Over 60% of young adults now prefer consuming media through streaming services. That number grows as streaming media becomes more and more accessible. This has caused a shift away from traditional TV, and advertising has been following suit.
Amazon, the third-largest digital advertising platform in the US, is taking advantage of this market shift by pushing for paid ads throughout its ecosystem, including Amazon Prime Video.
In 2019, they launched Amazon OTT, their video advertising technology. It has given brands a new and more powerful way to increase their reach.
What is Amazon OTT?
OTT stands for “over-the-top,” which refers to streaming media services offered directly to users through the Internet. In this case, the term also refers to brand advertising on online streaming TV and movies not owned by a traditional media provider.
It’s video advertising that makes use of Amazon’s first-party data to help with boosting brand performance and reaching out to broader audiences. It has become more popular recently due to today’s consumers’ preference for digital streaming media instead of traditional TV.
Aside from being simply a replacement for traditional TV advertising, Amazon OTT has sophisticated targeting, attribution, and scaling features. It shows ads catered specifically to the individual consumer’s tastes and interests.
Amazon OTT video ads are shown in cable boxes, gaming consoles, streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick, and so on. Amazon OTT allows advertisers to apply audience targeting to their video ads.
Advantages of Amazon OTT Advertising
Adults in the US now spend around 6 hours a day watching video content in some form. By 2021, the number of OTT video service users in the US will reach 198 million.
There are many ways a brand can take advantage of Amazon OTT advertising. You’ll be able to get the most of it if you’ve taken your time to know your audience.
1. Audience Targeting
You’re able to advertise to specific audiences who are going to be more interested in your products and services. This makes use of Amazon’s first-party data, as well as being able to have real-time intent behind your video ads.
2. Growing Your Brand On and Off Amazon
You can tap into Amazon’s huge market share. Reach your audience and build your brand on Amazon platforms, along with third-party publishers under Amazon.
3. More Value Out of Your Ad Spending
There are no middlemen to deal with in Amazon OTT advertising. Amazon Publisher Services (APS) is directly integrated with OTT apps, which lets advertisers know exactly what they’re paying for without any extraneous fees.
4. Performance-Based Auctions
As an advertiser, you get the same linear inventory as on TV, but you get to manage your budget more strategically. It’s because you don’t have to commit to an amount right away.
You are offered many shows and live events to advertise on, and you spend only as much as how it performs. Compared to how much you have to spend on traditional TV ads, you can get more value out of Amazon OTT advertising.
5. Genre Blocking
You can select up to 5 genres to exclude your ads from. For example, if you’re selling baby products, you may want to exclude horror, crime, action, and other violent genres. If you’re selling female apparel, you may want to exclude genres that tend to attract predominantly male demographics.
6. Audience Guarantees
You can target your ads to viewers you want to reach with a measure-and-buy approach. These numbers are calculated with Nielsen ratings.
This works great with Amazon OTT’s performance-based pricing. You only have to pay for impressions from audiences relevant to your brand (CPM), you can get more value by being selective with where your ads show up.
Take note that as of this writing, genre blocking and audience guarantees are only available for customers in the US.
7. Video Conquesting
Conquesting is the deployment of an ad on or nearby editorial content about a competitor. This tactic lets your brand steal some attention away from the competitor.
In Amazon OTT, you get to do video conquesting to advertise to your target audience, who may be interested in your competitors’ products. This gives you a chance to gain new customers as you give them a reason to rethink their purchasing decisions.
You don’t even have to be selling on Amazon, thanks to video conquesting. Your video ads will just show up to audiences who happen to have clicked on your competitors’ ads.
8. Access to Unreachable Audiences
Over 20% of US consumers are expected to cancel their paid TV service subscription. A big chunk of that number does so to switch to an OTT service. Current users of OTT services have reached over 180 million, which accounts for well more than half the US population.
That’s a significant number of consumers who were previously unreachable through online streaming services. But as more of them come in droves to OTT services, you’ll be able to advertise your products and services to them as well.
Meanwhile, at least 25% of Internet users use ad blockers. To that end, Amazon just made their ads non-skippable, much like in traditional TV. One way or another, a lot more people will see your video ads.
9. Video Creative Builder
If you happen to have no creative assets, you can still build your own video ads for Amazon OTT through the new Video Creative Builder. Amazon provides a library of video assets and templates for creating multiple video ads from a single video asset.
As of this writing, the Video Creative Builder is still in beta, but it has been making good progress in becoming an all-in-one tool for advertisers. You can build your video ads without needing to spend extra on custom video production.
How to Get Started with Amazon OTT
Amazon OTT advertising inventory can be accessed through the Amazon DSP, either linked directly or via a partner with access to it.
Once you can access the inventory and put up your own video ads, you can then form and lay down the strategy for your OTT ad campaign with three simple steps.
1. Set Specific Goals and KPIs for Your OTT Ads
Shoot for specific and realistic goals and key performance indicators that will indicate tangible growth for your brand through the ad campaign. It’s great if you happen to exceed them, but the important thing here is to meet goals that serve as a benchmark for success at the moment.
2. Identify Your Target Audiences
Through Amazon Audience Solutions, you can employ a data-driven approach to understanding your target audiences. Get specific with who your ideal customer is, right down to the types of shows they’re likely to watch.
3. Build and Execute Your Video Ad Campaign
Once you have your goals and target audiences, you may then build your video ad. You can either use the Video Creative Builder provided by Amazon or your own video production to make different ones that you can then test.
As you do more tests, you should analyze the metrics of each one and optimize according to what changes bring the best results. You can also enable scalability and attribution to make it even more effective.
Tracking Your Amazon OTT Performance
You can measure the success of your OTT initiatives much like any other performance channel: with awareness, consideration, and sales.
These are not the only metrics you’ll find within Amazon OTT, but they’re good places to start.
1. Reach Metrics
You can look up your unique reach and see how much it impacts your business. The reach brings in new leads, who can then be brought to your marketing funnel all the way down to actual conversion.
2. Brand Search Metrics
While still in beta as of this writing, it can show how much impact your advertising has on driving customer research for your products. The higher this number is, the more your products are showing up on search results.
This is how effective your ads are in attracting new customers. Getting a good new-to-brand metric means your video ads are working and your brand is about to grow.
4. Brand Lift
Perceptions can change as time passes, and the brand lift metric can show you how your audience demographic changes. This is especially useful for youth-oriented brands, wherein the audience actually ages and may grow out of that interest.
The competition is greater than ever. Despite that, Amazon OTT advertising offers a chance for you to grow your audience. With the right implementation of video ads, you can attract customers with unprecedented reach.
Once you’ve brought them in, you can keep the momentum going and have those new customers leave reviews that can then convince future potential customers. Since you only have to pay for how many impressions you can get, you can put the rest of your money into other things to grow your brand further.
Amazon OTT advertising is all about increasing brand awareness in previously unimaginable ways. The rise of online streaming services has brought video advertising back into the living room with greater power and reach, and Amazon is leading the way.