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Over-the-Top Advertising: Strategies to Build Your Network

Cord-cutter: a buzzword that started being thrown around when streaming services like Netflix came onto the media consumption scene. Instead of pay-for-cable, cord-cutters subscribe to multiple streaming services as an alternative way for watching television.

Streaming services are a better way to binge-watch shows. They also support a growing advertising market on platforms such as Hulu or Crackle. In a few years, there’s a good chance Netflix will be showing ads during shows, too. As a consumer, one might be furious that their eight-hour run of Scandal would be interrupted by a commercial from Command Strip, but as a marketer or businessperson, one should be excited about the transformation of television commercials.

The benefits of creating advertisements for over-the-top media (streaming services or smart TVs) begin with reach and audience. Over-the-top (OTT) media collects data on all accounts associated with a specific platform and sells it to advertisers, just like social media platforms. Therefore, advertisers can create a very specific target audiences and fine-tune their commercials towards those interests. They can also broaden their reach by finding accounts with similar qualities and showing them the same advertisement.

OTT advertising has powerful analytics. Because you already have the data on the accounts, you can match it up with the response your commercials receive. Then, you can begin to mold different versions of your ad to fit different audiences. OTT advertising also offers a flexible budget. The trial process of this type of advertisement is much smaller than that of a television commercial because you can see almost immediate results

Before venturing into OTT advertising, it is important to note that in order to be the most successful, your business should have an audience of millennial or generation Z consumers. Viewers ages 18 to 35 are the strongest demographic for this form of media and their engagement with advertising is very high. If you do not offer a product or service that has a market in this age range, you should focus your efforts on more traditional forms of television, where 70% of 50 to 64 watch their media (cable).

The best strategy for an OTT campaign starts with identifying your market. Who are you selling to, and where do they watch their shows and movies? Second, match your target audience. What voice will they listen to? Next, report the data. Is your return on investment worth the amount of your budget you are carving out for this strategy? Finally, repeat. Move from platform to platform, audience to audience, peaking their interest and staying ahead of the game. At BrandStar, we have our own OTT network that broadcasts all of our streaming content to web users and those who have the BrandStar TV app.


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