose when writing headlines for your ads.

There’s also an opportunity to use keywords that don’t have a ton of spend behind them already, but hold potential to yield high CTRs. Keywords such as ‘differently’ or ‘resurfaces’ can help set you apart.

Putting two and two together

Understanding image and keyword trends is just half of the ad creation process–the other half comes in combining the two.

To get you inspired, we put together a few example ads that combine these trends at various stages of the funnel.

Adapting targeting strategies to meet an audience at home

Although some sectors of the entertainment industry are accustomed to advertising to an audience at home, today’s circumstances still bring about a reassessment of targeting techniques.

With the absence of commutes, the introduction of unconventional work hours, and the heavy use of devices for both personal and professional needs, it’s more important now than ever to meet entertainment consumers where they are and when they’re there.

Launch ads at 6am and 7am local time

Maybe it’s the quiet before the work, school, and Zoom-from-home storm, or maybe it’s the “what should we watch tonight” planning, but the early morning hours are proving to be an area with high entertainment consumer demand.

There’s an opportunity here to put ad spend behind these hours and see if it can have a positive impact on click-through rates.

Reach audiences on Tuesday and Thursday

Although ad spend tends to be the highest on the weekends, demand sees a spike on Tuesday and Thursday. Allocating spend to these days can help increase your click-through rates.

Try targeting tablet devices

With desktop devices being used in work mode, and mobile devices being used in personal life mode, it’s no surprise that tablets are emerging as a high opportunity device.

Mobile and desktop both have a high supply of ad spend behind them, but with demand spiking for tablet devices, they may be a good device to show up on if you’re looking to increase clicks.

We’re seeing success with video landing pages

As far as post-click experiences go in the entertainment vertical, there’s no shortage of photo gallery landing pages. Why not differentiate yourself and go where there’s demand by opting for a video instead?

Let audience segments help you get granular

Taboola’s data marketplace includes data from leading providers as well as data of our own. Try testing some of these segments in your next campaign:

  • Lifestyle > Entertainment > Reality and Talk Television
  • Interest > Entertainment > Online Games
  • Interest > Entertainment > Comedy Movie Goers
  • Interest > Entertainment > Art and Design > Museums and Galleries

Putting some data behind the ways in which you target entertainment consumers can help you connect with them more successfully and drive higher CTRs, especially during this time.

Better bidding

To get more bang for your buck out of your bidding, there are a few ways you can tweak your strategy. The best bidding strategies start wide with the highest bid you’re comfortable with, and then optimize from there.

In general, a few of the best practices we recommend are:

  • Considering modifying bids on individual sites before blocking publishers when CPAs are high
  • Increasing bids by 25%-50% for top-performing sites to increase their competitiveness
  • Considering always-on campaigns if budget and offer parameters allow
  • …and, of course, using Smart Bid, which will get into next

Smart Bid is one of our smartest advertiser features, taking the guesswork out of bidding and maximizing campaign performance by automatically adjusting the baseline bid of every impression based on the likelihood to drive conversions or page views.

Smart Bid can help you derive more value out of Taboola, especially in a time where you may be giving more thought to value and budget than ever before.

Some examples to get you inspired

All across Taboola’s network we’ve seen entertainment advertisers put some of these best practices to good use. These are a few of the popular stories we’ve seen in the entertainment category over the past seven days:

Entertain them the right way

Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the creative strategies, targeting tactics, and bidding approaches that are working across the entertainment vertical, and some of the highest performing examples on Taboola’s network, it’s time to put these learnings into practice.

A world at home means that people are in content-consumption mode, and they’re looking for the next thing to do, watch, or consume that will keep them entertained. The demand, although it may look different than it usually does, is there, and entertainment marketers have a chance here to meet it.

The key is to be creative, be adaptable, and keep tabs on the latest data impacting entertainment marketing. Taboola can help you with all three, and keep you connected with an audience that’s just waiting to be entertained.

The next time somebody is asked “what are you watching these days?” on a Zoom call, maybe you’ll be their answer.

Create Your Campaign Today!