It's no secret that film and television content is migrating to the internet at a rapid pace. When's the last time you logged on to Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube, Sling TV, CBS All Access or Hulu? Yesterday? An hour ago?
DigiDay explained that over-the-top (OTT) services allow viewers to use the internet connection they're already paying for to enjoy shows and movies that air on paid cable or satellite services.
OTT advertising is growing — advertisers know this is where their potential customers are increasingly spending their time. As OTT services continue to launch original content, these platforms are gaining more attention from both users and advertisers.
OTT Advertising: A Popular Option
Seventy percent of Americans are watching OTT videos, with YouTube fans making up the greatest portion of viewers, according to EMarketer. The research company predicted that between now and 2019, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu will all experience growth in service users, with Hulu and Amazon making the greatest strides.
OTT services are growing in number, and people are flocking to them — so what are the key benefits of investing your advertising dollars in these platforms? The Digital Marketing Institute said there are many ways that OTT advertising makes an impact on your audience:
- Customers feel empowered. They have more control over when (and where) they receive advertisements, gather information and choose to make a purchase.
- Users stick around. OTT platforms have faithful followers that return day after day to engage their favorite content.
- Viewers are picking what they want to watch, so they're more likely to watch an advertisement to get to the main feature.
- Customers are migrating — OTT platforms have huge, growing audiences.
- Customers love free services. Many OTT platforms offer a free version that relies only on a monthly internet subscription that consumers pay for already.
- Users crave interaction. Cold, static banner ads are out. Interactive games and conversation advertisements are in.
- Customers like custom content. When an advertisement references specific media, the interruption is more seamless and entertaining.
- Customers feel like they're part of a conversation (not simply being not talked at) when viewing advertisements on their own time and terms.
An Example of OTT Advertising
Let's look at Game of Thrones. Viewers who love this series can access it as part of a cable or satellite subscription bundle that includes HBO. However, if fans can't access the channel or don't want to pay for the service, they can view the show by subscribing to HBO's OTT service HBO NOW for a fraction of the cost of a multi-channel service plan.
As advertisers plan their strategies, they now need to think about placing content both on the traditional HBO channel and its OTT counterpart. Still, focusing the bulk of an advertising budget on this type of advertising isn't recommended. Your audience lingers on a variety of platforms and devices, and so should you.
Diversifying Your Advertising Strategy
Reaching out to customers across various channels means greater overall engagement. Some users migrate more slowly than others to new technology, including OTT platforms.
According to AdAge, CBS All Access has reduced its ads for on-demand content by 25 percent since it can target audiences more effectively based on the detailed viewing data it collects. That means the remainder of a company's ad budget could be used across additional platforms to reach even more potential consumers.
Diversifying your advertising strategy might include exploring pre-roll and mid-roll video advertisements as well as outstream video. You can also work to bring more customers to your site's shopping cart by improving the website's search engine optimization, implementing a mobile responsive design or exploring IP targeting.
Consider financial investing for a moment — you'd never place the bulk of your dollars in just one fund. You diversify for many reasons, all of which can apply to building up the success of a business through advertising.
According to Entrepreneur, diversifying is a risk-management technique. If you commit all your effort in one area and it tanks, then you've put yourself in a risky position. Diversify your advertising strategy to reduce the risk of:
- Sinking your entire budget into a failed project.
- Picking an advertising method that's too constricting and hinders growth opportunities.
- Raising concerns among team members.
Diversifying your advertising approach also opens you up to new opportunities that you might otherwise have ignored if you were comfortable with a singular approach.
For most businesses, OTT advertising should be incorporated into an ad spend budget. To maximize reach, it's best to work with an advertising agency. This will help you determine where your ideal customers are spending most of their free time, pinpoint potential clientele and use your budget wisely.