Why Fiverr Is Adding Linear TV To Its Media Mix

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On TV & Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video. 

People got comfortable during the pandemic working from home in their T-shirts and boxers, and many started freelancing, too, because of that flexibility.

Fiverr, a site that matchmakes freelancers with companies looking to meet immediate, one-off business needs like, say, designing creative or writing an article, has been a big beneficiary of the work-from-home trend.

But now that remote work appears here to stay, Fiverr realized it needed new messaging to get large businesses to hire freelancers on a longer-term basis, said Matt Clunan, Fiverr’s global head of brand and digital. And Fiverr decided TV is the best way to branch out.

Now that its focus is brand awareness, Fiverr is leaning heavily into linear TV, hoping to broaden its reach quicker so it can draw in new customers, especially bigger businesses.

The company’s most recent TV campaign, “Team Up,” features a group of employees standing together in an office celebrating their freelancer colleague with cake over Zoom, even though they have no idea who he is. The point of the ad is that freelancers can still make a big difference for companies even if they’re not official members of the team.

In addition to the US, the 60-second spot is running on linear networks internationally and has been localized for markets in Spain, Germany, France, Australia and the UK.

Clunan spoke with AdExchanger.

AdExchanger: What is Fiverr’s B2B marketing strategy?

MATT CLUNAN: It’s about customer acquisition, as opposed to direct-response advertising, and how much we are willing to spend to acquire customers looking for the services the freelancers on our platform offer.

We’re trying to bring on businesses as Fiverr clients, which is why we’re pushing more into a B2B route and focusing more heavily on building brand awareness to attract new customers.

It’s basically just a brand marketing strategy, and we expanded the media mix to include TV.

TV is opening Fiverr up to a wider audience than we’ve been able to reach before. Our marketing was exclusively online or digital up until three years ago.

What’s the biggest challenge of breaking into TV?

Using a brand-building medium through a performance lens.

We’re trying to build brand awareness, but the end goal is customer acquisition, so if viewership numbers are off, it ultimately doesn’t matter if we meet our business goals. For Fiverr, the biggest challenge is building out internal measurement models that validate the data and the metrics we’re looking for from TV, which is customer acquisition.

What is Fiverr’s goal for its latest TV campaign?

To present freelancing as a realistic option for bigger businesses.

The campaign messages how large businesses are struggling with a recession and inflation, and portrays how freelance talent can help these businesses grow and tackle projects. This aligns with Fiverr’s goal to contract with bigger businesses that have the budgets to commit more spending to freelance work.

Why stray away from small business?

We’re not. There are millions of small businesses that don’t know about and have never used Fiverr, and we want to continue trying to grow our brand awareness among those small businesses.

But we’re also in a position to help larger businesses looking to hire multiple freelancers with various skill sets or work with freelancers on a longer-term basis by contracting with web developers or graphic designers.

How does the brand messaging you use differ for bigger businesses? 

Fiverr’s trying to appeal to larger businesses without excluding smaller ones. On digital channels, that’s a little easier because we can target companies depending on roughly how many employees they have.

But for offline media like TV, messaging to larger businesses means creating ads that highlight specific needs or services like, say, web development or creative design. In that sense, we can be a bit more targeted.

Is Fiverr spending more on linear or streaming?

Linear.

Fiverr’s seeing good success on linear and on streaming, but most of our spend is in linear. The market on the linear side is still significantly larger than streaming. [Ed. note: Streaming viewership only just surpassed cable.]

But we’re still taking a very calculated approach and staying selective with our buys from a brand perspective.

We use Tatari for most of our media buys, since they specifically measure and analyze TV ads. There’s a small fraction of TV spend going into programmatic on the streaming side, but that’s still a pretty new area for Fiverr.

This interview has been edited and condensed.



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