The rise in people turning to over-the-top (OTT) platforms has been substantial in the last decade, particularly in the last two years. After what eMarketer calls a "pandemic-driven viewing bump," their research shows that watching linear TV will drop by 7% (to 199 minutes) while watching digital video is expected to reach 140 by the end of 2021 and 145 minutes by 2022.
These results suggest that a solid OTT advertising strategy should be added to your TV schedule. After all, TV Tech adds that the number of pay-TV customers subscribing to OTT went up nearly 50% in 2020. What's more, most customers choose BOTH when given the option — 79% of pay-TV households have both pay-TV and OTT subscriptions.
To inspire the success of your next campaign, here are the top OTT ad tips and tricks you need to know.
Laser Focus Your Targeting
Although traditional TV has dominated marketing for decades, it's been nearly impossible to narrow your targeting to specific segments and know whether you're actually reaching the right people — let alone resonating.
With OTT, you have digital measuring and tracking at the tip of your fingers to utilize to the best of your ability. You can target and segment your delivery through hyper-targeting based on who was exposed to which ad of yours and when (i.e., reducing ad fatigue by delivering content specific to targets and their viewing habits).
Additional targeting capabilities include:
- Contextual targeting — based on the relevance of the ad to the content that is being viewed by the user. For instance, if a user is streaming Christmas movies around the holidays, a brand may want to target these viewers with an ad that suggests buying their product as a gift for family and friends.
- Behavioral targeting — based on viewer behaviors, OTT advertisers would identify and evaluate targets that are more likely to be interested in their offer. This includes online browsing behaviors that may suggest interest in the brand's product and other content interests detected on the OTT platform itself (i.e., hours of kids' shows and movies suggest that adult viewers are parents, etc.).
- Appographic targeting — technology that allows advertisers to target audiences based on their unique app interests. For a better explanation, Inmobi gives this example of app-interest-based audience targeting: delivering an OTT ad for a flight booking app to "users who engage with apps that offer trip planning, hotel booking, holiday packages or travel reviews."
Personalize Your Ads
Personalization is no longer an option in advertising, especially with so much more consumer data and insight available to marketers. It has not only been proven to be much more successful than ads crafted without the target audience in mind (i.e., targets everyone as opposed to their ideal customers), but customers are quick to point out their interest, as well.
According to HubSpot, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when brands offer personalized experiences, and 90% of U.S. consumers find personalized marketing content 'somewhat' to 'very' appealing. On the business end of things, 99% of marketers say personalization helps advance customer relationships, and 78% claim it has a 'strong' or 'extremely strong' impact.
Ways you can personalize your OTT content include:
- Interactive options — choosing between two ads to view, allowing the viewer to pick which one is more relevant (i.e., cat or dog products).
- Ad Exposures — track which ads have been exposed to each viewer to determine which targets should receive certain ad messages (i.e., limiting ad fatigue).
- Recommendations — base content on specific consumer needs by using the consumer data you have to deliver personalized recommendations (combine OTT data with other data collecting like social, email, etc.).
Take Advantage of Retargeting
Finally, it's important to consider the immense benefit of retargeting users after OTT ad exposure. While delivering personalized and hyper-targeted ads is a successful approach, retargeting can take your marketing to the next level.
Take, for instance, a makeup company that delivers an ad to a highly qualified lead who is actually interested in trying a new foundation, eyeshadow, etc. That viewer may like what they see but think, "I'll check that out later." On the other hand, if that brand made it even easier for the viewer by retargeting one of the many devices they are on while watching the ad, the process will speed up, and the viewer is more likely to take action.
This is significant because Adweek research shows that most (87%) consumers use more than one device at a time, with 57% on their smartphone while watching TV.
Retargeting device opportunities combined with OTT TV include smartphones, laptops, desktops, and tablets. Popular retargeting marketing methods include:
Develop the Ultimate OTT Advertising Strategy With WSMV
The sooner you get started with OTT, the sooner you start to see the benefits that will put you ahead of the competition. Keep in mind that the best results are based on how well you know your target audience and understand their needs. Work with a media partner to ensure your OTT advertising strategy is backed by relevant consumer data specific to your brand and audience.