Streaming is no longer the future of advertising – it’s the present.
Some 64 million U.S. households watch content they’ve streamed online – called over-the-top streaming (OTT streaming) or Connected TV streaming (CTV streaming).
Some streaming services, like Netflix, are available ad-free to paying subscribers. But others are available free, inexpensively, or via a user’s cable subscription, and are supported by ads. This category includes broadcast and cable channels like ESPN and MTV that have their own streaming apps, and services like Sling TV and Vudu that aggregate content, including TV shows and movies.
Why Should My College or University Use OTT Advertising?
If your college or university’s marketing strategy doesn’t include OTT advertising, you could be missing out on a big opportunity. Here’s why:
1. It’s Where Your Audience Is
A 2019 study by Deloitte found that, for the first time, more American households subscribed to a streaming service than subscribed to traditional TV.
Streaming media is popular across all age groups, but viewers are more likely to be under 50 and more affluent than traditional TV subscribers. These consumers are always on the go, and they’re taking their entertainment with them. Many people watch OTT content on their phones, tablets, or laptops when they’re out. And when they’re home, they stream TV shows, movies, and live sports on a smart TV or a TV that’s hooked up to an internet-enabled device like a Roku.
Rather than passively watching whatever’s on, streaming audiences are choosing what to watch, which creates a great opportunity to get your institution’s message in front of people who are really invested in what they’re seeing. And since OTT ads are largely non-skippable and streaming viewers can’t channel-surf to avoid ads the way traditional television viewers can, your ads are more likely to be viewed all the way through. In fact, pre-roll ads that play before an OTT video begins typically have an average completed view rate (CVR) of 70% and streaming TV full-episode player (FEP) ads that play during OTT video ad breaks typically have an average CVR of 95%.
2. It’s Flexible
Unlike traditional TV that has to fit into a half-hour or hour-long chunk, OTT streaming content can be watched whenever and for however long a viewer wants. That means ads don’t have to fit into perfectly timed 15- or 30-second blocks. If you already have a 15-, 30-, or 60-second ad you’d like to run, great! You can also run an ad that’s 17 seconds, 42 seconds, or 68 seconds. Many brands are having OTT success with longer-than-usual ads that allow them to employ more storytelling, and the format works well for both brand awareness campaigns and promoting specific programs or events.
3. It’s Highly Targetable
Interested in reaching people of a specific age group, gender, income level, education level, or zip code? You can’t reliably do that with traditional TV advertising, but with OTT advertising, you can. That’s because OTT advertising offers the content quality of regular TV with the advanced targeting of digital advertising, providing a more personalized experience for the viewer and actionable reporting for the advertiser.
Whether it’s a general branding campaign, an enrollment campaign, or a fundraising campaign, you can use the advanced targeting inherent to OTT advertising to get your ads in front of more of the people you want.
4. It’s Measurable
OTT advertising doesn’t just offer the advanced targeting of digital advertising, it also offers the real-time analytics of digital advertising. This is a huge advantage over traditional TV advertising, whose effects can be hard to measure.
Join forces with the right OTT partner to get data in real time throughout your campaign, plus final analysis once it’s finished. You’ll know who saw your ad, the viewer’s demographic info, whether they clicked (when applicable), what devices they used to view the ad, and how your ad performed at different times of day and on different days of the week.
All of this information can help you evaluate your campaign’s effectiveness and make changes to it quickly.
5. It Saves You Money
Looking for ways to make your marketing budget go further? OTT advertising is less expensive than traditional TV advertising. And since it’s also more targeted, OTT spending is more efficient, because OTT ads reach only the people you want to see your ad. Plus, advanced analytics can help you optimize your targeting or your creative in order to increase your ROI.
Make the most of your advertising budget by using OTT advertising on its own, or as a low-cost supplement to a traditional TV advertising campaign.
How To Get Started
Lots of companies, from cable providers to media organizations, are selling OTT advertising. But it’s important to find the right partner, one that can guide you through the process to ensure the best placement and help you get maximum results.
Lightstream has partnered with a technology company that built a proprietary SAAS media buying platform. By working with Lightstream, you have access to:
- 250+ premium OTT publishers
- Media placement and budget transparency
- A real-time reporting dashboard that provides performance data down to the impression level
- Cutting-edge audience targeting and insights
A diverse strategy including OTT advertising is essential to spreading your college or university’s message. Reach out today to learn how Lightstream can help make OTT advertising work for you.