OTT refers to the content being delivered to consumers via the Internet and "over the top" of more traditional mediums, such as broadcast or cable TV. OTT providers and platforms include streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu, sites like YouTube, and even apps stores like Google Play.
When SMB operators think of OTT advertising, they may consider it too expensive or think it's the sole domain of enterprise-level organizations. The truth is, you can still leverage OTT advertising to grow your small business (although it may take some help from experienced marketers to achieve optimal results). Here are four OTT advertising tips that you can implement if you decide to go this route.
1. Create a Brand Awareness Commercial
One of the best ways to leverage OTT to your advantage is to develop a brand awareness commercial for your target demographic. Research indicates that it takes at least 5-7 impressions for consumers to remember a brand; presenting a brand consistently across all platforms (including OTT) can boost a company's bottom line by 23%.
OTT channels provide an excellent opportunity for spreading the word about your brand. This type of content has been steadily increasing in popularity over the past several years. The COVID-19-related lockdowns across the globe only served to accelerate this trend. Information from Allied Market Research projects that the global OTT services market will grow at a CAGR of 29.4%, reaching over $1 trillion by 2027.
What's the takeaway? More and more of your potential customers are flocking to OTT channels. It only makes sense to engage with them there through a brand awareness campaign. Suppose your commercial is primarily developed with brand awareness in mind instead of a topical event or time-sensitive promotion. In that case, it will have a long effective lifespan — meaning you won't have to pay as much for your ad creative.
2. Choose a Call-to-Action That's Intriguing
To get the "biggest bang for your buck" in terms of OTT advertising, you must incorporate an intriguing and compelling CTA in your ad creative. Use the same principles that apply to display advertising and other digital marketing forms to guide your development of a powerful CTA. For example:
- Incorporate strong action verbs into your CTA, such as "get," "call," "reach out," etc.
- Create a sense of urgency by leveraging time elements. For instance: "Get 50% off before March 31st!"
- Give your audience a good reason to take action. Answer the question, "What's in it for me?"
- Make sure your CTA focuses on the campaign's primary goal — and only the main goal.
3. Focus on Your Target Audience
As you develop your ad creative, you must keep your targeted buyer personas in mind. You want to distribute a message that engages with your audience positively rather than in a negative way.
For example, if you know that your primary audience consists of Millennials, it would be counterproductive to include pop culture references from the 1970s. On the other hand, if your target demographic consists of older consumers that don't regularly use social media platforms, then featuring a recent meme may have a confusing or alienating effect on them.
The point is, you need to think carefully about whom you're making the commercial for — and then ensure that it stays on track.
4. Pick Channels Where Your Audience Is Watching
Finally, you want to leverage the OTT channels that your target consumers are most likely to use. For instance, in the United States, YouTube is popular across all age groups but is especially attractive to the 15-25 age group (of whom 81% are users). On the other hand, Netflix users tend to skew slightly older, with 59% of 16-34 year-olds stating that Netflix is indispensable to them, versus only 35% of those aged 35+.
Of course, you also need to factor in several other factors, such as:
- Which streaming services and platforms offer the most competitive rates
- The programs your target consumers are interested in
- Where the majority of your target consumers live (if your company is geographically based)
Leverage OTT Advertising to Grow Your Small Business
In summary, OTT advertising can offer several advantages to small business owners. Suppose you develop a campaign with a specific goal in mind (such as brand awareness), create a compelling call-to-action, focus on your target audience, and invest in the proper OTT channels. In that case, you'll likely see a significant ROI from your efforts.
OTT content will undoubtedly become more and more popular with each passing year — especially in the wake of COVID-19. If you take advantage of this trend early on, then you'll be in the best position to enjoy sustainable growth for years to come.