Five Tips for New Attribution Clients

Help steer strategy, retain more of your current advertising clients, increase ad spend, and continue to add new clients

Up until recently, radio and television broadcasters were thought to be at a disadvantage when it came to analytics, at least as compared to their digital counterparts. Specifically, advertising performance analytics. With the recent advent of AI-enabled attribution solutions, broadcasters can now demonstrate how radio or TV ads, including live-reads, organic mentions, and in-content spots, are driving web traffic – with powerful visualizations, just like in online digital advertising. As a result, broadcasters are better able to take on digital advertising and command a larger piece of an advertiser’s total ad budget. The attribution insights allow broadcasters and their advertisers to make informed decisions around creative strategy and placements and in turn strengthen the broadcaster-advertiser relationship and boost the revenue opportunity for both. 

Since the launch of Veritone Attribute last year we’ve had the opportunity to work with many broadcasters and advertisers who find great value in using attribution data to uncover performance insights within their ad campaigns. Here are some tips we share with new attribution clients:

1. Use insights early and often, not just for recaps.

First things first: for any attribution solution to show performance insights from on-air ads, the product needs to be connected to the advertiser’s web analytics. Once you have connected, you are armed to be a proactive, trusted adviser. As a trusted adviser, its critical to provide timely insight into campaign performance, including ongoing feedback on how the creative is performing perdaypart and placement. This will greatly differentiate your station from others that continue to take a reactive, passive approach to campaign efficacy reporting. 

Maybe in the past you’ve waited until the end of a campaign to look at the attribution analytics, and if those charts and graphs clearly showed that the campaign resulted in an increase in web traffic, then you presented a recap report. But if you wait until the end of a campaign to leverage attribution, then you’re missing a critical opportunity.

Thanks to updated attribution analytics, you can show advertisers results as the campaign progresses so they understand whether or not website traffic increases when an ad airs.

“That’s great if the numbers look good,” you say, “but what if they don’t? Why would I share that data?”

The answer: Because fine-tuning campaign strategy is critical to your success.

Instead of waiting for the campaign to end — when it’s too late for either of you to do anything about it — start looking at the attribution analytics early and often to see whether the ads are driving traffic. If the data shows that things aren’t working, you can use it to start a conversation with your advertiser about ways to improve, whether it’s a change in placement strategy or even creative changes.

The point is, there’s no need to bury unfavorable results. You can use them as an opportunity to be more strategic and build a stronger partnership with your advertiser.

2. Just like with digital advertising, use ad performance insights to manage placement strategy and perform creative A/B testing.

Placement is one of the variables that determines the success of a campaign, and changing which spots run at what time of day and during which programs can help reach the right audience.  It can also require some changes to reveal the impact. Attribution analytics can correlate a rise in website traffic to the airing of a specific ad, which can help you determine which spots are working — or not — during which times. For example, let’s say the attribution data shows that an ad is boosting traffic when it plays at a certain time of day more than at other times.  You can deduce that the intended audience is tuning in at that time or for that program … and therefore determine what other times or programs will attract the same audience. Or let’s say your campaign has two or three different spots, and you see that spot A is driving more traffic than spot B. You might use attribution insights to deduce what qualities about spot A are working better.

3. Gauge campaign lift versus spot performance.

This point is closely related to Point 2. You may or may not see a perceptible rise in website traffic for a particular spot that aired at a particular time of day. But maybe over the course of, say, an entire four-week campaign, you’ll see an overall lift in website traffic during that four-week period versus the previous four weeks. This data is just as powerful to present as it shows the value of advertising with your stations.

4. Be strategic with campaign creatives to drive website traffic.

We’ve worked closely with our broadcast clients and have found that to represent well (that is, to succeed in driving website traffic), ads must:

  • Be designed for a sizable audience (as opposed to a niche audience)
  • Mention the website in a clear call to action (e.g., “Visit advertiser.com today to take advantage of this promotion!”)
  • Convey a compelling offer with a sense of urgency (e.g., a sale this month only)

Sometimes spots or campaigns miss the mark. Attribution analytics can help you identify an ineffective campaign or creative early and bring it to the advertiser’s attention. The campaign may still have a lot of value because it can reinforce the advertiser’s brand and message, but it may not show a direct rise in website traffic. Even if you can’t directly change the creative, you can keep the advertiser informed so they can adjust it before the campaign runs its course.

5. Assure that advertiser data security and integrity is paramount.

Well-founded attribution solutions require limited read-only access to two data points: the number of unique visitors and overall traffic to a website during the time span of a campaign. The data remains in the advertiser’s hands at all times, with no loss of control or security. Because the data is read-only, the attribution provider cannot change any of it, and the transfer is encrypted. My colleague wrote a great article expanding on this point and playout log data here

Having those website analytics allows you to map on-air promotions to web traffic and show the same detailed insights — such as web traffic from ads, total ad visits, and which campaign is driving the most web traffic — for TV and radio as you can get for online advertising.

With that in mind, don’t be shy about requesting access, it’s an action many brands do with their ad agencies. And, be sure to follow up if you haven’t seen advertisers connect within a day or two – it’s likely they simply didn’t see the email or haven’t had time to respond, but if they truly are worried about security, you can confidently allay their fears with the information above. A best practice is to send them a supporting email or give them a call with more information (we have some additional resources here) on what attribution is and how it will help your relationship and their advertising outcomes. 

Attribution is a new weapon in your arsenal that is straightforward to use and has a huge payoff in terms of advertiser success and relationships — and when your advertisers are successful, you’re successful. While you can show results akin to those in online advertising and compete more directly with online advertising for a share of the advertising budget, you have an advantage to support your advertisers proactively unlike your digital counterparts. So make a point to promote attribution and underscore the need for data from the advertisers. You’ll be glad you did … and so will they!

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