In recent years, there have been significant advances in over-the-top (OTT) applications. These apps now provide user experiences like never before.
New features include the ability to chat with other viewers, social platform integration, and increased interactivity. These developments have caught the attention of advertisers who are always interested in finding new ways to engage their target audience.
A brief history of OTT advertising
To understand OTT advertising and its evolution, it helps to have a bit of history. Originally, advertising on OTT platforms was limited to showing ads before or after the content. The interaction was very limited.
Over time, technological advances have provided brands with much more compelling ways to reach their target audience. Here are some of the trends that have created these advances:
The growth of OTT
The growth of streaming platforms has been a key factor behind the evolution of OTT advertising. People continue to ditch their cable and satellite subscriptions in favor of streaming services. Also, new channels and streaming platforms are emerging regularly.
This growth includes major players like Disney+, but that’s not all. Dozens of niche OTT platforms feature specialized content, including:
- children’s programs
- Classic movies
- Politics and news
- Food/Travel/Entertainment Programming
The presence of these platforms gives brands the opportunity to focus their OTT advertising budgets on very specific channels.
a new set of people
OTT advertisers have had to take into account entirely new sets of behaviors and characteristics when developing customer personas for ad targeting purposes. One study revealed five different people relevant to streaming consumption:
Linear TV subscribers
These are customers who prefer cable and other traditional services. They have an average age of 57 years.
Most people in this category use both streaming video and pay TV. They have an average age of 42 years.
This group has an average age of 43 years. They tend to alternate between streaming services and pay TV.
These are tech-savvy viewers. They are heavy users of streaming services. However, they will do their best to avoid ads using ad blockers. Their average age is 41 years.
These viewers spend a lot of time watching videos using streaming apps and social media. They are the most likely people in each group to respond to ads and make purchases, and have a median age of 33.
Each of these groups tends to respond to advertising differently. Advertisers have had to work to understand where their audience falls within these categories and then work on personalizing their ad content accordingly.
Hyperlocalization becomes a possibility
Using big data and research analytics, hyperlocalization creates personalized content for customers based on their preferences, demographics, and personal interests. Take localization to the next level by making every marketing activity more personal.
Geographic location has always been an important consideration in any type of marketing or advertising. It is now possible to use hyperlocation to target customers more specifically than before.
Local brands, particularly physical businesses, can create geo-targeted ads that include information like specific locations, hours, and phone numbers.
Content that is hyperlocalized speaks to consumers on the most personal level. This type of content is made specifically for your current tastes and needs based on your current situation. It should be customized to make it look like the content was made just for that person.
OTT goes live
Today, when someone is interested in watching a live stream, they are just as likely to do so on a streaming service or social platform as they are on pay TV. These live videos get an exceptional amount of engagement. This engagement creates a natural opportunity for advertisers to reach an active audience.
A need for better production values
When brands embrace OTT advertising, they must learn a new set of rules and best practices. These are the technical considerations that improve production values and ensure ads are optimized for the platform and for the audience.
One of the most important factors is making sure that all your ads work well on a variety of devices. A single OTT ad can be displayed on smartphones, smart TVs, and laptops. If the content does not adapt well to each screen size or type of device, it will be a problem.
Next, consider the length of the video. Here, advertisers need to think about whether the ads they display will be skippable. With skippable ads, it’s imperative to get the message and CTA across in just a couple of moments. There is more time available with non-skippable ads, but not as much as some people may assume. It is still important to be brief.
By getting the length and format right, brands help ensure a better response to their ads.
Interactive OTT Ads
Since customers frequently see OTT ads using touch screen devices, there is an opportunity to use interactive advertising. Viewers no longer passively watch ads; you can interact with them.
For example, they can tap the screen to answer a quick survey, try a sample level of a mobile game being promoted, click a CTA button, or share the ad on social media.
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