Best Practices for Non-Profit TV Advertisers
19 March 2019 • tvsquared
Marlessa Stivala,
Content Marketing Manager

In my last post, I discussed why TV advertising, particularly its unparalleled trustworthiness, reach and ability to ignite emotion, is crucial for non-profits looking to engage donors that span generations. But to get the best results from a campaign, understanding the merits of TV is only half the battle.

Optimize TV for Donor Viewing Habits

An important next step is to identify the desired audiences (varied though the demographics may be) and, moreover, their viewing habits – when, how long and how often they watch TV, and their preferred networks, programs and genres.

Some of this information can be obtained via good old-fashioned research, but the best way to guarantee that ads get in front of the people most likely to respond is to continuously measure and optimize campaign performance. This is an ongoing process, a cycle wherein the latest data empowers advertisers with timely intel to keep up with (or stay ahead of) viewing trends.

Real-World View: Use TV to Increase Donations

TVSquared has worked with a well-known global non-profit for the past several years. It originally came to us to better understand the performance of its U.S. campaigns – and then use that information to optimize TV to drive more donations.

Thanks to the real-time analysis of the TVSquared ADvantage platform, the non-profit uncovered the following insights:

  • Ads were more effective on Sundays and Mondays, with those days driving 22% more donations vs. the rest of the week.
  • While primetime accounted for the most expensive buys, the best performing daypart was daytime. Not only were daytime buys more economical, they also saw 15% more TV-led donations.
  • Spots that ran during local news barely resulted in response, but those airing during AccuWeather programs drove 21% of all donations – a whopping 112% more than the next best network!

Leveraging these findings, the non-profit made small changes to its daypart and weekday mix, and shifted spend to higher performing networks. The result? A 20% increase in TV-driven donations for its next campaign.

The insights discovered proved that the “right” viewers are not always found where and when you might think.

The Importance of Creative Testing

Real-time performance analytics can also be used to find the most effective creatives.

TV is the medium responsible for some of the most captivating characters and stories of all time. For non-profits, it’s a mighty tool to connect with viewers on an emotional level. To get the most out of creatives, they need to understand their audiences’ values and what type of messaging will spur action. That’s why digital-like creative testing for TV should never be overlooked.

It’s about making small, subtle changes to spots – even in post-production. They could range from something as simple as color, music, voiceovers or inserts. They can also be more complex, like different actors or script versions.

One example is testing calls to action (CTAs) to find the one that best engages with viewers – especially those using second-screen devices while watching TV. CTAs could encourage audiences to visit a website, donate via text or download an app. Most key demographics prefer donating online, so finding the best way to spur response “in the moment” is crucial.

Non-profits can use these best practices to take campaigns to the next level and unlock TV advertising’s full potential. When it comes to success with TV ads, the answer often lies in realizing one can ask for and do even more!