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How OTT Can Put Your Marketing Efforts Over the Top


What Is OTT? 

“Oh great, another digital marketing acronym,” I can hear you say now as you read this, but don’t let your eyes gloss over just yet, OTT is just a useful stand-in term for a subset of the overall streaming video market that occurs “over the top” of a traditional internet/cable provider. Think Netflix or Hulu, though only one offers the ad placements we’ll be talking about here. This distinction is useful because it separates OTT out from other video streaming ads, like those available on the Google Ad network, by the device they are usually consumed on and how they are bought. OTT ads allow you to reach consumers with digital targeting precision on a decidedly traditional placement, their TVs. 

Why Should I be Interested?

An explosion of growth

• There was a 115% increase in OTT streaming to TVs between 2020 and 2021. (Conviva) 

• 82% of US consumers have a video streaming subscription, with 4 subscriptions being the average, compared to 67% of people having a pay-TV subscription in 2021. (Deloitte Insights) 

• 66% of people who watch OTT services have discovered a new product or company whilst streaming, showing how effective an OTT ad can be. (OpenX) 

• When watching OTT content, 40% of viewers have paused what they were watching to go online and check out or even purchase what was being advertised to them. (OpenX) 

• Ad recall is strong with OTT viewers; 72% of them could remember a specific ad they were served whilst watching. (OpenX) 


Digital precision brought to an analog medium

With traditional TV and radio targeting you need to design your message around the demographics of the program you are buying ad time for. With OTT ads, you are able to target by user vs program, just like you would on Facebook or YouTube, allowing you the flexibility to hyper-customize your message to your ideal target audience and significantly cutting down wasted impressions. 

The Best of Both Worlds, Traditional TV and Streaming

Unlike traditional TV, where the commercial breaks are long enough that people are usually using them to go grab a snack or bathroom break, OTT ad packs are usually no longer than 2-3 ads at a time, meaning users are significantly more likely to remain engaged and that you are less likely to be lost in the shuffle. On the other hand, you enjoy the engagement benefits of a traditional TV ad with no “skip” button 5 seconds in, meaning you don’t have to front-load the message of your ad. You also get the added benefit of additional otherwise gated placements, such as mobile streaming apps. 

How To Integrate OTT Into a Broader Integrated Marketing Strategy: 

Customize and A/B test like you would your other digital media

OTT advertising offers the opportunity to build segments based on audience demographics and interests, just like you would on any digital marketing platform, then target them across placements and times vs having to buy specific shows and times that get you “close enough” to your target demo based on historical viewership. 

Reinforce your message with additional digital marketing channels

OTT placements are often best used as part of a greater multi-channel marketing plan targeting the same demographics/areas with clickable ads that follow up on users who have viewed your OTT commercial and convert them online. 

Measuring Success: 

When It comes to measuring success from an OTT campaign, your metrics will depend on implementation. As with all programmatic media, you’ll receive total impression, cost per impression and frequency data that can be used to determine if you are efficiently spending budget and if your target audience was big enough to support the total campaign spend. Additionally, if you either have a direct link within the campaign or are supporting the campaign with other digital media, you can utilize direct click through data and/or feed a list of conversions back to the provider to match converted leads or purchases with people who received impressions from your OTT campaign, assigning either partial or full credit depending on the additional media involved in the lead/sale.

The Present and Future of OTT:

The Revolution will be Televised

Everything we’ve talked about so far is just what’s possible with the current capabilities for most OTT ad providers, but the space is increasingly evolving to stand on its own. Remember that great Superbowl commercial this year? The one with the bouncing QR code that brought America back to the simple pleasure of rooting for that multi-colored DVD logo to hit the corner of the screen?  

That ad was deployed on traditional TV, to a non-targeted audience with a $14 million price tag and the need to be quick on the draw with your phone camera to get to the landing page. Despite those hurdles, it generated over 20 million hits to the page (crashing the site and no doubt ending someone in Coinbase IT’s employment). Imagine what would be possible with an integrated click-through function built into the commercial, at a cheap CPM, with digital marketing level demographic targeting. That is exactly what is being built out and tested in the space now, with brands trialing everything from TV-only offers to store locators built right into the commercial. How would you leverage this for your brand? 

So What are You Waiting For?

If this all sounds good to you, but you’re wondering where to get started, fear not! You can stay right on this page, look up and to the right from here, you’ll find a button to contact us for a free consultation on how we can help you to achieve your OTT and broader digital marketing needs. If you’d like to receive content like this on a regular basis, sign up for our newsletter below. 

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