Streaming platforms like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu have dramatically changed the way we consume content. And they come with numerous benefits for viewers and advertisers alike.
Not only do OTT (over-the-top) services provide more choice and convenience to consumers, but they also offer advertisers a highly targeted and addressable audience.
But how can marketers measure the success of their OTT campaigns? What metrics should they use to determine whether their efforts are paying off?
The answers vary depending on goals, objectives, and budget, but there are a few marketing KPIs that are essential to every OTT campaign.
What is OTT (Over-the-Top) Advertising?
OTT, or over-the-top media services, are streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu that bypass traditional cable television (hence the name, over-the-top). They do this by providing on-demand content directly to users over the internet on any device.
Advertisers can use OTT services to reach highly targeted and addressable audiences with digital ads, including video and audio advertisements.
For example, if you’re targeting a specific demographic group, you can serve relevant ads based on the viewer’s age or location. And since streaming ads aren’t aired the way cable TV ads are, these ads can be tailored to each user’s individual interests.
4 Essential OTT Advertising Metrics
When it comes to measuring the success of your OTT campaigns, four important metrics can help you understand what’s working and what’s not.
1. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate (CTR) is a key metric for determining the effectiveness of your ad campaigns. It measures how many viewers are clicking on your ads and taking the desired action, whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, or downloading an app.
To calculate CTR, divide the total number of clicks by the total number of impressions. For example, an ad that receives 500 impressions and 25 clicks, would yield a CTR of 5%.
This metric gives valuable insight into whether or not viewers are responding to your ads because it tracks how often they’re taking the desired action. What constitutes a solid CTR will vary by industry, though, so you’ll need to look at the entire picture when assessing your campaigns.
2. View-Through Rate (VTR)
View-through rate (VTR)—sometimes called video completion rate (VCR)—measures how many viewers watched your ad in its entirety before taking the desired action. This metric can help you understand which ads are performing best and which need some tweaking.
VTR is calculated in about the same way as CTR—by dividing the total number of viewers who watched the entire ad by the total number of impressions. For example, if an ad receives 500 impressions and 100 viewers watch it in its entirety, the VTR would be 20%.
Particularly for long-form advertisements (i.e., one minute or longer) that explain a new product or service in its entirety, a solid VTR can indicate that whether or not viewers clicked, they were still highly engaged.
To get the full picture of CTR and VTR and how they relate to the success of your OTT campaigns, proper attribution is key. Attribution measures how many viewers take desired actions after watching an ad, regardless of whether they clicked or watched it in its entirety.
Since many conversions happen over time, monitoring attributions can help you understand how different ads in your campaign are performing. It also gives insight into the effectiveness of retargeting efforts, which happen when an ad is served to someone who has already interacted with it in some way.
4. Reach and Frequency
Reach measures how many unique viewers have been exposed to your ads, while frequency indicates how often the same individuals have seen the ads.
Reach and frequency are important metrics to track because they provide insight into how effective your targeting is. If your reach is too low, it might mean you’re not reaching enough people or that your targeted audience isn’t engaging with your ads. Conversely, if your frequency is too low, it could indicate that the same people aren’t seeing your ads often enough.
Other Considerations for OTT Ad Campaigns
Besides KPIs, there are a few other things you’ll need to consider when creating and launching OTT ad campaigns.
- TV Viewership Trends: Audience trends on TV and streaming platforms are always shifting, so it’s important to be aware of the latest viewership data. Having an understanding of who is watching what, and when, can help you create campaigns that reach the right audiences at the right time.
- Cost Efficiency: After doing your research and selecting the right KPIs to measure success, look at the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) to see if what you’re spending for the exposure is worth it.
- Ad Placement: Consider where you’ll be placing your ads and what type of content they’ll appear with. This can have a major impact on how successful the campaign is, so it’s important to ensure the ads are placed in appropriate contexts.
Understanding and tracking the right OTT advertising metrics can give you invaluable insights into how viewers are responding to your campaigns. And by taking into consideration other factors such as TV viewership trends, cost efficiency, and ad placement, you can be sure that your ads will reach their intended audiences in the most effective way possible.