Marketers throughout the world are constantly looking for innovative ways to reach out to and engage with their company's core audience. One increasingly popular and effective way to accomplish this goal is through OTT marketing.
OTT (or "Over The Top") marketing is an advertising strategy that utilizes OTT content. This is content that can be directly delivered to consumers over the Internet, without the involvement of a multi-system operator that bundles several distribution mediums into one package. For example, streaming services like Netflix that don't require a cable subscription are considered OTT providers.
While some premium OTT content is ad-free, there are several providers that use advertising income as a major source of revenue. For example, the Roku Channel, Hulu (with some subscriptions), and streaming news channels like Newsy and Cheddar all have slots for advertisements. An OTT marketing strategy could involve a targeted campaign via these mediums, or other outlets.
Why Have an OTT Strategy?
There are several excellent reasons to invest in an OTT marketing strategy. These include the following factors:
Regular TV viewership is declining, and technology allows consumers to skip ads.
OTT networks have become extremely popular, and consumers are no longer shackled to bundled packages of hundreds of cable channels to get the content they want. As a result, there has been a consistent decline in regular TV viewership over the past several years — up to as many as 3 million fewer viewers in 2019 compared to 2015. This, coupled with the fact that modern technology allows many TV viewers to completely skip over ads, makes OTT marketing a compelling alternative.
OTT marketing enables highly personalized targeting.
OTT advertising platforms compile and track a wealth of user data. This information enables marketers to develop highly specific messaging that targets narrow subsets of the consumer base. Basically, OTT marketing allows companies to target the right people with the right ads.
It combines the success of video advertisements with real-time analytics.
There's no denying that video advertisements can be highly effective, no matter the medium. However, OTT marketing adds the powerful ingredient of real-time analysis into the mix. It accomplishes this synergy in at least two ways:
- It can help measure engagement, audience churn, and content performance.
- It yields insights for a message's effectiveness on marketing channels that are harder to measure, such as non-OTT television or radio.
For example, let's say that a company runs an ad campaign on an OTT platform for several months. During that time, the company can determine user engagement through metrics that take into account how many times the "Skip Ad" button was pressed across the target demographic. Reach and churn analytics feed into an accurate measure of content performance, which in turn can help the company streamline its advertising initiatives for other mediums, such as TV and radio. Thus, OTT marketing is not only effective as a standalone strategy but also works well as a supplement to more traditional methods.
How to Create an OTT Marketing Strategy
The process of developing and executing an OTT marketing strategy has many moving parts. However, there are some basic principles that can help you to make any such initiative a success. For instance:
- Plan for your OTT channels to be used in conjunction with other marketing channels. Odds are that your target audience for OTT delivery also engages with other entertainment and communication mediums. Thus, an integrated approach to your marketing strategy often works best. For instance, consider duplicating your OTT ads for distribution on social media, or adapting them for a radio format.
- Set goals for your advertising campaign. Focus on reaching measurable and relevant goals that will really impact your bottom line. Some objectives that you may consider including increasing reach or reducing churn.
- Aim to create an omnichannel experience so that the same message consistently targets the same audience across several channels. When you deliver consistent messaging to the same high-value audience, this serves to consolidate your brand position, foster top-of-mind awareness, and ultimately enhance your credibility.
- Leverage audience insights to tweak your creative content on OTT. Optimize your OTT advertising content as much as possible. If certain content yields a poor performance, rework or discard it immediately. If your content performs well, look for ways to maximize its impact. Not only will this optimization make your OTT marketing more effective, but its good effects will spill over into your other advertising channels as well.
Leveraging OTT Marketing for Sustained Growth
In today's rapidly changing world, advances in technology continue to drive consumer interactions and expectations. Companies must be willing to constantly adapt to new methods of advertising in order to capture large traffic shares and help consumers to make their journey down the marketing funnel.
Moreover, businesses must take a highly integrated approach to their marketing strategy, and leave "no stone unturned" when it comes to the use of different channels — including OTT. In most cases, a combination of several marketing channels yields the highest possible ROI. For example, radio advertising and OTT marketing make an especially potent combination.
In conclusion, don't underestimate the power of OTT marketing. If you don't already an OTT strategy in place, develop one as soon as possible. And as you closely follow the hottest trends in the marketing industry, including OTT advertising, you'll need to examine different ways to practically apply the insights you gain. For further details on how to do so, download and read our new eBook: "The New Consumer Journey: Using OTT and Radio."