5 Key Elements Marketers Need For Any OTT Ad

The pervasiveness of over-the-top (OTT) video services is hard to ignore, a result of the rising number of cord-cutters and the wider use of smart devices,not to mention our insatiable appetite for streaming. By combining the immersive experience of linear TV with the interactivity of digital, OTT has opened a new category of video.

Here are five key areas marketers should evaluate when activating an OTT advertising effort.

1) Decide what audience criteria matters. Targeting capabilities can vary widely, depending on what OTT inventory you have in mind, and how you plan to buy that inventory.  Consider if or how the targeting parameters available might relate to your audience, product, sales offer, or KPI for any given campaign. Keep in mind that the industry is still adapting to advertiser needs when it comes to frequency capping and the lack of traditional cookies on OTT devices.

2) Know where to buy OTT. Advertisers can access OTT inventory through two main sources: publishers and platforms. Buying through a publisher enables brands to promote their advertisements beside specific content categories, across any OTT device on which that publisher has its own stand-alone channel.
Buying through a platform allows brands to advertise against a broader range of content from multiple publishers, but often only through a single type of OTT device (e.g., Roku or Chromecast).  



3) Buying power: Go direct or ride the rising programmatic wave. Direct buys from publishers or platforms still account for the lion’s share of OTT inventory sold.

There’s been a steady increase in programmatic buying on OTT. Still, compared to other digital channels, OTT is vastly under-indexed in programmatic buying. For advertisers who might benefit from such advanced capabilities, now is the time to test programmatic campaigns — before greater demand from the market follows and prices spike.

4) Serve up something special and personalized. Everything from picture and sound quality to storyline, call to action, measurement and analysis needs to be designed with the big screen in mind. Since content may be viewed on a crisp 65-inch Ultra HD 4K screen where the call to action won’t have a click-through option, advertisers must adapt and design accordingly.

Look for areas where you can test and more deeply engage with interactive and data-driven video for greater personalization.

OTT audiences report a whopping 97% ad completion rate, proving that these viewers are steeped in discovery mode, open to interacting with any kind of content that may be interesting to them (Source: Innovid 2017 Global Video Benchmarks Report).

5) Understand data and performance capabilities. Over the past few years, significant progress has been made to keep up with the rapid evolution of OTT technology and ensure ad buyers have a consistent set of metrics for OTT campaigns.

Recent solutions introduced by Nielsen and comScore have finally established a consistent set of gross rating point (GRP) metrics that advertisers can use to compare demographics across OTT and linear TV.

Here’s a tip about verification: Advertisers can use 1x1 tracking pixels or VAST tags to make sure that campaigns are being delivered as promised.

This new playground for advertisers is a chance or them to fuel their video and content efforts — not to mention the added benefits of higher ad completion, greater engagement, personalization and more. 

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