In an ever-so changing digital world, keeping up with the latest trends is essential for OTT (over-the-top) service providers.
The increasing consumer demand of today has created a shift in the traditional TV experience creating plethora of OTT platforms. TV viewing locked to one location at one specific time has evolved into personalised, interactive viewing experience with offers available anytime, anywhere.
The amount of content being streamed over the Internet has increased to a large degree, which has resulted in rapid growth in content consumption across many OTT platforms.
It doesn’t matter if you are a broadcaster, independent producer or multi-media brand — clear content, audience, and marketing strategies are critical for every OTT video business success. Quality content, audience, and content strategy are essential for every OTT platform. They are part of every roadmap for video business growth.
Far too many marketers and brands are unaware of how to build a content strategy that is ROI focused. We’re going to simplify the process and break down the seven components that make up a viable, OTT platform content strategy.
1. Goal Definition
Focusing on your goal means answering a few crucial questions like: What makes your content worthy and original? What draws viewers to your content? Why do you want to produce content and create a content strategy plan? Is your content focused on a specialized genre? Is consumer’s time and money invested in your content justified?
Nowadays content creators create offers of many different kinds, each one with an aim to appeal to a specific audience. Don’t worry if your content doesn’t appeal to everyone equally. Having content that attracts a narrow, specific audience may, in fact, be your advantage.
Make effort to stand out — curate a focused library with unique content which cannot be found anywhere else. Appealing more deeply to a narrower audience is a key advantage of OTT over broadcast TV.
2. Audience Build-Up
The more details you know about your audience, the more effective your OTT platform content strategy will be. The key to finding more viewers and driving better engagement is diving deep into your audience viewing habits, what, where and why they are watching.
In simple words, developing a successful plan means you need to clearly define your content’s target audience — also known as a buyer persona. You can find this by conducting a research trying to answer the following questions: Who is your target audience? What are they passionate about? Where does your audience currently spend their time (broadcast, youtube, social)? Which personas watch the most content? Where does each persona watch video most often? Is it to be entertained, to learn something new or be inspired?
This is especially important for those who are starting out or are new in any field, not just OTT. Doing deeper research of your target audience makes room for production of more relevant and valuable content which, on the other hand, eventually brings conversions and new customers.
3. Content Production and SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is very effective way for your OTT platform to get traction and appear in top searches. If you want to be seen and have traffic on your website the prerequisite for that is to appear high in search engines, notably Google.
OTT platform optimization for both search engines and people requires in-depth research and analysis of your competitors performance and best practices in search engines, optimization for the right keywords which always needs to be niche relevant. There is also a lot of work around creating video sitemap, video metadata optimization, tagging videos with appropriate keywords (title tags, description tags and video tags), creating thumbnails, snippets, building links from other video websites etc.
In simple words, search engine optimization will make new visitors come to your website if you take consistent steps beforehand, ensuring your OTT platform is well structured. SEO is not a one time job, but rather, something that requires constant efforts and dedication.
4. Distribution Channels
When it comes to distribution on an OTT platform, you can simply broadcast directly to anyone with a good Internet connection. With just friction of the money, you can quickly build awareness of your platform using targeted digital marketing.
The main question here is — what is the best place to distribute your content? Answer being — wherever your audience spends most of their time. Point being get your content, to the right audience, at the right time.
You need to put your viewers in the center of your content strategy. Think about the different ways to drive viewers to your OTT platform, the ways to program your content. Is it going to be linear, on-demand or live? Consider the viewing habits of your subscribers. Do they enjoy more binge watching or rather prefer short clips on demand? This will give you ideas how and where to distribute your content.
People love when they can watch their favourite content on all devices and screens. Streaming directly on your website and making it available for different devices is a formula for success. Then you can push content on YouTube or your own branded app leveraging the most important OTT marketplaces of today: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire.
5. Video Monetization
It’s not really hard to monetize your video content as long as you have great content. OTT platforms can provide flexible options for monetizing content. In general, there are three well-known models for bulk video monetization:
Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) — with SVOD the viewer has unlimited access to a wide range of programs for a monthly flat rate. The users have full control over the subscription, and can decide when to start or end the program.
Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD) — means free to watch content for viewers with monetization happening through video advertising. Advertisers are the ones who pay in fact, not the viewers, normally on a per-thousand basis.
Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD) — with TVOD, consumers purchase content on a pay per view basis. TVOD services tend to offer more recent releases, which is beneficial to rights holders for higher revenues and for consumers for getting timely access to new content.
Trying each of these monetization models to see what works best for you business and your content strategy is probably the best option. Eventually you will end up scaling your business and enlarging your customer pool.
6. Content Promotion
The saying usually goes Where there is traffic, there is hope. Knowing your target audience and having magnificent content creates amazing starting position. However timing is everything. You need to push the right content to the right audience at the right time.
Some videos are really easy to promote simply because they have entertainment traits in them. Others are a real challenge. That is why you need to have solid marketing strategy for your OTT platform, something which will hit the spot and, eventually, start generating results.
Make sure you create a different strategy for different channels depending upon the type of audience and particular platform trends.
Email Newsletters: email marketing has never been more important than it is today for every business and every industry. It can is very effective and easy way to promote your OTT platform as long as you know how to do it right. Make sure to keep subscribers up to date on a consistent basis with your offers and news.
Native advertising: refers to a specific mode of monetization with an aim to augment user experience through content that is being delivered in-stream. Promoted tweets on Twitter, sponsored stories on Facebook, featured videos on YouTube they are all part of native advertising engaging the viewer with ad content that flows naturally.
Social media: engaging with your target audience on social media on a daily basis can help build links which can support SEO efforts. This way you can build up community and buzz around your content and viewers will feel more connected.
7. Content Execution and Evaluation
Even the most creative ideas still need to be enacted. The implementation phase of the OTT platform content strategy is to guarantee activities happen in the correct time and sequence for success. Think of this as an ongoing process of experimenting and learning from your success and failures so you can continue to improve.
Look in retrospect of the key metrics that align the objectives set at the beginning. This will tell you what is working and what isn’t leaving room for improvement. Guaranteeing that the right processes are secured for executing the content strategy and tactics is the key to content marketing ROI.