How do over-the-top (OTT) distributors reach their target audiences, pick up loyal subscribers, and generate revenue?
Reaching these three goals isn’t automatic when you create (or license) content and add it to various OTT platforms. They aren’t even a guarantee when you make your own OTT app. That’s why you need an OTT content marketing strategy!
Content marketing is the practice of using curated or created content (such as videos, blogs, podcasts, social media posts, etc.) to subtly promote your brand and its offerings.
Unlike pushing for a “hard sell,” OTT content marketing is intended to:
- Inspire interest/excitement to build awareness
- Solve a problem for your target audience (i.e., where to find OTT content they’re interested in)
- Drive new and current users to your content on every OTT platform/device
- Capture viewers and convert them to subscribers
If your OTT marketing strategy doesn’t include content marketing, you’re already lagging behind.
Implementing these OTT marketing strategies will help you leapfrog to greatness.
6 reasons ott content marketing should be in your strategy (+how to do this right)
“If you build it, they will come…”
Or else they may never know you exist.
So follow these six steps and you’ll have an OTT content marketing strategy that attracts a field of subscribers:
1. outline your OTT marketing goals
Every content marketing strategy starts by outlining your purpose, and the best goals are SMART goals, which stand for:
Start with a direct objective, such as gaining viewers, increasing engagement, or meeting a subscriber quota. The more detailed your goal, the easier it will be to stay on track. Anything that doesn’t pertain to reaching the goal is a distraction.
The ability to quantify your goal lets your team track their progress. Think: gaining 5k new viewers or racking up 200 shares on social media.
The goal should be a challenge yet within your reach. If it took you five months to capture 500 subscribers, you shouldn’t expect to gain 1,000 subscribers in one week.
How likely is your team to achieve the goal based on your current resources? Is it possible now, or do you need to first complete another task before reaching this goal?
For example, let’s say you want a well-oiled content marketing machine. You should have a few weeks’ worth of content ready to launch before you even start engaging with your audience.
When you give your goal a concrete deadline, you give your team a specific window to work within.
This not only instills a sense of urgency, but it will also help you set milestones for everyone to work towards. And you’ll have a definitive date to take stock of how successful your campaign actually was.
Once you have your SMART goal set, you’ll need to devise a plan to help your team get there.
But this is only possible if you know your target viewer as well as you know your best friend.
2. use your buyer persona data to align your content marketing
Viewers are at the heart of every OTT strategy.
And the more you know about your target audience, the better you’ll be able to create, market, and deliver content they engage with.
You should already have buyer personas, or representations of your target audience, outlined in your OTT strategy.
These generally include demographics (like age, gender, language preference, family status, household income, etc.), location (country, state, city, and even specific zip codes), and interests.
Since OTT content is delivered over the internet with relatively stable IP addresses, you can also capture customer data that will specifically boost your audience targeting efforts, such as their:
- Viewing preferences. What genre/type of content do they most watch? What do they search your site or OTT app for?
- Time spent watching content. Do they binge several videos or only watch short clips during their commutes? When/how often do they watch?
- OTT device usage. On which OTT platforms are they most active? When you know if they’re active on your app or website, you can retarget OTT viewers on other devices.
Capturing this insight will help you target and optimize your content marketing campaigns, thus boosting your ROI.
If your target audience likes watching DIY videos on YouTube, for example, you can create and share short clips for your social media pages, and attract visitors to your channel of instructional pay-per-class content on your app.
You may even be able to segment your audience further, or even expand into new audiences you didn’t know existed, based on the right buyer persona data.
Spread out your content to multiple outreach channels, and you’ll go beyond reaching specific individuals to engaging with entire households.
3. cover various distribution channels to widen your reach
OTT distributors need to make their content available on every platform so users can watch when, how, and where they want.
An OTT video content distribution plan can help you do this.
But it’s also helpful for your content marketing.
Thanks to the plethora of OTT platforms and apps, the average OTT user streams content across three devices and uses three different OTT services[*].
You should stream OTT content directly from your website and standalone apps via OTT marketplaces like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and more.
Then, when you align your marketing to promote your content on these various outlets, you’ll be able to reach and engage with viewers without leaving anyone out.
- Which OTT platforms snag most of your viewers. Typically, we see engagement closely follow market share.
- How viewers get to your content (via an email link, organic search, blog tie-in, etc.)
- How to drive viewers to different platforms
- Whether you’ll create unique programs/content/schedules/subscription models for each platform
When users find your content on a platform they like or use most, your content marketing can push them towards converting.
4. encourage viewers toward monetization
Your marketing and engagement efforts will ultimately determine how fast a new viewer moves from the brand awareness or free content stage to becoming a lifetime subscriber.
That’s why a successful OTT business uses a combination of each type of pay model to reach viewers in different stages of their buyer’s journey.
So make sure your pricing models reflect where each viewer is in your funnel.
Your options include:
- Free-to-watch, intended to entice new viewers to your brand. Short, free-to-watch content is ideal for your social media posts and limited-time trials for new users.
- Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD): Viewers score free content in exchange for a few short, targeted ads. Research shows 62% of AVOD viewers don’t mind seeing ads if the content is free; 47% of AVOD viewers said these ads are even useful or enjoyable [*]. AVOD works well to target mid-funnel viewers who are interested in your content, but not convinced they need to pay for it just yet.
- Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD): Viewers get unlimited access to your content for a flat rate fee each billing cycle. Your content marketing plan should always highlight the value in your subscriptions, either by teasing users with exclusive bonus content, showing the value in an ad-free viewing experience, etc.
- Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD): Viewers only pay for the content they wish to view (essentially, pay-per-view).
Psst! Want to learn how to start a revenue-generating streaming service? [Read this quick guide next](/insights/blog/how-to-start-a-streaming-service/?utmsource=blog&utmmedium=blog&utmcampaign=ottcontentmarketing&utmcontent=how-to-start-a-streaming-service)!
With a specific user in mind for each type of pay model, you’ll be ready to start sharing.
5. promote and share your ott content
Creating and publishing stellar content is just the beginning of marketing for your brand’s OTT strategy.
You’ll want to leverage several promotional channels to drive awareness, advertise new content, and keep your target audience hooked.
It’s easy to promote your content via:
- Email newsletters. Update subscribers on new videos, direct them to watch on your OTT app, share subscription offers/deals, etc.
- Social media. Build a tribe of loyal followers, give them exclusive content, and tell them when new content is available. Package clips to encourage sharing your content with their network. Make users/viewers feel more connected.
- Native advertising. Stream content via promoted tweets (Twitter), sponsored stories (Facebook), featured videos (YouTube), and more. These ads will engage viewers and lead to your subscription content, service, or product.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). Video content helps your website rank high in search result pages, which then directs viewers to your OTT apps. Pay extra attention to your video sitemap, video metadata optimization, keyword tagging (title tags, description tags, and video tags), and building links from other videos on your website.
- Push notifications. Push notifications drive engagement, retention, and revenue because they’re a direct line of one-on-one communication with your audience. Once a user opts-in, you can send targeted messages that get them to take action based on their demographic info, in-app behavior, customer lifecycle stage, and more. Engage with new users, and rekindle the spark with abandoned users, and see your efforts pay off in real-time.
Make your content easily discoverable and shareable, and you may be surprised by how far it reaches with minimal work on your end.
6. monitor analytics to measure and improve your efforts
Determining the success of your OTT content marketing can be a bit tricky because you’ll need to capture data from multiple devices and platforms — and then interpret it.
However, if you’re able to monitor and evaluate what the data means, you’ll know how/where to improve your efforts or tweak what’s not working. It will require ongoing experimentation and optimization, but it will be well worth the time and effort.
So to ensure the highest ROI:
- Identify your key performance indicators (KPIs) at the start. Remember your SMART goals from step one? Now it’s time to assign metrics to determine how you’ll measure whether you’re nearing them. Think about downloads, shares, views, subscribers, etc.
- Monitor your KPIs across all platforms. See how stats compare across different devices. Based on the data, come up with solutions to fix what’s falling flat and improve what’s doing well.
- Evaluate changes and repeat. Continue to check-in on your KPIs, along with your other marketing metrics, to create a cohesive, well-oiled campaign.
Once you reach your deadline and achieve your goal, it’s time to create a new one and work towards winning the gold again. And now you’ll have even more data to run with.
ready to get your ott strategy off the ground?
These six reasons all prove OTT content marketing deserves a major place in your business strategy.
And if you follow each of these steps, you’ll bring more awareness to your brand and show users why they should hop on your bandwagon.
Start by outlining a SMART goal and brainstorming ways to work towards it. Don’t let the hard work of your OTT app go to waste; use these OTT content marketing strategies to get more exposure to your brand and app.
If you discover you need a more robust OTT app, or need to expand to new OTT platforms, consider working with us.
At Zemoga we help our clients build better.