OTT, or over-the-top, is a term used to define video delivery over the internet a.k.a streaming. OTT media providers connect directly with the viewers by removing the “middle-man” i.e. the broadcast television and telecommunication platforms. With the advent of OTT, the video streaming and distribution markets have transformed. The power of selection now resides with the consumer rather than with the distributor. The OTT business model has changed from “finding customers” to “being found by customers”, which has led to a major shift in the marketing strategies implied by OTT service providers.
“(OTT) Revenue will grow from 6.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2010 to 83.4 million U.S. dollars in 2022.”
The OTT market is highly lucrative and prone to extensive growth in the future, but there’s also sufficient competition in this field to look forward to. There are a lot of players that are trying to reach the apex of this niche, leading to multiple marketing and content strategies being formed every day.
How To Improve An OTT Video Business
The most important aspect in improving an OTT platform for it to actually reach people is a calculated and well-researched mix of strategies implemented to the right people at the right time. The current model for gaining traction on your OTT video platform is
Content + Audience + Distribution + Marketing + Monetization = Video Business Success.
A strategic and targeted approach to the aforementioned model is the key to gaining success in any OTT video business.
These strategies, while effective, need a unified marketing idea i.e. a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Each and every aspect of the OTT video marketing strategies must be planned according to the USPs of the brand. USPs help differentiate the business from its competitors, thus answering the question “Why should consumers spend time on your platform and not somewhere else?”
After the USPs are laid out, now comes the time for market research. The target market needs to be defined along with their behaviour and preferences, which will form a target consumer profile. Creating strategies around the consumer profile is the best way to get traffic on your website and promote your OTT platform.
1. OTT Content Strategy
When it comes to online marketing, content is king. Content is the fundamental driving force behind most online businesses, especially OTT video businesses. Content can be anything from articles to videos to blogs to podcasts. Any multimedia asset belonging to a company is its content.
In 2018, about 57% of B2C marketers stated that they are planning to increase their content marketing spending in the following year.
The first step is to define a goal. Is the content used for driving traffic to the website or to promote something new? A definite goal enables a more focused approach and also helps keep track of the progress. Next step would be to build a Target Group (TG) for your business and for each and every product or service. The TG profile acts as a skeleton around which the entire OTT content strategy is built.
The OTT video space is quite rich in market potential but delicate in its legal aspects. Online content is always prone to piracy and infringement and needs to be protected. OTT video solutions like Vplayed are safeguarded by technologies like Data Rights Management (DRM), AES-256 Encryption, SSL Certification and Paywall Integration. This multi-layered security eradicates any chance of third-party interference, copyright infringement or content piracy.
On the flip side, ensure that the content broadcasted on the OTT platform is original and unique. Create new videos or touch base with content owners and secure rights to their original content. Doing so will bring exclusivity to the platform.
2. OTT Audience Strategy
Building upon and improving the Target Group (TG) profile is a recurring and essential part of any OTT strategy. Knowing customer behavior on your platform will enable you to service the customer better.
Here are a few questions that, when answered, can clarify the scalability potential of any OTT audience strategy.
- Is your TG active on cable, streaming and social media platforms?
- Which TG segment has the most revenue potential?
- What is your TG’s preferred mode of media consumption?
- How can you drive your TG to newer platforms?
- How do you communicate with your loyal customers?
- Which content segment is getting the most views and by what kind of customers and why?
- Which TG segment is most likely to share content?
- Where are the TG watching the content?
- What are the initiatives to capture other potential TG segments?
- How do you project the change in your TG in the next 3 years?
These questions will not only help create a scalable OTT business plan but also enhance customer loyalty.
3. OTT Distribution Strategy
There are numerous traditional and digital distribution channels which can aid in promoting OTT content. Before the internet, video distribution was in the hands of over-the-air broadcast networks, movie theatres and cable networks. Using upgraded technology, video rental stores, VCRs and DVD players enabled a slight degree of time-shifting i.e. letting people watch media at their own leisure instead of being dependant on the cable networks.
When the internet arrived, it brought with it the opportunity to watch any video on demand. The customers now have full authority over what they want to watch and when they want to watch it, ushering the era of over-the-top advertising and entertainment.
- For a targeted approach, know the distribution channels your TG is active on and then strategically deliver content to create a strong distribution network.
- Create future projections about your TG through analytics data and market trends.
- Analyze distribution channels and their preferred media format. For eg., people on Facebook prefer short videos while YouTube viewers are used to relatively longer videos.
4. OTT Marketing Strategy
Marketing is all about promoting the content at the right place at the right time and in the right way. Marketing strategies take a lot of pre-planning but can provide with very generous returns.
Some videos are easy to promote while others are relatively harder. This is the reason you need to have a solid marketing strategy for your OTT video platform ready as soon as you launch a video. Each channel you use to promote content must require a different strategic outlook.
Emails are one of the most important tools in today’s world. An email is the easiest way to catch someone’s attention without much effort. Email marketing is usually good for offers and updates so the customer feels connected to the platform.
Albeit intrusive, proper advertising creates a big impact if done correctly. Online advertising mediums are everywhere: Facebook ads, YouTube ads, Google ads, etc. and each platform calls for a different format of ads. Mix it up and see which combination works the best for your OTT platform.
Social media is one of the best ways to organically build followers and connect with consumers directly on a personal level. Social media is also an excellent way of building backlinks to your website which will improve the overall SEO strength of your OTT platform.
5. OTT Monetization Strategy
At the end of the day, after all the efforts, every business needs to make money. There are three monetization models used by OTT video business owners:
SVOD (Subscription Video-on-demand)
SVOD enables viewers to gain access to all the content on the OTT platform for a monthly subscription fee. The user has complete control in regards to when they want to start or stop the subscription.
TVOD (Transactional Video-on-demand)
TVOD employs a pay-per-view concept i.e. consumers pay for exactly what they watch and nothing more. Each video has a relatively smaller price and the payment needs to be done every time the consumer wants to watch the video.
AVOD (Advertising Video-on-demand)
The content is absolutely free for consumers. Instead, the advertising partners pay the platform for displaying their ads between videos.
These strategies will immensely benefit your OTT video business when implemented correctly at the right time and place. It takes time and patience to create and execute a successful strategy, so even if you feel like you’re not getting your returns, wait for a while, analyze the weak points and find a way to fix them or work around them and you’ll have an enterprise-level OTT video business in no time.