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Creating a Winning CTV Strategy: Full-Funnel Marketing

If you’re anything like me, you explore and tune into many different streaming services and channels throughout the year. My interest in content shifts from the latest and greatest (for example, I’m super excited for the next season of “Wheel of Time” – extra points since I started reading the series ?) to longtime faves (I always revert back to my comfort show, “Seinfeld”). 

As much as I’d like to think I’m unique…I’m not. This behavior is typical of the average CTV viewer. In fact, Parks Associates recently found the average subscriber churn rate for streaming video services is 47% annually

Given this landscape, successful streamers and publishers constantly focus on two objectives: acquiring new viewers and retaining the ones they’ve already landed. Handling these two goals can be daunting, but full-funnel marketing keeps a steady stream (pun intended!) of viewers engaged with your content. 

Rather than expecting your customer base to immediately commit to interacting with your content, full-funnel marketing centers on the customer experience from first touch to renewal. The expectation is that prospects will naturally progress through the funnel resulting in a subscription, app download, and ongoing content engagement. 

When you think about full-funnel marketing in the context of your winning CTV strategy, each stage requires specific tactics for reaching and ultimately converting potential viewers. Let’s dig further into what full-funnel marketing looks like for CTV, unpack the different stages, and consider how it can serve as a boon for streamers and publishers.

What is full-funnel marketing? 

Full-funnel marketing is an integrated approach to managing and optimizing the entire customer journey — from initial brand awareness to conversion and retention. This marketing approach works across all industries, not just CTV, by the way. It encompasses every stage of the marketing and sales funnel, including brand awareness (ToFu), consideration (MoFu), and conversion and retention (BoFu). 

Consumers typically encounter multiple touchpoints with a brand before deciding to try or purchase the wares. With that in mind, full-funnel marketing aims to provide consistent messaging, personalized experiences, and relevant content to guide prospects through each stage of the consumer journey. 

Now that we have the big picture, let’s look at each stage of the funnel and how it relates to CTV! 

Understanding the three stages of full-funnel marketing 

ToFu marketing

The ToFu phase is the marketing stage that builds brand awareness for your CTV channel, solidifies messaging, and conveys core values. Like the wide top of a real funnel, this stage is the broadest. You’re looking to cast a wide net so that large numbers of potential viewers and subscribers get to know the basics of your FAST channel, for example, your channel name, shows, and values.

The goal of this stage is to meet your target audiences in the spaces where they spend most of their time. Let’s say you’re a publisher with a fantasy FAST channel looking to boost brand awareness with ToFu strategies. Consider placing a CTV ad that features your most engaging content and clearly states your channel name, number, and the streaming app your channel runs on. This kind of CTV ad can jog someone’s memory later as they move down the funnel. 

More key examples of ToFu tactics include (and are by no means limited to): 

Broad brand awareness alone usually doesn’t inspire an immediate action to watch, but it directs potential viewers to the path of getting to know more about your channel(s) or your content.

MoFu marketing

Potential new viewers progress to the MoFu marketing stage when they are aware of your brand and are now seriously considering tuning in, downloading your app, or even subscribing. As the funnel is beginning to taper, the MoFu stage requires its own strategies and tactics aimed at highlighting additional value that educates and nurtures viewer interest to build a relationship and learn more. Think of MoFu as educating your prospect about your channel, rather than pushing a sale (even though a sale is the BoFu end goal).

Let’s say you’re a CTV streamer looking to engage potential viewers and up your MoFu game. You can run retargeting ads for your channel on websites, social media, or CTV. These ads can contain links to more information, your content libraries, or special promotions that encourage potential viewers to complete an action. You’re now moving the prospect to an informed relationship and the next stage of converting them to a viewer. 

Other key examples of MoFu tactics and strategies: 

Again, rather than being pushy, MoFu content informs potential audiences to instill greater trust in your brand. In the MoFu stage, as well as the BoFu stage, tracking and reporting against all your marketing efforts are key. So, tools like programmatic advertising, customer relationship management systems, data analytics through an MMP (mobile measurement partner), and attribution modeling are key for supporting your strategies. These tools will allow you to effectively target, engage, and ultimately convert leads into customers. 

BoFu marketing

This is the stage you’ve been waiting for: the BoFu stage (a.k.a. the stage where conversions happen!). At this stage, potential audiences appreciate the value of your content and channel and simply need a nudge or call to action (CTA) to become actual viewers. 

Down-funnel events mark the step of significant user actions or engagement, like watching your content or subscribing to your channel. It’s when prospects begin generating revenue – whether through subscriptions or advertising dollars.

Examples of conversion include:

If you’re a CTV streamer looking to drive conversions through BoFu tactics, you might want to consider:

Fill every stage of your CTV funnel with Wurl

You might be asking yourself: “I have an effective sales pipeline, so do I really need full-funnel marketing?” A crowded streaming market, rising churn, and often unpredictable, non-linear paths to subscribe, watch, or download make a full-funnel marketing approach more important than ever. Holistic, full-funnel marketing ensures you deepen your brand’s relationship with audiences, no matter where they are in their customer journey. 

Unlike linear TV which was typically seen as a ToFu solution, CTV supports every stage of your marketing funnel. CTV’s measurement capabilities unlock MoFu and BoFu tactics, making CTV a must-have for your media mix. With granular web and app data, CTV allows you to better personalize your marketing so you can engage consumers as they consider your channel and deepen relationships that inspire them to convert and watch

ContentDiscovery helps streamers and publishers build out their full-funnel CTV marketing strategy. Offering sophisticated measurement capabilities with its intuitive dashboard, ContentDiscovery leverages AI to help segment your audience so you know who’s in your funnel. 

Be on the lookout for our final entries in the series: We’ll devote a blog to performance marketing (which, like this blog, will be a deep dive into a hot topic in CTV strategy) and ultimately close out the series with retention campaigns. 

Stay tuned!

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