What is OTT and How Can It Help Your Business

Linda Johns

Linda Johns About The Author

Aug 13, 2020 11:46:00 AM

What is OTT and How Can It Help Your Business

The world of advertising is in a continual state of flux. In the past several decades alone, the marketing "spotlight" has shifted from radio to TV to the Internet—and now one of the latest trends is OTT.

Of course, OTT is rapidly growing in popularity for good reason: as a marketer, you can reach just about any target consumer, anywhere, at any time. The following information will discuss what OTT is and why you should consider using it as an advertising medium in more detail.

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What is OTT?

OTT stands for "over-the-top." It can refer to any app, company, or service that delivers its product over the Internet, instead of through traditional distribution channels. Most OTT service providers reside in the media and communications industry. For instance, companies like Roku, Netflix, and Hulu bypass traditional TV by offering online entertainment that can be streamed on-demand.

OTT advertising is still a relatively new frontier in the marketing world and promises exceptional ROI. One study found that advert-supported video on demand (AVOD) generated over $26 billion of revenue in 2019 alone—and this number is expected to more than double by 2024. Clearly, OTT advertising is here to stay.

Benefits of Utilizing OTT for Your Business

There are several advantages that OTT advertising can yield for your business. These include the following points:

More Effective Reach

While television excels at reaching vast audiences, OTT typically offers advantages in terms of reaching more engaged viewers. 

Another key benefit in this regard is the versatility of OTT platforms. OTT content can be consumed through a regular television set, a tablet, a smartphone, or a laptop. This exceptional accessibility allows advertisers to reach a very high number of consumers across a variety of physical locations.

Finally, OTT viewership is steadily increasing. One study from Roku predicts that some 60 million households will consume content on their television set exclusively through streaming services by 2025. Whether that number holds true or not, the reality is that more and more consumers are turning to OTT networks as their primary method of consuming video entertainment.

Interactive Ads

OTT ads are highly interactive. Consumers may seek to customize their ad-viewing experience by selecting a preferred category, or even outlining when and where they watch them. Some OTT platforms allow for "clickable ads" that can immediately direct an interested viewer to a certain website for more information on a product or service. Whatever the case may be, OTT advertising's high level of interactivity often translates into exceptional ROI. 

Increased Brand Awareness

Consistent OTT advertising can promote your brand's "top-of-mind awareness" (TOMA) among consumers. In fact, OTT ads are often highly effective in spreading brand awareness since they may not have to compete with a lot of commercials that precede or follow after them.

Enhanced Targeting Capabilities

One of the most powerful benefits that OTT networks can offer advertisers is the ability to publish ads in a highly targeted and segmented way. Since OTT providers deliver content over the Internet, advertisers can leverage many of the same basic techniques that play into digital marketing strategy. For instance, you can place a commercial based on demographic features like geographic region, age, and gender. You can also compile data around consumer behavior and then craft highly personalized messaging for increasingly narrow segments of your base audience.

As a simple example, imagine that over time you compile OTT-derived data indicating that many of your consumers enjoy period dramas. Furthermore, they typically view these dramas on weekday evenings. Armed with those insights, you are in a position to develop a highly targeted ad delivery strategy that will yield optimal results.

Improved Analytics

In addition to exceptional targeting capabilities, OTT advertising allows you to compile and analyze your marketing metrics in virtually real-time. You can monitor data points like clicks, views, conversions, direct responses, average time spent viewing a certain ad, etc. With this wealth of information at your fingertips, you can quickly adjust your marketing strategy to interact with your prospects in the manner they prefer, and with the content they like. In other words, you never have to be "in the dark" as to how effective a particular advertising campaign actually is.

Leveraging OTT Advertising for Sustained Growth

As the above information clearly demonstrates, "over-the-top" advertising offers many unique benefits to marketers willing to invest in it. If you aren't already leveraging this advertising channel, then consider making a start in adding it to your marketing mix.  Research what marketing experts have said on the subject. Odds are, you'll come to realize that OTT advertising can be an effective growth strategy for many years to come.

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