February 16, 2023
When we first forecasted connected TV advertising to explode in 2022, we were right. In 2022, over 48% of the U.S. population alone used ad-supported video streaming services to consume their favorite programming.
This number is only expected to increase in 2023; as premium, ad-supported content evolves into a household alternative to traditional cable television. More than 60% of Hulu users alone use an ad-supported version of the platform.
If your agency does not currently offer OTT advertising, today is the best time to start preparing for the rise in demand. Here are some reasons why:
In its earliest stages, many OTT platforms served primarily as ways to watch older films and television shows. If you recall, Netflix first began as a mail-delivery rental service for DVDs.
Thankfully, these platforms have become wholly digital, device-agnostic, and scalable in their pricing models to reach more viewers. As many cut the cable cord, major media brands are taking notice. For example, major cultural events like the 2023 Super Bowl LVII will be streamed live on Hulu, YouTube TV, FuboTV, and Sling TV.
As more major media entities invest in their OTT content with original programming and premium broadcasts, more audience members will join the trend. This creates an opportunity for agencies to position their clients’ ads directly in the middle of highly viewed, personalized content where viewers are most engaged.
With the above in mind, agencies have already started to prepare for the increased demand for OTT/CTV advertising. In a December 2022 survey conducted by Pixability, 75% of agencies reported plans to increase their ad spend on OTT platforms in 2023.
As we often say at Conduit, if a client asks for a service your agency does not provide, there exists a high chance that they will instead look for another agency that can and will fulfill their needs. If you do not have the holistic capabilities to offer a full ad operations suite, you could miss opportunities to land new accounts and expand existing ones to drive more scalable revenue.
When social media first emerged as a major digital marketing channel in the mid-2000s, many traditional agencies balked at the trend to their own dismay. Now, organic and paid social are essential capabilities for any modern agency.
As younger generations migrate away from linear television and increasingly adopt more on-demand digital streaming, they will be experiencing most of their advertisements on OTT platforms. Their audience data will exist here, their purchasing decisions will be influenced here, and the programmatic ads that generate the most return on ad spend for clients will also be found here.
Simply put: OTT/CTV advertising is an essential service offering that agencies must have in their product suites to ensure their long-term health as a business entity. As younger generations mature into the professionals that control marketing and advertising budgets, they will want to serve ads on these platforms where they know their peers are most engaged with long-form video content.
As ad agencies plan for an increase in demand for OTT advertising services, vetting OTT platforms for quality is essential. This includes researching viewership levels across different platforms, ad inventory and pricing, potential reach and specific audience targeting capabilities.
Agencies should also look into whether platforms have third-party verification systems in place to guarantee accurate campaign measurement. Finally, research any issues around privacy or data security related to each platform.
In order to prepare for the rise in demand for OTT campaigns, ad agencies should familiarize themselves with best practices for successful campaigns. This includes determining the right duration of ads (between 15 seconds and 1 minute) that will encourage viewers to remain engaged instead of shifting their attention elsewhere.
Because OTT is a highly visual channel, some creative best practices to also consider include:
OTT combines the appeal of traditional television with the advanced targeting capabilities of digital. One, some, or all of these tactics can be leveraged during a campaign, depending on the budget and scope, to help you reach the right audience.
Consider a mix of targeting strategies that could incorporate nay of the following:
Depending on the nature of the client’s business, targeting strategies will vary. For example, if the business only sells products online and doesn’t have a storefront, tracking foot traffic via geo-fencing wouldn’t be a fit. However, an addressable geo-fencing strategy honing on users at the household level who are a demographic and psychographic match for the same client would prove an ideal strategy.
When preparing for an increase in demand from clients in 2023, agencies should identify key performance actions (KPAs) associated with successful OTT campaigns that can be used to track progress throughout a campaign’s lifecycle.
Agencies should analyze metrics such as ad completions, video completion rate (VCR), and view-through conversions. Additionally, QR codes in OTT ads, which famously captured the attention of Whopper lovers during peak pandemic times, enticing them to hit the drive-thru for a free burger, are a new way to generate deeper insights since users can scan the code to visit a landing page with their mobile devices.
Users who take the time to scan an OTT QR code already are showing an invested level of interest. After the scan, advertisers can see what actions were taken once the user visited the website via Google Analytics data, which hasn’t been a capability in the past.
Being able to monitor relevant KPAs will allow agencies to quickly identify areas where improvements need to be made or where strategies may need adjusting based on market conditions or consumer behavior changes over time.
Lastly, as part of preparing for an increase in demand from clients in 2023, ad agencies need to create a strong infrastructure designed specifically for large-scale OTT campaigns so they can handle increased bandwidth requirements without any hiccups during peak times of activity. This involves auditing existing technology solutions across departments like media buying/planning and creative development teams to ensure enough available capacity when needed.
Extending your in-house service offering requires time that you may not have when a client is ready to press “go” on a new OTT campaign immediately. That’s where a white label ad operations team comes in.
Essentially, a white label ad operations team acts as an extension of your in-house team to provide services beyond your core offering at an expert level. Instead of having to find the right programmatic analyst for your team, training them, and hoping for the best, you can tap your partner’s team of programmatic experts and resell their services under your own brand. In turn, this allows for faster campaign launches with greater control over branding, scalability, and performance.
Here’s how the process would typically work if you were to onboard a campaign with a white label partner:
Unlike platforms and vendors, a white label partner also enables greater flexibility for your agency. If you need to adjust specific details over time, such as budget or creative assets, you do not have to wait for the current campaign to end. You can continue to leverage them as your resource to continuously drive greater performance for your client.
At Conduit Digital, we provide elite white label ad operations solutions to established and successful agencies throughout North America, powered by our own team of platform-certified expert analysts from our headquarters in New Jersey. Along with the rest of our product suite, infrastructure, and reporting capabilities, our team enables you to say “yes” to bigger and better opportunities.
If you’re ready to launch an OTT/CTV advertising campaign for your client, schedule a 20-minute call with us today to start your path to partnership.