Everything You Need to Know About OTT

Getting started on an ad campaign sounds simple, but it can be difficult and at times, frustrating. One of the biggest issues with businesses that advertise is that they are unsure of the best platform on which to advertise. At times, they even pick the wrong one. Marketing and advertising are not “one-size-fits-all” processes. They need to be individualized and based on the businesses, the industry, the end goal (build awareness, bring traffic to the site, convert users who have added items to cart to make that purchase, etc.), and of course, the target audience. Although there are some services, like search engine optimization (SEO) that tend to be very beneficial for all, businesses should understand the expected outcome of the campaign and be confident that it will help their business. Therefore, it is a good idea to learn more services that you might not know about. This week, we’d like to break down a service that is not well known by many, yet it yields great results and as a consumer, you have probably come across it many times. This service is OTT.

What is OTT

OTT, or over-the-top television, is video advertising through the internet and streaming devices rather than through traditional cable broadcasting. OTT has become widely popular, especially now that many people do not watch or use cable and spend most of their TV viewing time on streaming devices. These ads are non-skippable and immersive for the viewer. Unlike traditional ads on cable, over-the-top television allows for great targeting opportunities to engage with unique and specific audiences.

How it Works

Your video ad can play on Smart TVs and external devices like Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV Stick. It can also play on gaming consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation, for viewers who stream TV apps that way. Through these applications, OTT allows your ad to show on apps such as Hulu, Sling TV, ESPN, ABC, A&E, and more! These ads can show pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll. So basically, at the beginning of the viewers' program, in the middle of the program, or at the end of the program. Now, you are probably realizing how often you have seen OTT ads when you stream your favorite shows!

Why It is Beneficial

Over-the-top television is a great way to not only grasp the attention of one viewer but also to grasp the attention of many viewers at once. When you run an ad campaign on Facebook, Google, or YouTube, there is a good chance that only one person is viewing it per device. However, OTT is made for the big screen. Therefore, when you show your ad, you can be showing it to entire families or big groups of friends! This is a great way to gain lots of exposure at once.


In addition to being seen by many, OTT also has great targeting capabilities. You not only can target people when they are watching their programs, but you can also retarget people who have previously visited your website. In addition to this targeting, we can create a custom audience that will be likely to engage with your ad. This audience will be based on keywords specific to your business, along with channels and apps that are similar to your campaign. Lastly, we can geofence locations of where your audience is likely to be viewing these ads.

Is It Right for You?

So now that we have learned about OTT and its capabilities it’s time to decide if this is right for your business. In order to determine if OTT is a good fit, think about the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your target audience. If you are B2B it will most likely not be as beneficial as it is for a B2C business. If your key demographic is baby boomers, it probably won’t be a good fit since the older the generation, the less likely they are to have streaming services.  However, if you are trying to sell products that are made for families, OTT might be a perfect fit.

You also want to think about video ads in general. Make sure that it is right for your business and that it can properly display your message. Video ads should be professional done by a videographer in order for top-quality results. This will take more time and cost more money than a static image ad, so you need to account for that as well. However, if the results are going to bring you more business, it will be worth the extra time and money. You can also put some of the footage that was not used in the ad on your website, social, media, etc. Therefore, video ads tend to be very profitable in the long run because you usually have lots of footage you can edit and reuse on different platforms. If you are interested in OTT but are not sure if it's right for you, please give us a call! We’d be happy to walk you through OTT and learn more about your business to find the best service for you.