Brand awareness refers to the ability of potential customers to recognize and remember a given brand. The gold standard here for decades has been Coca-Cola, which slathers its logo and bottle shape on billboards around the world. This article is about a more modern brand awareness solution: video, specifically OTT streaming. Coke and other brands such as Nike are adopting OTT streaming and video brand marketing with great success.
OTT stands for Over-The-Top. Simply put, OTT content is delivered via the internet, without internet service providers (ISPs) having control over the data. Customers vote with their keyboards, visiting the video sites that appeal most to them. OTT is a massive growing content trend that experts predict will overtake traditional and cable TV broadcasting before 2020.
The internet age is still booming. As of March 2017, nearly 50 percent of all people in the world are internet users. That number continues to grow rapidly. It’s no wonder then that businesses and other institutions are taking advantage of this powerful new medium for branding.
Building awareness in a globalized world: video as a prime branding tool
Branding works! Corporations wouldn’t spend hundreds of millions on advertising and branding campaigns otherwise. Research shows that customers will generally purchase products and services from the top three brands in their field. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of any business to develop strong brand awareness in their customer base.
Video, specifically online video, is one of the best ways to do this in the modern world. According to research from Google, online video positively improves brand awareness, perception, and interest. In our increasingly globalized world, when it’s easy to reach people on the other side of the planet instantly, online video bypasses many traditional barriers and goes directly to the viewer.
That’s highly valuable. Video may not directly lead to a purchase, however, it initiates a chain of knowledge, understanding, and behavior that can lead to not only to a single purchase, but many purchases over a lifetime. Seventy-one percent of teens watch more than three hours of video per day online. This is the platform of the upcoming generation, and we only expect this engagement to grow over time.
Ways to use video for branding
Let’s list a few of the ways in which video can be used for branding, marketing, promotion, and associated beneficial activities.
- Introduction to the brand for landing pages and websites (81 percent of brands do this)
- Welcome video
- Vision video
- Video integrated into a sales funnel
- Video advertising
- Expert interviews
- Public service announcement
- Live OTT streaming product release
- Video portal to display your media content
- Streaming live content such as new shows
- Product demonstration or walkthrough
- Animated explanatory videos
- Lifestyle video
- Behind-the-scenes video live streaming
- Promotional event broadcasting
- Sponsored entertainment such as sports or music
- Mobile video advertising
- Branded video apps
- Sharing user stories and experiences
- Featuring content from other fans
- Answering common user questions
These are just a few of the ideas out there. Keep in mind as well that video content can be distributed via different channels. Email, social media, websites, and distribution via partners can all reach a different audience.
Any of these methods can also be measured. Shares, likes, backlinks, retweets, and views can be counted directly. Analytics tools can measure referred website traffic. Landing pages can isolate specific campaigns and measure their effectiveness. If you want to dig even deeper, you can interview visitors to gather qualitative data.
The right video streaming solution can help make this possible.
Features to look for in an OTT streaming solution
Most modern internet video is facilitated via SaaS/IaaS platforms called Online Video Platforms, or OVPs. For a subscription fee, OVPs provide hosting and delivery services for video. Different platforms target different markets, and will suit each business differently.
With this in mind, let’s review some of the features that OVPs offer and how they compare from a brand marketing perspective. Keep in mind that some video platforms offer these features, while others do not. Some of these features come with basic plans, while others are only accessible with advanced, expensive plans.
An OVP should provide the ability to display video without any branding, or with your own personalized branding. This is one of the essential differences between a consumer-grade platform like YouTube and Facebook, and a professional OVP.
Free social platforms always include their logo in any native or embedded video. It’s free advertising for them, but it’s not the most professional, clean look. This can have a negative impact on branding campaigns especially. Seeing one single brand, front and center, is the key to effective branding.
Many businesses choose to use both social platforms to maximize reach and an OVP to display videos with custom branding.
If you’re creating branded content, you need to be able to measure success in some way. That’s where analytics tools come in. Professional-grade OVPs integrate analytics tools to track the success of your video content. Basically, you need to know how many people are watching, what they are watching, for how long they watch, and where they are in the world.
Importantly, analytics should also enable you to capture the email addresses of all your paying customers…if you are monetizing your video via subscriptions or pay-per-view. Connecting to a service like Google Analytics may enable additional data gathering, such as identifying whether visitors are using mobile devices or computers.
Your OVP can gather this type of data and more. Make sure to investigate the analytics tools of your chosen OVP before you select a platform.
If pure branding efforts are all you’re doing with video, monetization is unlikely to be important to you. However, some of the most effective branding takes place in the context of other content, such as films, shows, documentaries, concerts, and so on. See, for example, Coke Studio.
Monetization options also set professional OVPs apart from consumer platforms. The two biggest monetization methods are pay-per-view and subscription. In the industry, these are often referred to as TVOD (Transactional Video-on-Demand) and SVOD (Subscription Video-on-Demand). Advertising is also a common monetization method, but usually is less lucrative than the other methods.
In branding, it is essential to get your brand image in front of as many people as possible. With video, it often doesn’t matter if they actually watch the full video. In many cases, exposure is enough to alter perceptions and achieve “top of the mind” status. This is why video embedding is important.
Embedding is one of those features that should be included with every OVP on every plan, but it isn’t. Make sure your chosen OVP supports embedding before signing up for that service.
Finally, let’s mention security features. In pure branding, video security may not be the most important consideration. In fact, if people copy and pirate your video, it may actually help you! But we are dealing with the real world of contracts and lawyers. Therefore, maintaining control over your video content is important.
Most OVPs offer security features to maintain data integrity and security. These can include HTTPS for video delivery and payments, domain and geographic restrictions to deter pirates, and tokenized security to ensure content that is copied to unauthorized sites is disabled as quickly as possible.
Live OTT streaming solution vs. video on-demand
Another important consideration is live streaming vs. video on-demand. A robust OTT streaming service or OVP should offer both services. Live OTT streaming is increasingly popular. For brands, it’s a great way to offer true fans a “behind-the-scenes” experience and make them feel part of a community.
OVPs such as Wistia offer great video on-demand features for editing and customizing content, but don’t offer a live OTT streaming solution. This can be a deal-breaker for many brands looking to diversify into one of the hottest new corners of content and brand marketing.
Building brand awareness with video is a great method. Hopefully this article has helped you understand how this process can work, and helped you with the considerations you need to make when choosing an OVP. If you need more help with that process, check out our 2019 comparison of online video platforms. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your live streams!