What Brands Can Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Pivot your marketing strategy to handle coronavirus by producing digital content, airing television ads and OTT ads, and a communication strategy.

Shift focus from events to digital

On top of major events like NBA games and Coachella being cancelled or postponed indefinitely, conferences, expos, and trade shows have also been cancelled. According to a Demand Gen Report, 53% of B2B marketers say in-person events are the most effective channel for driving conversions, so many marketers are now searching for new channels to connect with target audiences. 

Google Cloud Next, Adobe Summit, Y Combinator Demo Day and more have opted for a digital-only approach. Although digital-only events do not offer the same traditional networking opportunities as in-person events, marketers can experiment with their event strategies to still capture those audiences. Consider these tactics: 

  • Produce digital content that can still influence your intended audience. Even though your company will not be able to interact with your audience in person, you can still reach them through digital channels. 
  • Target attendees with email campaigns or direct-mail. These channels provide the personal messaging that audiences look for while attending events. 
  • A/B test everything to measure the effectiveness of attending events in the future. You could find valuable insights from changing your strategy this year. 

Opportunity for television and OTT advertising

Social distancing and work from home mandates mean more people will be at home watching television and streaming content. Audiences are tuning in to reporting on the coronavirus pandemic and searching for ways to stay entertained while limiting contact with potentially affected areas. 

Although ad spending is projected to slump across the board, reallocating budget to television and OTT advertising could pay off. Many brands are cutting ad spend in preparation for lower sales projections, which means there could more inventory available. Between self-quarantines, cancelled events, and precautionary measures, potential consumers are on the couch in front of the television as a captive audience.

Communicate any service disruptions to the customer

In the event your supply chain is disrupted, you have to cancel your event, or any other major changes, clearly communicate to your consumers why your regular service may be affected. Your customer will understand if your company has to make changes in the current situation as long as you are clear on why the package is taking longer to arrive or you are issuing a refund. The last thing the consumer wants is to be left in the dark and without the proper information.

Dispel misinformation about your brand

Misinformation about COVID-19 is multiplying across all social media channels. In-depth social listening for mentions about your brand will help you monitor untrue information that could be harmful to many people. 

For example, some people are attempting to make their own hand sanitizer using Tito’s Handmade Vodka and aloe. However, the CDC recommends that hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol and Tito’s only has 40%. To stop this unsafe information from spreading, Tito’s is replying to all tweets with a statement disproving it and recommendations from the CDC. 

Don’t sacrifice safety for the bottom line

It’s hard to predict what kind of long-term impact coronavirus will have on our economy, but it’s important to keep acting with brand values in mind. At the end of the day, the safety of the public is the most important thing and companies should act accordingly.

Read More

The Explosion of OTT Content

OTT content and distribution platforms continue to proliferate at an astonishing rate. Here’s what you need to know about marketing your OTT services.

Remember when Netflix was a quaint little DVD delivery service? When they introduced a streaming component, it seemed more like a novelty, and less like the future of entertainment. OTT services (short for “over the top services”) have since become ubiquitous, thanks to the “Big Three” streaming content providers: Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

We’re experiencing another shift in the OTT services marketplace, however. Unwilling to cede the streaming entertainment category to the OTT Big Three, a number of major competitors are entering the market in force and creating ripple effects through the ad world.

These days, everyone is a content provider…

Disney, WarnerMedia, all the major TV networks, cable providers, technology companies etc. have all pivoted to become content providers and distributors. The end goal? To become OTT companies and capture as many eyeballs as possible, carving out a significant piece of the $70 billion spent in the U.S. every year on TV advertising.

While OTT services account for roughly one-third of all TV viewing, ad spend (and budgets) don’t correspond. At the moment, OTT video services have only gained about 3% of total TV advertising spending. So what does this mean? It’s simple: Though OTT viewing is growing at an exponential clip, advertising and marketing in the OTT space hasn’t grown in parallel. That’s coming, however — and the brands that act today will be in the best possible position to create competitive advantages.

Currently, OTT advertising is dominated by two large players: Hulu (which generated $1.5 billion in ad revenue in 2018) and Roku. Other major players are coming in strong, however. YouTube is refashioning itself as a platform with TV-like programming capable of going head-to-head with traditional television networks — a competitive, rather than complementary force.

YouTube has one undeniable argument in its favor: Raw viewership. According to the most recent company data, U.S. residents spend 200 million hours each day watching YouTube videos, many of which are consumed on smart TVs or other large screens.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been pursuing a new TV advertising strategy based around Fire TV. The technology giant has been heavily targeting TV advertisers and has created a dedicated TV ad sales team to further that goal.

An OTT ad duopoly?

This activity is sparked in part by a realization that, if other players in the space don’t fight for OTT ad dollars, Hulu and Roku could form a duopoly reminiscent of the digital ad duopoly created by Facebook and Google.

TV advertisers, meanwhile, have their own imperative: Audiences are moving to OTT services in ever-increasing numbers. If advertisers don’t mirror the behavior of these audiences, their pitches will be less successful, and they’ll ultimately cede ground to competitors.

There’s another reason why OTT advertising shouldn’t be a hard sell: It holds the potential to be far more effective than traditional approaches. While network TV may have been the gold standard in terms of reaching viewers, it can’t compete with OTT in terms of audience segmentation. The data-rich nature of OTT platforms allows for high-level audience targeting, allowing brands to deliver much more relevant ad content and target motivated buyers who have an interest in what they are selling.

Finding the right OTT marketing agency

OTT advertising can move the needle — but only if you’re working with an agency that has the experience and expertise to drive results. At Bigeye, we’re OTT experts, and we’d love to show you the power and reach of a well-executed OTT ad campaign.  

Read More

OTT, You Know Me! Jump Into Cross-Channel Advertising

Television and film content has been migrating online at a rapid rate. Most of us use platforms such as Hulu, Amazon Video and Netflix daily– if not hourly. Popular streaming services such as these are generally referred to as OTT (or “Over-the-Top”) media.

The idea behind OTT is simple: Instead of a conventional set-top box, audiences simply stream their favorite content directly from a provider’s app. This, in some cases, eliminates the need for a cable or satellite company to act as a content distributor. 

Overall, the transition to OTT has made the process of watching our favorite programming easier and more accessible than ever before. We can open a mobile device, fire up an app and stream content anywhere at any time — a shift that has a multitude of significant implications for marketers.

Why OTT is essential for cross-channel marketing campaigns

Studies have long illustrated the utility of a cross-channel advertising approach: One survey found that 72% of consumers prefer an integrated marketing approach across all channels. Meanwhile, Google discovered that consumers displayed better brand recall during cross-channel campaigns (74%). 

So this much is clear: A cross-channel approach not only works better, it’s the campaign format that audiences find most useful. 

Here’s another important statistic: Roughly three out of four people consume OTT content, and the number of OTT-only households has tripled over the last five years. Additionally, one-third of OTT consumers watch content on three or more devices.

Some other eye-opening OTT numbers:

  • The four largest OTT services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and YouTube) average a total of nearly two hours of viewing time per day in every U.S. household.
  • Streaming accounts for 11% of all TV viewing in the 18 to 49 demographic – an increase of more than 100% in the last three years.
  • Netflix accounts for the lion’s share of OTT consumption (40%). YouTube is second with 18%; Hulu 14% and Amazon 7%.

Given these numbers, determining the optimal approach for marketing in the OTT ecosystem should be a key consideration moving forward. According to a recent Video Advertising Bureau report, 65% of people who use a second screen when watching OTT content have researched products or services they’ve seen advertised on the programming they are watching.

This kind of multitasking is a boon for advertisers and marketers, and the future possibilities for integrated marketing are profound. A generation or two ago, advertisers were forced to take a scattershot approach to reach audiences. Market research and notoriously unreliable TV ratings were the tools of the trade, and the only real methods available for creating targeted ads over a TV set.

Today, advanced data analytics have allowed the process of ad targeting to make a quantum leap in effectiveness. The general trend toward OTT consumption enables even more precise targeting, as OTT content is streamed across devices and apps that often know more about our history and preferences than we do ourselves.

OTT allows advertisers a deep level of control; they pick who sees an ad, the device it’s on and when it shows. They can track which ads are skipped, which ads are watched and the overall preferences of viewers.

Incorporating OTT advertising into a campaign isn’t without challenges, however. Advertisers, for example, need to create ads that are optimized for myriad screen sizes, browsers, platforms etc.

Yet the truth is fairly simple: Audiences want cross-channel advertising, and they want content streamed Over-the-Top.

It’s the job of marketers and advertisers to give it to them.

The takeaway

The numbers tell the story: OTT viewing is experiencing explosive growth, and will eventually become the default content viewing experience for most audiences. The data-rich OTT ecosystem is also fertile ground for the kind of highly-targeted cross-channel advertising that moves the needle.

Connect with us today to discuss how OTT can help your advertising be seen by the right people in the right place at the right time.