Written by: Roshan Dwivedi
You’ve compiled the best ever video content library and launched your OTT platform across channels.
Once you’re out and running, it’s high time you think about driving traffic to your platform that Netflix has been stealing all this time. Entertainment videos, in themselves, are content gold mines and don’t need much of a push; however, getting the timing right is crucial. Reaching the right type of audience at right time is essential. But how do you do that? There is certainly no magic wand, but yes, ramping up your marketing game may help.
We understand that the focus of creating videos often overshadows their marketing. And it is such a pain to see your subscribers moving away, when you’ve put all your sweat and blood in crafting an awesome library. Here are some effective marketing tips that have worked well for online video platforms in past and are sure to add to your popularity as well as on number of subscribers.
If you haven’t started yet, launch your OTT platform now.
1. Optimization is the Key
Search engine optimization is the most effective yet cost efficient way to rank your platform up online. In order to be seen, it is essential that you appear high in search engines when your viewers search for videos that you host on your platform. Optimizing your platform for search engines will require you to carry out extensive research and study on keywords and competition and optimize your videos for the right keywords. There are some more set of activities such as optimizing the video metadata, creating the video sitemap, naming video files with keywords and in specific formats, creating video thumbnails and video rich snippets, etc.
We’ve covered the entire guide for Smart Video SEO strategies for OTT Platforms in our recent blog, do have a look for deeper insight on how to effectively optimize your OTT platform for search engines.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media is the hottest buzz in recent times and videos are the hottest buzz of social media. Having the right social media strategy for every stage of your video platform is very much essential as your social media persona will have a large impact on how your brand is perceived among a large part of your potential audience. Understanding your audience and then serving them according to their tastes and appetite will help.
Create your brand specific pages, profiles and identities across all major social media platforms i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, along with other platforms like Instagram, SnapChat, etc. depending on your target audience. If you are targeting countries like China and South East Asia, platforms like Sina Weibo, renren and qq.com along with messanger apps like Line and WeChat need to be considered. Similar is the case with other countries, you need to know what your target audience is most active with. Start connecting with your community immediately. It’s important to promote social channels on your main website and apps so that your visitors and followers know about your presence. Have a strategy to post “x” number of posts / day. Remember, Social media is all about engagement and not about “posts”, so end of the day, the quality and content of the post depends on how you are able to drive engagement. Some common formats that draw good engagement with audience are –
- Polls and Quizzes
- Facts and History
- Image based posts
- Posting Questions
Also, make sure you create a different strategy for different social platforms depending upon the type of audience and particular platform trends. Live streaming is another social buzz nowadays and in order to capitalize on this trend, live streaming premiers, launches, announcements or even trailers on social platforms will keep your social media game up.
Also one of the most important aspect of Social Media is reputation management, your brand reputation can go for a toss if negative feedback and comments are not properly handled. It’s important to have an Online Reputation Management (ORM) team and have them handle negative comments and concerns. It’s also important for your customer support team to be tapped into the ORM aspect, as a lot of times customers may complain about issues on Social Media, and your Support should be effectively be able to handle them. ORM is not all about getting into a public verbal duel with a fan. There are times when a customer may exaggerate the incident or issue, and it’s best to stay calm at such times and respond to them in a proper and appropriate manner. Remember, ORM is about managing your reputation and not damaging your customers.
3. Viral Clips and Marketing Videos
Your audience is watching tons of viral video every day. Facebook and Snapchat both have surpassed 8 billion daily video views. When it comes to attracting audiences on social media, ‘short’ and ‘worthwhile’ are two main keys. People are crazy for short entertainment videos and social media platforms are even pushing videos up in everyone’s feeds. Audience today is looking for entertainment and they won’t even mind watching an advertisement if it is appealing and keeps their emotions holding. And thus creating something viral will gain you quick response on social media.
Facebook nowadays is stressing high over videos and users see video posts in their feed first than any other. This way creating snippets that can redirect audience to your platform will be a perfect strategy. Have meme’s done if your platform is about entertainment, pull or compile short funny videos from two or more of your full length videos and create something that your audience will enjoy watching and sharing on Social Media. This will give you great visibility and reach without having the need to spend anything on marketing and promotions. It is also important to know that creating and sharing teasers and trailers on social media and YouTube with link back to the full video on your platform is a great way to get good audience reach.
4. Email Marketing
A little old but emailing is the best communication strategy that still drives a large number of results even today. Email is considered as the second most effective customer acquisition channel after search, which means that with millions of people opening their emails every day, there is a very high chance that they will at least read it, if not take an action. And thus, you have successfully entered your message in the back of their minds, unlike any other channel where the chances of message reaching your audience are not that high.
Though personalizing every mail you send to your customers/prospects is the best practice, you can effectively use a variety of bulk emailing campaign and reach as many people as you want. Send email to inform them of your offers and promotions, to tell them of new releases or new features on your platform or if somebody leaves without signing up remind them of something interesting from their browsing history. There are tons of ways you can send emails to your prospects and hold their attention.
Some popular tools that can make Email Marketing easier are Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Campaigner, GetResponse, AWeber, Pinpointe, VerticalResponse, etc.
5. Create Offline Brand Campaigns
Creating partnerships with other brands in your industry or similar industries is another effective way to present your platform in front of your audience. You can carry out various collaborative branding and marketing activities and expand your reach further. Offering combined products in order to gain the brand advantage or offering content partnership where partners display some promotional content from your brand in their marketing campaigns and share results helps big time especially if you’re new to the industry and looking to get established.
Apart from brand partnerships, it’s’ also important you focus on brand building using offline medium, depending on your target audience and your niche. Having a proper strategy to build brand presence across offline channels like Events, Promotions, Outdoor advertising, Audience Engagement, Print Ads in Newspapers and Magazines, Radio and TV Ads make perfect sense. This will entirely depend upon how big or small your target audience is and what drives better engagement.
6. Offers & Promotions
People love entertainment coming to them in any freeways. If you are offering your services at a price, consider providing offers and promotions that arises their interests in your service. Offering timely promotions and offers on your platform relating a new movie release, seasonal sales and festive discounts will keep their interest alive and prospects will keep coming in. Another important thing about offering promotions on an OTT platform is how you promote it. If you’re not promoting it right, it might go unnoticed, thus, know where your audience is spending most of their time and then advertise your promotion. If you have a list of subscriber mail IDs, nothing better than sending them a fancy mail stating your promotion.
Provide Coupons to your audience, run offers like Black Friday Sale or Cyber Monday deals, running timely and promotional offers during seasons like Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. always helps. Always remember a customer will always be happy to pay if they believe they are getting a great deal or offer, it’s a normal human tendency.
Also look at promoting your offers on Coupon Sites like Groupon and coupons.com, these sites have thousands of subscribers and having your offer being run on these platforms allows you to tap into a huge potential based on these websites itself.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is one of the most effective and positive ROI centric marketing channel you can use to drive registrations and sales to your platform! The entire structure of affiliate marketing is that you pay to someone for promoting your website or product only when you see a paid conversion on your platform. It’s essentially like a revenue share, where you pay a small percentage of each sale to the person, or company marketing your product to their audience. Because of this, it becomes really essential part of any marketing campaign and with products that have mass appeal. eCommerce giants like eBay and Amazon attribute their early stage success to Affiliate Programs and Networks that have helped promote their listings to a much wider audience.
You have two options when it comes to Affiliate Marketing –
- Run your own Affiliate Program from your own Platform
- Connect with Affiliate Networks and ask them to run your program
Running your own Affiliate Program will require you to build or subscribe to an Affiliate Tool such as Post Affiliate Pro as well as have an in-house marketing team to pitch, recruit and manage affiliates. It increases your management overheads but always keeps you in control of who your affiliates are, how they present your brand to their audience and what promoting models they are using.
You can reach out to all types of affiliates via this model – Websites, Email Marketers, Search Marketers, Bloggers and Reviewers, Referral Sites, etc. and build a strong niche in the space. Bloggers and Reviewers are a very important aspect in affiliate marketing and as more and more emphasis is shifting to content based marketing, the organically sounding article by an influential blogger or reviewer can get you great results!
Also most important aspect is the commissions you offer, you may need to study what your competition is doing and come up with a commission structure that looks quite attractive to affiliates. If you are running a SVOD based platform, it makes sense to offer very high commission for the 1st month’s sales (Some platforms offer upto 100% of 1st month revenue) and trim down from the 2nd month onwards. In a recurring payment model, the key is that you will retain the customer over a longer period and thus make money off the same even if you offer upto 100% commission to affiliates for the 1st Month.
Reaching out to Affiliate Networks. There are a ton of affiliate networks in the market with the big daddy of all being Commission Junction that can help you launch and scale your affiliate program immediately. All you need to do, is signup with them and agree to their commission structure, typically 30% as management fees, apart from that, you can pretty much leave everything else to them in terms of recruitment and management of the affiliates and promotion of your program to their network. Approaching Affiliate Networks is an hassle free approach to launching your affiliate program.
8. Google Paid Campaigns (PPC)
Sam is in a mood to watch Avatar once again however he wants to watch it in 3D and in 4K to get the best experience and so he googles it, imagine your platform having this movie in 3D and in 4K, it’s not common and hence it’s important that irrespective of your SEO rankings for “Avatar 3D in 4K” keyword, your Paid Ad also shows up on top of the search results for Sam to be able to discover your platform. It doesn’t matter if you’re paying 15 for a $10 purchase made through a PPC campaign on your platform, you aren’t losing anything but just bought a happy customer, who may come back to your platform and look for more purchases, it may also be equally beneficial if you end up paying $10 for a $5 Subscription purchase, as due to the recurrent model of SVOD business, you will make enough money over the next few months to compensate for the high cost.
Google Paid campaigns might be risky (Let’s say vs Affiliate marketing), you might end up paying huge $ for no results, but they are the most effective for those who know how to optimize for better results, and what keywords to choose and what to avoid. This is why it’s important to either have a skilled in-house resource or an agency manage your Google Paid Campaign and ensure your titles are thrown for the right keyword, at the right ranks and for geography where your users are searching for the same.
9. Display Marketing
OTT platforms have high chances of getting benefited through display marketing since the content they have is attractive and easily clickable. However, the real trick is for the right campaign to reach the right audience. Display campaign is all about creating high brand impact with traffic driven to the website. The objective is visibility Vs acquisition and hence your budget and planning should be such to place high impact, innovative and rich media banner and video ads with right publishers or websites that can attract high traffic. Place the right bet on graphics, visuals and the clarity of your message, as the competition in display marketing is high and if not optimized properly, you might experience low conversion rates. The best practice is to optimize your ads across devices and screens and choose the advertiser sagely. Enable some further advance optimization techniques like frequency capping and geo targeting, which will enable you to fine-tune the campaign and avoid a high burn rate.
10. Leverage Analytics
With multiple marketing campaigns being executed, and so much money being spent, there is a need for proper tracking and management of traffic that reaches your platform. A good analytics tool tracks, provides proper data, reports and insights on the performance of your marketing campaigns including goals and revenue conversions and lets you ultimately optimize your campaign. Where your audience is coming from, who are they and how they are investing their time on your platform is all a good analytical tools tracks. Analytics also integrates with a lot of other tools you might use for marketing and provides you consolidated reporting so you can take better decisions. Some examples of good analytics tools are Google Analytics and Omniture however, there are many more in market that can help you achieve your goals and you may need to use two or more to get the most out of them.
There are tons of tools and guides available online that you can rely on, for crafting strategy that works best for your platform. Marketing is essential and getting the right trick that works for you might take some time, you are going to learn it in the process, but once you hit the spot, and something starts generating results, don’t just sit back and expect the same thing to work always. Marketing strategies and campaigns need to be reinvented over time and over every major update rolling in. It is also essential that you make such partnerships (like choosing the right video streaming platform) that bring in useful tools and adds value to your marketing campaign.
Check out Muvi’s list of marketing rich Features and how Signing Up with Muvi can add more value to the marketing quotient of your platform.