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How to Use OTT Advertising as Part of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re a digital marketer, you’ve likely heard about OTT (Over The Top) streaming platforms. For a nominal fee (and sometimes no fee at all), these platforms give their customers access to a database of video content, much of it exclusive.

Apple TV is a well-known OTT streaming platform, as is Roku and Amazon Prime. Of course, the king of OTT streaming is Netflix, one of the biggest online content producers on the planet.

OTT platform availability runs the gamut of devices, including mobile, desktop, tablet, and TV. All take advantage of OTT content being available directly via the internet, with no cable or satellite provider necessary. That’s why so many small businesses are starting to develop an OTT platform.

Why is this important if you’re a digital marketer? Because according to experts, over 70% of people using OTT streaming services can recall a specific ad they watched while watching their favorite content.

If you know anything about marketing, you know 70%+ viewer ad retention is an astonishingly high percentage. One of the main reasons why is simple; on many OTT platforms, there’s no way to skip an ad. Instead, viewers are forced to sit and watch the entire thing while they wait for their content to continue.

As a marketer, you’re likely well aware that uninterrupted viewing time is the holy grail of marketing. When you put that together with the fact that, by 2025, the OTT market is predicted to reach an incredible $332 billion, you can see what a lucrative marketing channel OTT platforms can be.

Here’s the thing; as a marketer, understanding how to take advantage of all the benefits OTT advertising delivers is vital. An effective strategy using OTT can give your brand more visibility and drive a stream (pun intended) of new clients to your door. Below you’ll find some top tips on using OTT advertising as part of your digital marketing campaigns.

1.  Make Sure Your Targeting is Highly Focused

Imagine for a moment that you had the capacity to target your TV audience at the same level you can target them using a social media platform like Facebook. You could drill down as deeply as you wanted to hit your core audience dead center.

That’s the promise of OTT, but it means your targeting has to be highly focused. To ensure it is, you must intimately know your core audience and target market. Here are a few tips for doing just that:

  • Create buyer personas. These are detailed descriptions of the people who most represent your target audience.
  • Interview the people purchasing your products to find out who they are, including their gender, age, buying habits, interests, and location.
  • Segment your audience. This can be done using many different factors, such as what they purchase on your website or the items that they browse the most.
  • Install cookies on your website to collect data about them.
  • Ask your customers face-to-face about their choices and preferences.

2.  Use Cross Channel Retargeting to Increase Results

Cross-channel retargeting might be one of the best reasons to use OTT advertising as part of your digital marketing strategy. This excellent feature allows you to retarget your ads to the web as well as mobile devices. Doing that empowers you to create a cross-channel marketing loop that can increase your ROI immensely.

Think about cross-channel retargeting like this; suppose a woman is browsing new shoes on Nordstrom Rack. She’s on her laptop computer in her bedroom and, after browsing for a short time, closes her laptop and goes to the living room to watch her favorite TV show.

In the living room, our fair lady turns on her smart TV and starts watching her show using a smart TV app. After the first few scenes, an advertisement appears, and, low and behold; it’s for Nordstrom Rack! This is made possible by the fact that her smart TV app and her laptop use the same IP address.

Let’s go even further and say that, after seeing the Nordstrom rack ad again, our lady’s desire to purchase shoes inspires her to make a purchase. Not only has Nordstrom Rack successfully used cross-channel targeting, but they also get a wealth of data, allowing them to attribute the shoe purchase precisely to its source.

You can start cross-channel remarketing in several ways, including using retargeting pixels on your website. These can help you segment your core audience, allowing you to align them the best with your KPI’s. You can also use cookies to target users with hyper-personalized ads based on their browsing and other habits. Speaking of which…

3.  Tailor Your Ads to be Highly Personalized

Earlier, we talked about creating buyer personas to target your market more precisely. Once you do and have those personas, the ability to present them with ads that fit their needs perfectly is the next step.

For example, let’s say that your target market is working moms who earn a 6-figure income. If it is, you wouldn’t want an ad with teenagers trying to decide which college to attend. In other words, you need to align your ads and their content to your audience as closely as possible. A few methods to do this include:

  • Use images of the specific people who make up your core audience. That should include thongs like their gender, interest, income level, age, etc.
  • Use wording and phrasing that align with your core audience. For example, if you’re selling children’s products, your tone, images, and vocabulary would be much different than if you were selling high-end automobiles.
  • If you’re making ads with live people, make sure they look and sound like your core audience. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to use folks from Boston to sell cowboy hats in Dallas.

Final Thoughts

If you ever imagined being able to advertise to your precise audience, on TV, without wasting ad dollars and knowing exactly where to attribute sales, OTT is for you. With the ability to precisely target and infinitely personalize your ads, your ROI will skyrocket while your wasted dollars drop.

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Dyka Smith
Dyka Smith is a content marketing professional at Inosocial, an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Dyka worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. She graduated with honors from Columbia University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.

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