TV advertising is an incredible strong medium. And while its power to deliver reach and brand legitimacy are nearly unparalleled, it’s safe to say that traditional TV is not known for its granular targeting potential. Over-the-top TV advertising, on the other hand, is providing advertisers with granular reporting metrics, actionable insights and KPIs that stretch far beyond what its linear cousin can deliver. Paired with the ability to craft custom ad campaigns for micro-communities, OTT is helping advertisers understand the effectiveness of their campaigns, particularly when it comes to increasing foot traffic for brick-and-mortar retail locations.
The targeting and dynamic advertising benefits associated with digital have already proven effective across desktop and mobile devices, with Facebook reporting U.S. grocer Albertsons was able to decrease cost-per-store-visit by up to 40% in a test using the social platform. Now, with OTT bringing these capabilities on the TV screen, retailers can not only capitalize on the legitimacy of TV and the fact that OTT ad recall is extremely high — 72%, according to a recent study — but can now also truly understand its impact on in-store traffic and sales.
But just because OTT has many of the same features as digital, doesn’t mean brands can leverage the same digital strategy. There are a number of nuances that must be taken into account when designing an OTT advertising strategy, especially when aiming to drive specific KPIs such as retail foot traffic.
It All Starts With Local
Roughly 50 million people in the US (or 15% of the population) will drop cable or satellite TV subscriptions by 2021, with the majority relying on streaming services for the entirety of their TV viewing. To combat this, media networks are taking their content to OTT, offering advertisers the means to extend local reach on a national level by using programmatic buys to gain incremental reach.
This ability to target consumers based on geography allows advertisers to curate OTT campaigns specifically for micro-communities, taking into account lifestyle, popular products, and other factors associated with the area. It also enables advertisers to incorporate “location extensions” into their geographically-driven ad campaigns, or call-outs to specific locations that include address, maps or phone number, based on the geography.
Give The People What They Want
One of the most promising and appealing capabilities of OTT for advertisers is powering dynamic ad insertion and addressable advertising experiences. Delivering specific messages to specific households not only creates a better user experience, but it can also help advertisers highlight specific promotions, pricing and product availability based on geography. When this is paired with the overall digital targeting capabilities of OTT, it results in highly effective ad campaigns that can drive real ROI.
Additionally, OTT opens up “television” to a whole new world of advertisers who have historically not engaged in big-budget TV campaigns. By taking a targeted approach, they can effectively engage viewers on a reasonable budget.
When It Comes To Measurement, Let’s Get Granular
There are many different measurement options when it comes to OTT, including Nielsen digital ratings, ACR (automatic content recognition) from smart TVs, and impressions — which shows how many people actually saw each ad, and is the emerging currency used to measure the platform. But one thing is for sure, it’s much more granular than traditional TV.
OTT provides advertisers with an in-depth look at campaign outcomes, including target audience segments, view-time, and other factors. And initial reports are showing OTT completion rates on ad-supported apps are typically in the high 90th percentile, with an additional 40% saying they paused a show to learn more about a product or service. When these OTT KPIs are paired with in-store data, retailers can map to local product campaigns and uncover valuable insights around foot traffic, increased sales, and overall lift.
With these sort of tactics already proving valuable in the digital frontier, the TV screen will definitely prove to be a valuable extension of that for advertisers. And with more than 30% of brick-and-mortar shoppers in the 18–34 age group, the “future consumer” is still hitting retail locations. Advertisers (and retailers) just have to keep finding ways to incentivize them.