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What's the Difference? Video Targeting vs OTT

Business owners have their choice of many types of marketing. In theory, it is simple. You want to present your value proposition to the people most likely to be interested in it. How to do that in the most impactful way is the tricky part.

Video advertising conveys information efficiently and effectively. It is a varied medium, however, some methods, such as video targeting and OTT, may seem very similar. Understanding the differences and distinctions between them is vital. It allows you to choose the best platforms to reach your target customers while determining where, when, and how it happens.

What Is Video Advertising?  

Video advertising is a broad marketing category that often lumps all forms of video together, such as TV commercials, online, and OTT campaigns. Despite the many differences, the common thread is their ability to convey extensive detail about your brand and offerings. Video is captivating. It tells a story that catches the viewer's attention and draws them into the world you create on-screen. Because it is multisensory, using images, words, and sounds, it can connect with your audience in ways that are most impactful for them.  

When at least two of your customers' senses are triggered, such as hearing and seeing, it enhances their experience and heightens brand engagement. Video can also evoke other emotions by using sensory words to suggest a response. For instance, a restaurant ad may talk about the aromas of home cooking while showing steam rising from a freshly baked roll to prompt a connection with the sense of smell (aromas) and touch (heat, as evidenced by the steam). A dessert ad may use words like chocolate, fruity, creamy, or sweet to get you to imagine how good it smells and tastes.  

What Is Video Targeting?  

Targeted video advertising or video targeting is an online format used for branding. It gives advertisers the freedom not only to determine who will see the ads based on audience targeting but lets them determine how, when, and where the ads are displayed. The 3 most popular places for the ads are YouTube, other social media platforms, and news and content websites.  Which is best for your ads depends upon your target audience and business strategy. 

Video targeting is a way to get your video to customers on websites and apps. It can be delivered pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll and distributed on more content or news websites. Accomplish targeting with an array of variables, such as demographics, online habits, keyword retargeting, and search retargeting. This detailed level of targeting allows you to reach an engaged audience with a specific interest in what you offer while minimizing impressions going to uninterested recipients.   This is also either skippable inventory or sometimes, if a premium price is paid, it is un-skippable inventory.   

What are OTT or CTV Ads?  

OTT and CTV ads are related terms often used interchangeably, even though they are distinctly different. OTT (Over-the-top) refers to subscription streaming services that deliver movies, TV, or gaming, like YouTube TV, Hulu, Pluto TV and more. OTT is a broad term for the method of delivery. It reaches both big and small screens and is ideal for placing ads in highly targeted areas.   

CTV (Connected TV) encompasses services and apps that don't require cable or subscriptions to view content and specifically refers to the devices that deliver OTT content, such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and game consoles. The advantage for advertisers is that OTT & CTV ads are un-skippable and immersive.  

If you see OTT and CTV together, it essentially means ads displayed while streaming content. The most notable distinction between video targeting and OTT is how the viewer accesses them. While both are delivered digitally, OTT requires subscribing to a streaming network. Video targeting occurs on websites, social media, and YouTube.  

Increase the Effectiveness of Your Video Ads by Understanding the Nuances 

While the different types of video ads have many similarities, the nuances make a critical difference. In our increasingly digital existence, we seamlessly move between streaming television, games, or movies, interacting on social media, searching for places or products on Google and other search engines, and visiting various websites. On each of these platforms, brands have an opportunity to gain the attention of their target audience.  

Videos are an excellent way to capture the viewer and draw them into your brand story. They are a multisensory experience for your target customer, providing heightened brand engagement. Videos can trigger sensory reactions through means other than audio and video by using words that evoke similar responses to touch and smell. An experienced media partner can help you learn more about the subtleties between various video ads and the benefits each offers while helping you implement the best ones for your business goals.


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Rory Kemerer

Written by Rory Kemerer

With over 9 years of digital marketing experience, Rory Harris is a leader in the digital playing field. Her passion is clear when she is helping her clients identify their goals or challenges and connecting that to a digital strategy to bring them the highest ROI. Her knowledge not only comes from both branding and lead generation solutions but also the experience she brings to the table to help her clients understand that the data tells a story on what is going on with their marketing.

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