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Nine Strategic Ways Advertisers Can Leverage OTT And CTV In 2021

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at July 26, 2021

Over-the-top and connected TV advertising heated up in 2020 as restrictions were imposed to address the Covid-19 pandemic, leading people to stay home and binge on streaming content or their favorite cable television programs. Thanks to the measurable reach they offer, OTT and CTV became incredibly popular marketing and advertising channels over the past year. 

However, with experts predicting precipitous drops in the number of viewers and the number of hours those viewers consume this type of content as life returns to “normal,” how can advertisers continue to leverage these channels in a strategic way in 2021? Here, nine members of Forbes Agency Council share effective ways to do just that.

1. Work With Partners Who Provide Transparent App Reporting

Advertisers should know that the growth in CTV is still there, with more traditional linear TV viewers moving to CTV. With CTV, having transparency into which apps and channels your ads are running on is important. There is still some gray area around brand safety in CTV, so advertisers should remain vigilant by working with partners who run ads on specific apps or are able to provide transparent app reporting. – Greg Garunov, Sightly

2. Use Dayparting To More Effectively Reach Target Audiences

Dayparting, a pay-per-click tactic in which ads are scheduled for certain times of the day or days of the week, will become more important as life goes back to normal. They might increase during the week and decrease on the weekends, when users tend to travel or explore outside, or they might activate around key moments such as sporting events or summer programs. – Jason Wulfsohn, AUDIENCEX

3. Use Data To Reach More Relevant Niche Audiences

Ad presence on OTT/CTV isn’t just about audience reach, but rather the ability to reach audience segments that are not expected to return to linear. As such, marketers should continue to leverage OTT/CTV capabilities to reach more niche and targeted audiences relevant to their brands based on first-, second- and third-party data, using ad technology to measure online and offline metrics. – Donna Robinson, Collective Measures

4. Look At Lessons Learned And Stay Nimble With Budgets

According to research done by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 60% of U.S. advertisers plan to shift their ad spend from linear TV to CTV/OTT in 2021, with most looking for better targeting and efficiency. Fewer viewers means more competition for eyes and ears. Smaller brands are likely to be outbid more often, so take a hard look at lessons learned from targeted work in 2020, stay nimble and flexible with budgets and keep up with any advances in cross-channel identity and measurement. – Megan Devine, d.trio marketing group

5. Keep These Three Important Things In Mind

Brands that want to leverage OTT/CTV must keep three things in mind. First, be fluid; watch the data in real time and shift your budgets to where they are most impactful. Second, accept that your cost per mille, or CPM, may go up; you’re still hitting your goals and reaching the right people at the right time. Third, match your creative to where customers are in the funnel. More than ever before, creative is king. – Brook Shepard, Mason Interactive

6. Stick With OTT And Consider Other Burgeoning Channels

Covid increased the adoption curve on a number of technologies—telemedicine, video conferencing and streaming services chief among them. While people will spend less time watching TV, how they consume entertainment has changed. Advertisers need to push their OTT spend, not decrease it; and they need to look for other burgeoning channels, such as social audio and gaming, as places to develop a presence in. – Mary Ann O’Brien, OBI Creative

7. Use Your Best-Performing Spots From The Previous Year

Attention never goes away, but it does shift. Brands that leveraged OTT and CTV in 2020 should review the viewership data and ROI of their content and audience demos. Use your demo data to understand where attention is shifting, such as to YouTube or social media, and pivot accordingly. Use your best-performing spots from the previous year and reformulate them for your “next platform” campaign. – Bernard May, National Positions

8. Target An Audience Of One With A Precise Approach

We are not concerned about the predictions, as it’s never about reaching everybody with OTT and CTV. It’s about reaching the right people with the right message. Use available data to market to an audience of one: your target. You’ll reach people you can’t reach on traditional media with a more precise, micro-targeted approach. – Jonathan Schwartz, Bullseye Strategy

9. Offer Special Promotions To Gain Visibility

One of the most important things to do is make sure you are able to get messages out through OTT and CTV advertising that you would not be able to get out anywhere else. Offering special promotions with codes and other such tactics are a great way to ensure that you have what you need in terms of visibility. – Jon James, Ignited Results


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