OTT (over-the-top) refers to streaming services that jump over traditional cable to be accessed directly by consumers through the internet on popular platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and many more. OTT advertising delivers your ads to consumers via these streaming services through internet-connected TV (CTV) or Smart TVs.
Often referred to as cutting-the-cord, OTT is rapidly becoming the more consumer-preferred method of watching videos, making it an essential strategy to every marketer looking to reach their target market where they already are. A recent study shows that 53% of consumers are open to watching ads when streaming video in exchange for a lower subscription price.
According to Forbes, OTT ad spend will hit $9 billion in the U.S. this year, up 28% from last year, and will reach a staggering $14.6 billion by 2023. Fifty percent of U.S. agency and marketing professionals expect to increase ad spend on OTT/connected TV channels within the next 12 months.
OTT for Small Businesses: 6 Ways to Take Advantage
Taking advantage of OTT as a small business is essential to target your market with more precision and reduce ad spend by paying for ad views and not ad placement, among other things. Not to mention a larger portion of consumers have cut the cord already or plan to in the near future.
Around 70% of consumers have at least one major OTT subscription, while 46% subscribe to two or more OTT services. Most average 3.4 subscriptions, not to mention CTVs provide access to a myriad of free channels.
Here are six ways your small business can take advantage of OTT.
1. Create a Brand Awareness Commercial
Brand awareness is vital to any marketing strategy's foundation for an apparent reason - if your customers don't know you exist, they can't buy from you. The concept of OTT advertising isn't much different from what marketers have already been doing in traditional cable advertising. You can still aim to increase brand awareness within your target market, grab consumer attention, and encourage them to take action.
Tips on creating a successful brand awareness commercial that resonates with your target include:
- Be a person, not a company - build genuine connections by appealing to your consumer's values and interests.
- Promote your brand without being too pushy or "salesy" - focus more on building relationships than making sales.
- Storytelling is key! Research has revealed that 80% of people want brands to tell stories.
- Give your brand its own personality.
Remember, advertising regularly and consistently is the key to a successful campaign.
2. Choose a Call-to-Action That's Intriguing
When clear and concise, CTA's are a great way to attract attention and direct consumers to take action instantly.
Here are some essential tips for creating a more intriguing and engaging CTA, according to HubSpot:
- Create Urgency - encourage immediate action using "click now," "sign up today," and other actionable verbs.
- Use numbers - pricing can be a positive contributor.
- Indicate a specific action - tell viewers exactly what to do and how to do it.
- Use images - images attract more audiences than the written word.
- Clickable link - makes it easier for the user to take action.
- Test your results - always pay special attention to what works and what doesn't.
3. Focus on Your Target Audience
The truth is, reaching everyone isn't necessary, can be counter-productive, expensive, and isn't worth it in the end. The key is to put all your focus on your target audience so you can position your brand as the solution to your consumer's problems personally and directly.
More and more consumers are demanding a more personalized experience with brands. Having an in-depth understanding of your audience, such as their demographics, values, interests, buyer behaviors, and environmental influences is key. Sixty-three percent of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service and believe they are recognized as individuals when they receive special offers.
4. Pick Channels Where Your Audience Is Present
If you're not effectively reaching your target audience on the platforms they're using, then you risk not getting the right information to the right people.
Pay attention to the platforms your competition is using and track where your audience is more active. With that information, move your efforts from inactive platforms to more effective ones.
5. OTT ads and traditional advertising can complement each other
OTT can benefit your business in significant ways, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't combine your efforts and target your audiences via OTT and traditional advertising. Your efforts are maximized to complement each other when you use multiple channels. Recent studies revealed that companies with powerful omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omnichannel companies.
The key is to keep your brand message consistent across all channels to maximize your trust and connection with your consumers.
6. Stay true to your brand
Another important component of advertising is staying true to your brand and consistently promoting it in ways that reflect your values, promises, messages, and identity. Otherwise, your credibility and connections with your consumers are likely to tank.
In fact, 86% of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support.
Partner With OTT Advertising Experts
It can be challenging for small businesses to optimize their OTT advertising strategies. However, partnering with a media partner reduces those challenges significantly so you can get back to growing your business and building relationships with your target audience.