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Amazon OTT ads – Should you use them?

Kennedell Amoo-Gottfried
June 30, 2022
September 16, 2022
Amazon OTT ads – Should you use them?

The media landscape has been changing for quite some time - fewer and fewer people are sticking with traditional cable and satellite TV services, opting instead for the wide variety of subscription-based or even free online platforms to get their entertainment, these channels are only growing in size along with the opportunity for advertisers.

Just about anything you consume through online video streaming can be described as over-the-top (OTT) content and Amazon lets sellers, as well as external advertisers, use its platform to capitalize on these expanding channels.

Every time you watch a movie on Netflix, binge a show on Prime Video, or get lost down some rabbit hole on YouTube or any other video streaming service on the internet, you’re consuming OTT content. Needless to say, we collectively watch years and years' worth of OTT products every single day, making it one of the most effective marketing channels out there today. 

Amazon’s internal research shows that 90% of the audience’s on the streaming platforms it services watch more than two hours each day. 

Amazon Streaming TV can give marketers access to these channels in order to capture a piece of that market, which doesn’t have to be too large to bring in a solid chunk of attention. 

Amazon OTT operates through its Demand Side Platform, which provides centralized and automated ad placements both in and out of Amazon’s own website. 

Advantages of marketing OTT

Amazon has a wide reach for advertisers looking to hawk their wares on streaming services. In addition to Prime Video, the network includes affiliated platforms such as, Discovery, Thursday Night Football, Twitch, and FireTV, together able to reach more than 120 million unique viewers. 

Advertisers using both video and display ads in their campaigns tend to see an increase of 320% in their product page views and 150% increase in their purchases compared to those that use just display ads, according to Amazon. 

Unlike many ads on streaming platforms, Amazon OTT can’t be skipped and take up the full screen - while any viewer may tell you non-skippable ads are annoying, the reality is that they are nonetheless effective and get their message across. 

In addition to a better targeting mechanism than normal TV, OTT is far cheaper than TV advertising - making it a far more cost-effective avenue of visual advertising and giving you much control over ad spend. Amazon OTT in particular also lets you target shoppers that have seen your competitors’ products, giving you a chance to scoop them out from underneath your rivals. 

It also gives you an avenue to reach an audience that is harder to reach through other online channels. For example, many advertisers are hamstrung when it comes to reaching customers that have ad-blocker enabled - ad blocker makes no difference to video ads. 

If you are going to go the OTT route, there are a few best practices to keep in mind: 

  • Know your brand: Just because the channel or format is different doesn’t mean your product or brand is. Know your brand identity and message and stay true to it - this is not just to maintain a cohesive tone, but also to determine alongside which shows it would be most appropriate to display your ads in the first place. 
  • Have a clear call to action: tell them where to go and where to look for your products to maximize the push down the conversion funnel. 
  • Measure constantly: It’s crucial to have good measurement in any ad campaign to assess effectiveness, and streaming TV gives you a pretty granular view of your audience. Streaming TV gives you a host of audience insights that would simply not be possible with cable or satellite TV - everything from far more precise demographics (age, gender, and income, among others), geography, shopping behaviors and even how long they spent on each show. You can leverage all this information to determine how you deploy your resources.

Keep in mind that these are not clickable ads, so their effect can’t be measured through the typical click-through metric that you might use for other parts of the campaign, and they won’t yield direct conversions.

Another difference with your typical Sponsored Products campaign is that, because they are not click-through ads, you are paying per million impressions rather than per click. While this means that you won’t just pay for those that go to your page, Amazon OTT does give you the option to guarantee your ads reach the precise demographics you want to hit. Part of the way they do this is through a new feature called genre blocking, where Amazon will let you choose up to five genre blocks that will be most likely to put your ad in front of your target audience. 

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