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Marketing 360® Blog

An Introduction to OTT Advertising

Post By Scott Yoder | Paid Search

OTT (Over the Top) advertisements are commercials displayed on content streaming services. They offer a lot of potential for all types of businesses. Here’s an introduction to get you started.

At my house, we have an XBox console above our TV. Through it, we can stream content from YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

Likewise, through that internet connected console, your business can target advertisements.

The name Over the Top – or OTT – refers to standalone devices that let users stream content directly over the internet, bypassing traditional telecommunications and broadcast television.

Likewise, this type of advertising channels through a CTV (connected TV). You might also hear these advertising channels/tactics described as Advanced TV.

Redundant acronyms and titles aside, these are going to be heavy hitters for brand advertising – including branding for local businesses.

Here are the most important reasons you need to take a serious look at this advertising channel.

Microtarget TV Commercials

OTT ads are very much like old style TV ads, both in style and function.

Style wise, they’re 30-second bits mainly meant to drive brand affinity. Function wise, they appear at intervals during content programming.

For example, here’s an OTT ad we did for a local car dealership:

But there is a big difference between OTT ads and traditional TV commercials.

In the past, the above car dealership commercial could have run in a local market. But like all ads in those days, it could only appear in designated time slots showing to the entire, general audience watching the program.

These old style ads epitomize outbound marketing. A lot of reach with virtually no targeting.

OTT ads, on the other hand, are digitally based. That means they can be targeted to audiences, similar to how you target Google and Facebook Ads.

This is a game-changer for the 30-second commercial spot because the targeting for digital advertising is so precise.

For example, the car dealership commercial can be geographically targeted so it only shows to potential buyers in the area.

Then, they can target the ads to people who are in the market for a car. Or they could drill down and only target people who’ve previously bought the make of car they sell. If they’re doing an SUV commercial, they can target people who have a history of SUV ownership.

This business doesn’t have to waste advertising spend showing their ads to someone who has no intention of buying the types of cars they sell. Likewise, viewers don’t have their time wasted with an irrelevant ad.

Say you’re a wedding planner. Create a commercial and target it to people who are engaged.

Maybe you’re opening a new micro-brewery. Target households that have a high propensity for buying beer.

At Marketing 360®, we have a database with thousands of audience segments to target OTT ads. Just as with Facebook, you can get really granular, and have to be careful not to make your audience so narrow that it’s not viable.

Unlike Google and Facebook, OTT ads don’t use cookie/pixel technology to target audiences. Instead, they access third-party consumer data.

However, the result is basically the same. Businesses can microtarget TV commercials. With this level of targeting, the campaigns are less expensive and more effective.

TV Trends

Your favorite new program is on Wednesday at 8 pm. That doesn’t work for you.

Your favorite program is available to be streamed online. You can watch anytime from any internet-connected device.

Ads show during your program. Wednesday at 8, these ads are irrelevant to your needs. They’re an annoying interruption.

On your device, the ads reflect your interests and are for products you’re actively in the market for. They’re still an interruption, but at least they’re relevant.

OTT advertising reflects the much larger trend of relevancy being more effective than reach in advertising. It also connects to what is called programmatic advertising, which is another term for the algorithmic targeting of ads based on user data, in this case implying how software drives the entire process.

This tactic also moves with the obvious trend of people favoring streaming TV services. As viewers “cut cable”, OTT ads will become the norm. According to a Google/Nielson study, YouTube alone reaches more 18-49 year-olds in an average week than all cable TV networks combined.

To learn how you can take advantage of OTT advertising, talk to one of our marketing consultants. This is a new advertising channel for SMBs, but one we’re getting ready to dial in for our clients.