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How Co-Viewing and OTT Devices Drive Explosive Engagement

co-viewing and ott devicesWant to get audiences talking about your brand? New research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that you should ensure your ad strategy includes over-the-top (OTT) devices and airs during programs people watch together.

People are not only more likely to talk about the products or brands they see, they're also 10 percent more likely to change their minds about the products they see when co-viewing on an OTT device rather than linear TV, according to the recent report.

OTT Co-Viewing Is a Powerful Trend

So why does co-viewing (particularly with OTT devices) yield such great results? The IAB noted that this activity is more common "among younger viewers, and with strong brand engagement." Given that a Media Math study concluded that 64 percent of millennials reported being brand loyal — or more brand loyal than their parents — it's no surprise that these younger audiences are more engaged with OTT ads.

Not every ad displayed on a streaming service will be a smash success. But as a marketer, there are a few things you can do to use the OTT co-viewing trend to your advantage.

3 Tips for Successful Ads on OTT Devices

Imagine this scenario: You're comfortably sunken into your sofa with a few pals and a warm bowl of popcorn while the latest episode of your favorite series plays on your TV. Just as a dramatic scene reaches its crescendo, the program cuts to a commercial break. What kind of ads are going to hold your attention?

The most successful OTT advertising does one of the following three things:

  1. Elicit an emotional response. Whether it leaves you laughing out loud or quietly dabbing away tears, an ad that makes you feel something is more likely to stay etched in your memory. The sudden rush of dopamine will also leave you with a more favorable impression of the brand or product being promoted.

  2. Target social streaming events. What do the World Series, the Academy Awards and "Game of Thrones" have in common? Beyond drama and plot twists, they're often viewed by people in groups. By targeting your ad display during popular "watch party" times, you can increase the odds that your ad gets discussed.

  3. Make it multi-channel. People can't resist cliffhangers — if we could, binge-watching wouldn't exist! To capitalize on this, make your ad a series and end each segment with a "to be continued" message, or drive traffic to your website by asking your audience to watch the ending online. This attention-grabbing technique is also a great way to get co-viewers to share in the fun together.

As a marketer, you know that reaching the right audience at the right time is critical to driving positive results — and OTT devices are poised to help you do just that. By perfecting your strategy now, you can outpace your competitors and keep even those hard-to-reach cord-cutting audiences talking.

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