8 Creative Best Practices for OTT Advertising

When investing in OTT, it’s critical that your ads be the greatest they can be – here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating your latest OTT ad.

The rise of over-the-top (OTT) and connected TVs (CTV) has forever changed the landscape of television. People have traded in their traditional linear programming for streaming diverse cross-platform content from various channels. Advertisers need to adapt and implement best practices for OTT advertising to take advantage of the fastest-growing digital advertising channel.

What is OTT?

OTT involves streaming film, tv series, documentaries, and more content from the internet, whenever and wherever you’d like. Audiences can now consume entertainment content from pretty much anywhere on their tablets, phones, laptops, and more.

Advertisers need to start experimenting with creative variables to take full advantage of OTT’s audience reach. Below are some best practices for OTT advertising you can start implementing today and begin building brand awareness.

OTT Advertising Best Practices

Define Your Goal

Before you create a video ad or any marketing content, you want to define what you hope to accomplish clearly. While it’s tempting to have multiple goals for an ad, it’s best to keep it to one clear goal. Implementing too many objectives into an ad can confuse your audience and turn them off before taking the desired action.

Adopt an Audience-First Strategy

To fully benefit from OTT advertising, you must understand your target audience and what matters to them. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in marketing; each piece of content must be planned around a specific buyer persona. So you must take the time to research your target audience and what resonates with them, and adjust your messaging accordingly.

Tell a Story

Most people skip ads when the option is available, so you need to pull viewers in with an engaging story. Make sure your audience understands your message with a cohesive narrative and a clear call-to-action (CTA). Don’t be afraid to get creative and lean into current trends in entertainment. Audiences have different expectations for streaming content, so keep your OTT advertisements to 15-30 seconds for non-skippable ads.

Keep It Consistent

Audiences are more likely to trust and engage with a company that has a consistently presented brand. In most households, multiple target audiences are watching the same program. This is a prime opportunity to showcase your brand and products to new audiences. Make sure you always include your core values and offerings to potential new customers. Always have your logo and URL prominently within the ad to help brand recall.

Include a CTA

Unlike social media ads or search advertisements, viewers can’t click to visit your website when watching an OTT ad. Therefore, one of the essential best practices for OTT advertising is incorporating a clear and compelling CTA. Take advantage of OTT ads having sound and include a voiceover to grab your viewers’ attention. The same principles you would use in display advertising and other digital marketing channels should be followed:

  • Use strong action verbs
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Make sure your CTA focuses on the ad’s primary goal (i.e., Awareness, Engagement, Delight)

Make Sure Your Video Can Be Formatted For Multiple Devices

Don’t assume which device your OTT ads will play on. OTT devices include laptops, tablets, smartphones, and connected TVs. As a result, you should identify sizing best practices for multiple devices, so the value proposition and CTA are immediately visible on all screen types. Including more close-up shots and larger text is an easy solution for meeting sizing requirements for multiple OTT devices.

Integrate Marketing Strategies

Look at how your marketing and advertising tactics align with your overall marketing strategy. Identify any inconsistencies with brand voice, your direction, and missed opportunities for cross-promotion. While ads will differ on individual platforms, the overarching messaging should be aligned as closely as possible.

This doesn’t mean you can’t try something new; you most certainly can. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, explore new angles, budget, or shift focus to breathe new life into your digital marketing campaigns.

Implement A/B Testing

You want to think about ad frequency and avoid over-exposure and user fatigue. On average, it takes 5-7 impressions for a person to recognize your brand. Plan multiple versions of your ad ahead of time, and if possible, film all versions in one shoot. This will save time and money while providing an opportunity to play with creative variables, such as music, voiceovers, messaging, and CTAs.

If you’re unable to film a few versions, you can break up a longer piece into shorter snippets and add text overlays or end cards for a fresh look. Running A/B tests helps you discover what resonates with your audience. Remember, brand-building campaigns generally take 3-6 months. Using OTT ads as the centerpiece of a campaign allows you to create cross-platform content for digital, experiential, search, and retail.

An advertising agency can help you ensure that your message is crafted according to best practices and is placed in front of the right audience at the right time using OTT and other methods as needed.

New Path is a pioneer in programmatic advertising. We work with the leading programmatic providers to execute campaigns that influence every step on the path-to-purchase.

Since our founding, we have been committed to maintaining end-to-end control of our digital advertising practice.  We plan, build, execute and optimize our programmatic display and video campaigns in-house.

Our programmatic display and video solutions include:

  • Display & Video 360
  • OTT (video advertising)
  • YouTube Advertising
  • Amazon Advertising
  • Adelphic DSP
  • Campaign Manager

The outcome? Accelerate campaign launch times, optimizations, and increase your overall return on investment. Ready to learn more about OTT advertising? Download our Complete Guide to Getting Started with OTT Advertising.

If you’re ready to create your campaign, check out our OTT budget calculator below.

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