OTT Audience Targeting & Retargeting Options Explained

Last Updated: June 12, 20244 min readCategories: Marketing, Over-The-Top (OTT)

As over-the-top (OTT) media continues to revolutionize the way audiences consume content, understanding OTT targeting options has become essential for marketers. Effective OTT audience targeting allows for precise and impactful engagement, while OTT retargeting ensures continuous connection with viewers.

This article explores the various OTT targeting and retargeting options, providing a comprehensive guide for marketing professionals.

1. Demographic Targeting

Demographic targeting in OTT advertising involves segmenting viewers based on characteristics such as age, gender, income, education, and occupation. This allows brands to deliver tailored content to specific audience groups, enhancing engagement and relevance.

Example: A luxury car brand targets high-income males aged 35-54 with streaming ads highlighting the premium features of their latest model.

2. Geographic Targeting

Geographic targeting involves delivering content to viewers based on their location, whether it be by country, state, city, or even specific neighborhoods. This OTT advertising strategy ensures that ads are relevant to the audience’s local context, enhancing their effectiveness.

Example: A regional fast-food chain targets viewers in specific cities with promotions for new store openings and local menu items.

3. Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting leverages data on viewers’ past behaviors, such as viewing habits, purchase history, and online activities, to deliver highly relevant ads. This OTT audience targeting approach ensures that content aligns with the interests and actions of the audience, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

Example: An online fitness brand targets viewers who frequently watch workout videos with CTV ads for their new line of exercise equipment.

4. Interest-Based Targeting

Interest-based targeting involves segmenting audiences based on their specific interests, such as hobbies, lifestyle preferences, and entertainment choices. This strategy allows brands to engage viewers with content that directly aligns with their passions and interests.

Example: A travel agency targets viewers on OTT streaming services who frequently watch travel documentaries with ads for exclusive vacation packages and travel deals.

5. Retargeting (Remarketing)

Retargeting, or remarketing, involves showing programmatic ads to viewers who have previously interacted with a brand, such as visiting their website or watching their content. This strategy aims to re-engage potential customers, reminding them of the brand and encouraging them to complete a desired action.

Example: An e-commerce retailer uses CTV retargeting to reach viewers who abandoned their online shopping carts with ads showcasing the items they left behind, along with a limited-time discount offer.

6. First Party Data Targeting

First party data targeting utilizes data that a company collects directly from its customers, such as purchase history, website interactions, and subscription details, to create highly personalized ad campaigns. This OTT targeting option ensures that ads are relevant and tailored to the specific preferences and behaviors of existing customers.

Example: A subscription box service targets their current subscribers with personalized ads promoting add-ons and exclusive member deals based on their previous purchases and preferences.

7. Cross-Device Targeting

Cross-device targeting allows brands to reach the same audience across multiple OTT devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs, providing a seamless and consistent ad experience. This strategy ensures that viewers are engaged with cohesive messaging, regardless of the device they are using.

Example: A streaming service targets viewers who watched a trailer on their mobile device with ads for the full movie when they switch to their smart TV.

8. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)

Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) uses real-time data to tailor ad creatives on-the-fly, ensuring that the most relevant and engaging content is delivered to each viewer. This OTT targeting option leverages automation to adjust elements such as images, messaging, and calls-to-action based on viewer data and context.

Example: An online retailer uses DCO to show personalized ads featuring products that a viewer recently browsed, along with customized promotional offers.

9. Lookalike Targeting

Lookalike targeting identifies new potential customers by finding audiences that share characteristics with a brand’s existing customers. This audience targeting strategy expands the reach of marketing campaigns to individuals who are likely to be interested in the brand’s products or services based on similar behaviors and demographics.

Example: A fashion retailer targets a lookalike audience of their best customers with ads for their new seasonal collection, aiming to attract similar high-value shoppers.

10. Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting delivers OTT ads based on the content that viewers are currently consuming, ensuring relevance by aligning ads with the context of the media. This targeting strategy places ads within related content categories, increasing the likelihood of viewer engagement and interest.

Example: A cooking utensil brand targets viewers watching cooking shows with ads for their latest kitchen gadgets and tools.

OTT Targeting: Final Thoughts

OTT targeting and retargeting options offer powerful ways for brands to connect with their audiences in a highly personalized and effective manner. By leveraging strategies like demographic, geographic, behavioral, and interest-based targeting, as well as advanced techniques such as dynamic creative optimization and cross-device targeting, marketers can maximize their campaign impact.

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