What You Need to Know About OTT Advertising
If your business has been staying on top of the latest trends and technologies in marketing and advertising, then you have likely encountered the term OTT. What do these three letters stand for and why should it matter to your business?
First, it’s important to understand the basics of OTT to fully appreciate how it should be used to get the most effective results. So let’s start at the beginning. OTT stands for Over the Top. This type of content (video, audio, as well as some other types of media) has earned the title “OTT” because of how it works. Essentially, this is content delivered over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator (MSO) in the control or distribution of the content, therefore making it “over the top.” Think streaming content like on demand video, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
OTT content is a really effective form of advertising, but businesses need to be careful where they buy OTT and how they incorporate it into their overarching advertising strategy.
To make sure you get what you are paying for, we’ve asked Dave Wade, Comcast Spotlight’s Local Sales Manager to weigh in on five key questions that every business should ask of their OTT provider. Here’s what he said!
- Do you sell first-party inventory?
Dave Wade: What you really want to get to the bottom of here is whether or not the company you’re considering buying OTT from owns the inventory that you’re about to purchase. If they don’t, it’s likely that they have purchased the inventory from an ad exchange also known as 3rd party inventory. This should matter to you for a few reasons. First, 3rd party inventory is likely to cost you more since there is a middle man involved. Also, you may have issues when it comes to getting the inventory you want or addressing customer service issues as they arise, again because there is an extra layer to this model which can slow things down.
- How do you protect against bot fraud?
Dave Wade: You should know exactly what standards a company has in place to ensure that your ads are only seen by real,human consumers. Because you are paying per view with your OTT advertising, you want to be sure that those “views” are living, breathing people of your target demographic that could potentially purchase your goods or services. Companies who don’t have high standards for bot fraud could be charging you for views that really don’t qualify as real views at all.
- What types of reporting do you provide?
Dave Wade: Another key thing you want to understand is what KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are measured and how and when will they be reported back to you. Many media companies will provide analytics and reporting, but if the numbers aren’t measuring what matters most to you, it’s not worth much of anything! Know before you enter into an agreement with a company how they plan to measure and report the performance of your OTT advertising so there are no disappointments down the road.
- What do you consider a “completed view”?
Dave Wade: Different media companies have different definitions of a “completed view.” For example, your ad may only need to be viewed for the first 10 seconds to be considered a completed view. For a 30 second add, that’s missing out on a lot of content and possibly the most important parts! Other media companies hold high standards such as needing an ad to be viewed in its entirety (30 seconds for a 30 second commercial) in order to be considered a completed view. The reason that this is important is because when you’re given the reporting of completed views per OTT ad, you might be impressed by the number, but then come to realize viewers only saw 1/3 of your content. You want to avoid those types of surprises!
- What’s your cost per completed view?
Dave Wade: You should know what to expect to pay per completed view, and this should be clearly discussed and agreed upon. For example, you may want to be as direct as asking “With my last media company I paid less than $.05 per completed view, can I expect the same from you?” There are various ways media companies can misrepresent the cost to seem lower than what it is, only to then be hit with a large bill. Transparency and trust are two things you should want to have with every business or vendor, especially your media companies.
For a quick recap of the five important questions you should ask your media rep, check out our Media Minute, with Dave Wade and Mid-Atlantic Media Hub’s Jamie Vranich, which focuses on everything you need to know to get started with OTT content…all in just 60 seconds!
The bottom line when it comes to purchasing OTT advertising is that you have to do your homework. Our best advice to any business is to work only with a provider you trust. Additionally, you want to look for a company who has been working with OTT for a long time and who has a proven track record of results.
Do you have another question related to OTT? We’re happy to share some knowledge! Ask us a question and we’ll get you a clear and direct answer. Contact Mid-Atlantic Media Hub today.