Connected TV (CTV) is taking the world by storm.

We’ve seen an annual increase of nearly 100 million CTV sets per year over the past five years globally, and the market is growing rapidly in the UK.

Advertising on the channel is expected to grow to £220m by 2020, surpassing countries like France (£215m), Germany (£112m), and Spain (£94m).

This boom creates an exciting opportunity for brands to engage with an increasingly connected generation led by the ‘cord cutters’ – a new generation swapping cables for internet sources of TV.

After all, gone are the days where TV was limited to a big box in the corner of your living room. TV is something that we can take with us wherever we go, and access on practically any platform of our choosing.

‘Spray and pray’ linear ad breaks are going out of fashion, in favour of smart, user-specific content. And the results speak for themselves – at The Trade Desk we have found that bringing CTV into the advertising mix boosts audience reach by 41%.

Seizing on this opportunity, advertisers are increasingly dabbling with CTV. Here are a few tricks to help make it a success.

Think digital

Look past the name and incorporate CTV into a holistic digital strategy, addressing it in the same way as display, video or online mobile.

It’s a common mistake for advertisers to treat CTV in isolation to other digital channels. But by approaching CTV independently, brands risk sabotaging carefully executed digital strategies by pushing past frequency caps and sharing the wrong messages at the wrong time.

Why put all the effort into creating a flawless cross-platform digital strategy, only to wind up your users – and miss out on valuable data – with a completely separate TV ad campaign?

Observe and improve

Use CTV as an insight engine as well as a channel for advertising.

Advertisers can learn a huge amount about their target audience from their TV habits – from what they’re watching to when and where they’re tuning in. This makes CTV an invaluable tool for informing how advertisers can target consumers on other channels too.

Rather than focusing on one-off interactions, use these insights to build a relationship with consumers by approaching them at a time and a place – and with content – that suits them.

Measure for success

In the absence of a universal measurement tool, combine all the information that’s available to you to track the success of your CTV campaign.

Operating across so many different platforms and devices, CTV inventory is often very fragmented. This in itself is no bad thing – it offers us almost endless choice and provides almost ready-made subsets of highly-engaged consumers who have actively sought out the content that they’re watching. It does, however, make the age old question of measurement trickier to address.

BARB’s Project Dovetail is set to address the fragmentation challenge head-on when it launches later in 2018 (providing a joint-industry, audited measure of total reach across all devices).

In the meantime, with every device having a different way of identifying itself, buyers should work with broadcasters to make the most of the information at your disposal to ensure your targeting is as accurate and successful as possible. Logins, device IDs, IP addresses, device graphs, behaviour and location data – the more varied, the better.

The UK is ripe for the taking

With a high concentration of Smart TVs and a penchant for consuming US content, the UK is the largest and most advanced market in Europe when it comes to CTV. It’s growing fast – and with many big brands already shifting away from linear and splashing the cash on this trendy new channel, it is more important than ever to get stuck in and find a place for CTV in your advertising strategy.

The time for testing is over – and the earlier you invest in CTV, the sooner you can start reaping the dividends.