OTT, or Over the Top advertising, and CTV advertising have both been gaining traction in the past few months as consumers are stuck at home and are watching more TV at all hours of the day. With so much interest from marketers across all industries, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about OTT to help you get started.

What is OTT and how is it different from Connected TV? 

OTT is a subset of Advanced TV that includes Digital TV and CTV.  OTT, or over the top, devices connect users to the internet to facilitate the viewing of video inventory in a TV like environment. This is typically done through some type of app or website, such as hulu.com, and includes a much wider spectrum than just something that shows up on a connected TV. CTV refers to digital video content that’s being viewed on a TV that is connected to the internet.

 

What metric do you use to measure an OTT campaign?

Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, and what your consumer funnel or journey looks like, your KPI may vary, but the most common is video completion rate, or VCR. While that is the most common metric, there are additional performance metric options out there. 

For example, some campaigns are focused on promoting the download of an app, and with OTT and digital TV it is possible to measure impressions to app download or app install. This is just one of the reasons why OTT is far superior to linear TV, where you have no shot at measuring app downloads based on impressions.

 

How can I shift my traditional linear TV advertising clients into a strategic mix of TV tactics that include OTT?

The difficulty here is that many traditional marketers really are holding on to TV because that’s what they know, so encouraging them to make the switch is difficult. So one way to start this conversation is to talk about the  benefits of CTV and OTT. One such benefit of OTT advertising compared to linear TV that makes the sell easier is not only the additional targeting capabilities, but also the direct measurement of your advertising impact that linear TV doesn’t offer. 

Brand awareness can be measured in a variety of ways, from ad recall to website visits, or people who visit a landing page, download a white paper, or sign up for a newsletter. All of these can be good metrics for understanding how you are reaching consumers.

The challenge here is balancing how much to assign to each tactical line item compared to the goal, and what you are trying to achieve. In terms of finding a balance, it’s really going to come down to how your clients are viewing the value of upper funnel brand awareness.

 

How important is retargeting when you’re doing OTT programmatic advertising?

The answer here will really come down to what you’re trying to accomplish with the buy. Obviously everyone would love to launch a new product with no brand awareness and jump immediately to conversions. But in reality, that’s really, really tough to do, as most video inventory is upper-funnel based.

Being able to incorporate retargeting can help move consumers from pure awareness (upper funnel) through the mid, and down to the lower funnel, and hopefully drive a conversion.

Retargeting is just giving us more cards to play with, and helps to stay in front of consumers who may be over-indexing or seem more relevant to whatever you’re trying to market sell or promote.

 

Can OTT also work for direct response campaigns?

Yeah, absolutely, although direct response is a little bit trickier to find the right mix of channels and tactics. Something like display retargeting is probably going to be more effective at driving that true lower funnel conversion, but an OTT video ad is just flashier and it gets people’s attention. You might see better click through rates with display, but there are also other attention grabbing alternatives like a high impact mobile unit that has functionality and that a consumer can engage with the ad. There isn’t a real cut and dry answer to the question of which type of ad will work for all industries or campaigns. One might be effective for a certain client, while a different mix might be effective for this other client.

The best way to understand which mix works best for you is to look at any kind of historical data that you have to give you a real estimate. You can check metrics like how much organic website traffic you are seeing on a given month to understand how these ads might be impacting your brand. 

Keep in mind a conversion can be anything from clicks on a specific page, starts an application, or driving lead forms. Whichever conversion you are tracking for, you’ll need a minimum of about 100 conversions a week before we can optimize towards that goal using AI. If you’re trying to drive lead form completes, but you’re only seeing about 10 of those a month, you unfortunately don’t have enough data to feed the machine learning in order for the campaign to be optimized against. 

 

What can you do about ad fraud in OTT? 

A: There has been a lot of talk about ad fraud recently in regards to OTT advertising. White Ops is one tool that marketers can use to help prevent ad fraud, and is already integrated with some of our DSP partners, such as The Trade Desk. Every impression served on The Trade Desk is run through White Ops Human Verification technology to ensure that there is a human on the other end of the device. If you are concerned about ad fraud and want to make sure that your impressions are being seen by humans, it is recommended to use a partner like this. 

 

What about ad skipping? What is the percentage of consumers who opt out of OTT ads? 

For many video ads, consumers have the option to watch six seconds of a full 30 second ad  and then skip it. YouTube is the most well known platform that offers this skippable format, compared to the free version of Hulu where ads are not skippable. To answer this question, you’ll have to check with your particular inventory provider.

 

How does pricing and spend minimums vary between addressable and programmatic TV advertising? 

Addressable TV is going to give you a little bit more flexibility, only because you’re buying at a household level as opposed to a program level. Household level targeting also gives us more opportunity to find some combination of OTT and CTV, and the ability to optimize more effectively.

For Programmatic TV, if you want to buy live sports, which is one of the more popular, and one of the more specific targeting options on programmatic TV, there is more likely to be a higher minimum spend level because viewers have less of a chance to opt out. At the same time, you’re going to have less variety when it comes to optimizations. 

 

Looking for More Information about OTT?

Addressable TV is going to give you a little bit more flexibility, only because you’re buying at a household level as opposed to a program level. Household level targeting also gives us more opportunity to find some combination of OTT and CTV, and the ability to optimize more effectively.

The customer journey is as varied as your audience. No matter where your customers are, AUDIENCEX offers effective omnichannel campaigns to reach and engage them— from display & video to search, social, native, and beyond. If you’d like to strategize with one of our campaign experts about how to leverage OTT in your omnichannel campaigns, contact us. We’d love to chat.

 

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Addressable TV is going to give you a little bit more flexibility, only because you’re buying at a household level as opposed to a program level. Household level targeting also gives us more opportunity to find some combination of OTT and CTV, and the ability to optimize more effectively.

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