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How to create a market-leading mobile app OTT campaign on CTV

Widely available content streaming has led to many consumers deciding they no longer need a cable subscription for video content. In fact, the number of U.S. households that pay for cable TV has been declining for around a decade, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings believes it will be “extinct” within the next five to 10 years.

As the mobile advertising industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing consumer behavior, over-the-top (OTT) advertising on connected TV (CTV) has emerged as an effective way to reach audiences where they are spending more and more of their time: Streaming video on demand (SVOD).

What is OTT/CTV advertising?

While oftentimes used interchangeably, CTV and OTT have distinct differences. OTT platforms deliver streamed content via internet-connected devices. Meanwhile, internet-connected devices like smartphones and tablets, as well as CTV devices (like smart TVs and TVs connected to the internet via gaming consoles or TV sticks), facilitate user access to these OTT platforms.

Within the context of CTV, OTT advertising refers specifically to ads that are delivered to viewers through OTT streaming apps on their CTV screens. OTT ads allow advertisers to reach viewers who are not watching traditional linear TV, also known as broadcast TV, (64.3 million households in the United States in 2022!), and those who may be more difficult to reach through other channels.

Examples of OTT SVOD platforms available on CTV devices include Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and YouTube, to name a few. Examples of major OTT platforms for audio streaming include Spotify, YouTube Music, and Pandora.

Benefits of OTT advertising

So what is the value of over-the-top advertising to app marketers? The primary advantage of OTT advertising is OTT targeting. Thanks to advanced audience targeting capabilities offered by OTT platforms, brands have more control over who they serve ads to compared to traditional TV advertising. By leveraging data and insights about CTV consumers, advertisers can create more relevant and personalized ads that are more likely to resonate with their target audience.

OTT targeting can leverage a variety of factors such as demographics, location, and viewing history. This means that with OTT marketing on CTV, advertisers can ensure their message reaches the right people at the right moment for maximum potential return on investment (ROI).

Because these ads are delivered through internet-connected devices, advertisers can measure CTV performance with OTT metrics such as impressions and clicks from QR codes (more below) more accurately than with linear TV, allowing them to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns more precisely. Data analysis allows marketers to convert CTV from a brand channel into a performance channel.

One of the key benefits we’re seeing from CTV advertising in general is that it is a very effective assisting channel. This means that even if a final conversion isn’t attributed to the ad that was displayed on a CTV device, the power of the impression can give huge uplift to campaigns run on other channels. For example, a campaign run on Facebook might see a 20% boost in conversions if a CTV/OTT campaign is being run concurrently.

Lastly, CTV advertising offers a new pot of interactive ad formats for mobile app advertisers to work with. CTV ads come in a variety of formats, ranging from QR codes within ad creatives to shoppable pause screens. Interactive ad formats are more engaging for viewers and help drive higher conversion rates.

How to create a stellar OTT campaign on CTV

Due to the above benefits, OTT ads are becoming increasingly popular among mobile app marketers. However, creating a successful OTT campaign on CTV can be challenging. Here’s how to knock your campaign out of the park.

  1. Identify your target audience. Defining and segmenting your audience is key to creating an effective CTV campaign. This includes understanding their interests, demographics, and streaming habits. You may not be able to hyper-personalize ads initially, but as you run campaigns and collect valuable consumer data you can leverage those insights to help you understand your target audience more deeply and tailor your message accordingly.
  2. Create a clear and concise message. Your message should be simple and easy to understand. Avoid using jargon or complex language that may be difficult for your audience to understand. Use legible visuals and graphics to make your message more engaging.
  3. Opt for contextual advertising. Choose contextual placement to ensure that your ad does not disrupt the user experience. Instead, it will complement or even elevate it.
  4. Choose the right ad format. There are several ad formats to choose from, including pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads. Each format has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the one that best suits your campaign goals.
  5. Ensure your ad is properly formatted for CTV. Ads on CTV must be formatted to fit a TV screen size and be compatible with the CTV platform. Make sure your ad meets these requirements to avoid any issues with playback.
  6. Measure your CTV campaign success. It's important to track the success of your campaign to determine its effectiveness. Metrics such as impressions, click-through rates (CTRs)—possible for CTV-to-CTV and in some cases CTV-to-mobile—, and engagement rates can help you assess your campaign's performance and make necessary adjustments.

As more and more viewers turn to streaming video content, CTV/OTT advertising has become increasingly important for advertisers to reach their target audiences. Within the 2023 economic context, it’s also an essential “new channel” to explore. By leveraging both OTT and CTV together, marketers gain unprecedented access not just into homes but also into the minds of consumers everywhere–making OTT ads an integral component of today’s most effective advertising strategies.

Learn how to master CTV in 2023 with our comprehensive ebook for app marketers.

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