6 Secrets for Mastering the Art of OTT advertising

ott advertising

As more consumers cut the cord (drop their cable subscriptions in favor of streaming TV platforms) it gets harder for advertisers to reach their target market, which sent advertisers to OTT advertising. As of 2021, nearly half of all households no longer pay for a cable subscription and many of the ones who do still pay for at least one streaming service, most notably Netflix. Of those still paying for cable, 30% have plans to cut the cord. Here are some other stats to consider as you contemplate your traditional TV advertising [source]:

  • Nearly all Americans aged 25-34 access TV content through the internet;
  • 90% of young people prefer this method
  • Among the younger segment of viewers, those aged 18-24, the percentage is similar: 87% opt for internet access.
  • Netflix had 209.67 million by the first quarter of 2021.
  • Pay-TV lost over 5 million subscribers in 2020.

If your target market includes a significant number of these younger consumers, your traditional TV advertising holds no hope for reaching your marketing goals. So, you must seek alternatives to reach your target market, including digital advertising and newer options to advertising on streaming services.

ott advertisingWhat is OTT advertising?

OTT advertising, also called streaming TV ads, involves serving ads to viewers who access video content through internet-enabled devices with the help of streaming services, such as Peacock, Hulu, and Paramount+. Even Netflix, a company that viewed advertising as an anathema, is considering creating a tier for subscribers willing to accept ads in exchange for lower subscription fees as a result of their first serious decline in subscribers.

OTT, which stands for over the top, takes advantage of machine learning to deliver ads based on first-party data. It also allows advertisers to share their advertising without the restrictions involved in planning traditional TV ads based on broadcast schedules or geographic limitations. Data providers share data on subscribers to various streaming services to allow advertisers to make informed choices regarding which advertising inventory represents the greatest potential for their business.

If you never thought about OTT advertising, maybe didn’t even know how it worked, we developed a little primer that highlights best practices for building a plan around this form of advertising.

Here are 6 secrets for mastering the art of OTT advertising so you too can maximize your reach and ensure greater profits.

1. Analyze customer behavior

Knowing your target market is the key to any marketing strategy and running streaming ads is no different. You must understand the demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral differences that define your marketing. Only research provides the depth of knowledge necessary to both create and effectively choose the right platforms for your advertising to deliver results.

With the use of smart technology such as OTT services by Finecast, gain access to a wealth of data on subscribers, allowing you to optimize your targeting to lower your costs and increase your conversion rate. The benefit of using OTT from providers like Finecast is that their data doesn’t involve the use of third-party cookies (identifiers placed on users to track their navigation through sites other than your own). Google announced in 2020 that they were phasing out these cookies on its popular Chrome browser (Firefox and Safari already stopped advertisers’ access to this data) by the end of 2022 and recent stories suggest they won’t replace them with another tracking option. The inability to access 3rd party cookies makes it much harder for businesses to target users for advertising. Instead, providers like Finecast use a first-party data subscription, that stops an advertiser from invading the privacy of your customer.

Using data provided through a variety of 1st party sources, OTT service providers create bespoke audience profiles that allow advertisers to zero in on their most likely prospects. The net result of this data access is you can maximize your OTT advertising revenue through better targeting using data that won’t disappear from use anytime soon.

2. Increase OTT ad revenue with customer retention

The thing that customers consider when choosing a brand is they want ones that value their business. OTT advertising results in ads with higher relevance to TV viewers, which increases engagement and lets you focus on building loyalty, especially with lapsed customers.  By creating loyalty programs and welcome deals, customers are more likely to stay with you and recommend you to their friends and families. If these customers feel valued by you as a company, they’re likely to spend more, too.

3. Product placement

By embedding your product or service into TV production, not only do you cut down on commercial time, but you have a greater chance of conversion if you show the product in context. This means that audiences will associate the product with their real life to a greater extent than if it’s only shown as another advertisement. For instance, when Tom Cruise wore Ray-Ban glasses in Top Gun, sales of the glasses rose 40%.

When taking this route, however, be sure you don’t overload your audience with too much too soon or it appears awkward and reduces the effectiveness overall.

ott advertising

4. Remember your audience

Research shows that 60% of adults say the primary way they watch TV is through streaming services, such as Netflix. Although currently, OTT appeals more to a younger audience, as we showed above, as it becomes the new norm more and more older people adopt streaming even if they don’t completely cut the cord, which helps to expand the reach of brands to these audiences. While only 26% of TV watching involves a streaming service (with the remainder spread across playing video games, watching YouTube or traditional cable/ broadcast TV, and other video content), that number grew by double digits over the last year. If you need help with all of this, you can create efficient TV advertising with X Social Media or other such experts.

Wherever the majority of views come from is where ad spending will also consolidate, so OTT ad spend is likely to increase as advertising on streaming services also grows.

5. Consider multiple devices

When creating ad content, remember that people use a variety of devices to access their favorite streaming platforms, including mobile devices such as phones and tablets. So, keep these small screens in mind as you create content as well as a variety of TV screen sizes. Craft your ads to dynamically adjust to a suitable size so that they do their job on a variety of different devices.

6. Ways to measure your success

Here are just a few of the variables included in most analytic analyses.

  • Costs per click
  • costs per action
  • view through conversions
  • click-through rate
  • impressions
  • percentage of video watched
  • device-level performance

Create an analytics program to follow these KPIs (key performance indicators) and break them down by different target markets to assess the performance of your campaigns with the notion of using data to guide future decisions that optimize your performance across these metrics.


Now you are privy to these 6 secrets of mastering the art of OTT advertising, it’s time to get started on your next successful ad campaign.

If you want to share comments on your experiences or ask questions, please enter them in the section below.

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