This holiday season, it's more important than ever for advertisers to incorporate digital advertising into their marketing strategies.
Over half of the U.S. population uses connected devices like smart TVs, desktop computers and mobile devices to watch broadcast-quality content. eMarketer projects that this number won't stop growing any time soon. In fact, over-the-top (OTT) platforms and viewers are growing in number and size. This year, the number of OTT viewers will increase by 2.7 percent to reach 198.6 million, estimated by eMarketer. Furthermore, an estimated 181.5 million U.S. consumers will use connected TVs at least once every month — that’s more than 55 percent of the U.S. population. By 2021, that number will expand to 194.4 million, which is almost 58 percent of the population.
Retailers across the country are using OTT or connected TV advertising to effectively extend their campaign reach beyond traditional media, getting them in front of the growing group of nontraditional audiences like cord-cutters, cord-shavers and cord-nevers. OTT provides people a similar viewing experience as television and helps retailers reach the right customers with a more personalized message, in the right place, at the right time. This channel will be a key differentiator for retailers during the 2018 holiday season.
While noise from all advertisers increases during the holiday season, so does consumer interest in not just holiday shopping but spending in general.
Right now, shoppers are beginning to decide what to purchase for gifting, what experiences to purchase to share with their family and friends, and many will even treat themselves to something new. At the local level, ZypMedia found that automotive, home and garden, entertainment, food and drink, and shopping advertiser categories performed the best during the 2017 holiday season.
Last year, ZypMedia observed the clickthrough-rate (CTR) of ads in November were 125 percent higher than the average of the rest of the year. Getting in front of these shoppers — on their desktops, mobile devices, and connected TVs — while they’re in this research mind-set is imperative for retailers to be considered for purchase.
Here's why OTT can effectively put your brand on top of consumers’ holiday shopping lists this season:
- OTT adoption is growing: During other U.S. holidays in 2018, like Valentine’s Day and Memorial Day, brands increased their spend and campaigns to target connected TV users. ZypMedia has already observed the volume of OTT campaigns increase 183 percent in October 2018 compared to October 2017.
- OTT is the new TV: OTT connects advertisers to the living room, especially during the holidays when families have downtime from school and work. OTT content is often long format and lean-back in nature. OTT video ads are non-skippable and full screen.
- OTT is effective at a local level: Brands and retailers can use geographic and audience targeting (e.g., demographic, behavioral, interest, etc.) to motivate qualified audiences and move them from top of the funnel to an eventual purchase.
Now is the time for retailers and brands to start thinking about the holiday shopping season and ensuring that they have a robust advertising and marketing plan that includes OTT advertising, especially if they're looking to capture local consumers.
Aman Sareen is the CEO and co-founder of ZypMedia, a local-focused, full-stack, omnichannel digital advertising platform.