The global OTT market is growing fast. It hit $82 billion in 2020, and industry experts are predicting $190 billion by 2026. If you’re ready to claim your share of the growing market, here’s how to build an OTT platform content strategy that will take you to the top.
Set your goalposts
You can’t make a plan until you know what you want to achieve. This should be specific, measurable, and actionable. Asking pointed questions is a good way to guide planning.
- How narrow is your niche? A niche content platform is focused, possibly containing just one creator’s personal content in a specific genre. At the other end of the spectrum are general content platforms. These have such a wide range that it’s hard to define their style.
Knowing how wide a niche you’re planning to cover will guide decisions on features and where to leave room for future expansions.
- What scale will you operate on? Specifically, are you aiming for a local or a global audience? This is something many creators assume will sort itself out naturally. They produce content and let it find an audience wherever it can.
Scale should be a major consideration, though. Your projected audience determines the types of cultural considerations, design choices, and language options to include. These are easiest to plan for in the beginning, so put it on your list.
- What’s the primary purpose of your content: education, inspiration, or entertainment? You don’t need to- and shouldn’t!- lock yourself into a single style. This question is meant to help you define the overall tone of your platform and decide what should take priority when a conflict arises.
If your main goal is entertainment, you might brush over some tedious details in favor of highlighting the most interesting parts of a subject. An educational platform would show a full process from different angles, and might even have a discussion channel.
Keeping the purpose in mind gives you a level of overall consistency that’s hard to achieve otherwise.
Once you have a useful description of your platform, outline what success looks like. How will you know when it’s time to add new features? What are some signs you should pull back and consolidate?
You have full ownership of your data with your own platform, so don’t be afraid to get technical here. Something like, “Once I’ve passed 200,000 downloads and my 30 day retention rate is above 40%, I can add the next feature on my wish list” is an example of a concrete goal.
Finally, work out how you will differentiate your platform from competitors. Why will users join your platform instead of another? People are attracted to authenticity, so be sure your plan for differentiation reads true to your style.
Explore monetization options
- Advertising-based video on demand (AVOD): Users don’t pay anything to use an AVOD platform. Instead, the platform is fully supported by advertising and sponsorships. The model has low customer acquisition costs and a high profit potential.
However, ads can be disruptive to the audience and contribute to a lower retention rate. There’s also the risk of lost income due to ad blocker software.
- Subscription video on demand (SVOD): Users pay a regular fee for full access to your platform content. With SVOD you more regular revenue and higher customer loyalty. About 75% of households maintain at least one SVOD service, and many have 3 or more.
The drawback to the SVOD model is that it comes with higher customer acquisition costs than AVOD. The subscription price is also inflexible; raising it too much or too often causes regular subscribers to drop out.
- Transactional video on demand (TVOD): This model has viewers pay for the content they watch, either as a one-time fee or per viewing. It’s a very good way to earn high profits for premium content, and the flexibility lets viewers pay only for what they use.
These days, there’s a growing public dissatisfaction with “one and done” views, so TVOD is being overtaken by SVOD. It’s best reserved for premium events and special content.
- Hybrid models: You’ll most likely want to choose a hybrid monetization strategy, combining aspects from one or more other models. For example: Subscriptions covering general platform content, with premium content unlocked for extra fees. Ads that can be removed by subscribing to a paid platform tier TVOD content on an otherwise AVOD platform.
A tailored approach like this is more likely to appeal to a wide audience and give you the flexibility to stay profitable amidst changing market pressures. Hybrid models are more complex and time-intensive to manage, though.
- Understand your audience
Before you can decide what to do, you need to understand how your audience might react to different courses of action. Gather and analyze as much data as you can get on your audience. Include points like:
- Who are they? Don’t get hung up on demographics like age, gender, or location. Instead, find areas of shared passion or overlapping unrelated interests. What do many of them like other than your content?
Remember, your viewer personas have to be data-driven and based on analytics to generate useful insights.
- Where do they watch? What devices so they prefer? Do they switch devices often, or prefer one? This will inform your screen optimization protocols.
- What are their viewing habits like? What do they watch several times? What do they stop before the end? How many videos do they click through before finishing one?
- What do they engage with? What do viewers actively engage with through likes, comments, and shares? On the flip side, what shuts them down entirely or attracts only negative emoji and reacts?
Check back on this periodically. Culture is very fluid, and what works this year might be a platform killer next year.
Optimize your content production
Using your viewer persona, conduct seasonal reviews of your content as a whole. The majority should appeal to your most valuable viewer personas. Plenty of content leads to viewer loyalty.
Make room for experimental or test content, too. This builds excitement and interest. Some of it may do so well it can become core content, and some might perform better when it’s used sparingly.
When you see underperforming content, try to figure out why. Is it out of line with viewers’ interests, or is it just being presented wrong? Can you tweak it to boost views or should you cut your losses?
Never underestimate the value of popular evergreen content. You earn a higher ROI when people watch the same content more than once.
If some content is being viewed over and over, try to create other content that captures the same feel. Be careful not to “flood the market” with dozens of identical videos, though.
Diversify your promotion streams
Having a healthy variety of promotional methods lets you take advantage of new opportunities and gives you some protection against sudden market changes.
- Social media: Build and leverage social media channels as a funnel to drive users to your platform. Use native tools like sponsored stories and promoted tweets to draw attention to featured content.
- Email newsletters: Email has a high ROI because it’s easy, inexpensive, and has the potential for high conversion rates when done well. Use your data to decide what to send out and when it’s likely to be well-received.
- Digital marketing: Advertise in those “shared interest” spaces and platforms you identified earlier whenever possible.
- Boosting reach through SEO: It’s absolutely vital to prioritize SEO. Your competitors certainly are, so if you’re not you’re already starting at a disadvantage.
Focus on things that have a high impact. That includes tailored keywords for your content and niche, building out a video sitemap, optimizing metadata, choosing relevant tags, including keywords in the meta description and image alt text, and creating attractive, easy to read thumbnails for your videos.
Evaluate, Adjust, Repeat
Strategy is a living process that needs to be regularly monitored and tweaked. It’s a regular cycle of evaluate – adjust – repeat.
Evaluate: What’s working? What isn’t? Are you meeting your overall goals? What is coming up that might affect your platform? How have past adjustments worked?
Adjust: Implement new ideas based on opportunities identified by your evaluation. Decide whether to keep or cut past adjustments based on performance. Take any necessary steps to prepare for potential disruptions or upcoming events.
Repeat: Starting from the “evaluate” step, assess the changes you made last cycle and check in on your content’s performance as a whole.
Building a dynamic OTT platform content strategy takes time and consideration, but if you follow these steps you’ll be ahead of the game in no time.
While you’re working on your content strategy, we can take care of the technical side of your platform. Set up a no-strings meeting today to find out what’s possible!