By Published On: January 25, 2024

CTV and OTT aren’t just buzzy acronyms in the crazy world of digital marketing—they’re powerful tools that many small- to mid-sized businesses are using to connect with their audiences. As an agency that champions the growth of companies in niche markets, we’ve seen how CTV (Conneted TV) and OTT (Over-The-Top) ad campaigns can boost brand visibility and lead generation.

This blog is your guide to using these platforms to boost your brand awareness, your sales, and ultimately, your mood.

Not your parent’s TV ads

CTV refers to hardware that’s connected to the internet (like smart TVs, game consoles, and streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire Stick). Think of CTV as a more traditional TV viewing experience on a big screen using a remote control.

OTT (Over-The-Top) represents content provided via internet streaming that bypasses traditional media like cable and satellite. It includes free and subscription-based on-demand content, streamed across various devices (like smart phones, tablets, computers, and smart TVs.)

With the rise in CTV/OTT viewership, your business has an unprecedented opportunity to reach your audience where they are most engaged. In 2023, 88% of US households owned at least one internet-connected TV device.*

A game-changer

For mid-sized businesses with niche audiences, CTV/OTT is a golden ticket. It allows for precision targeting and it’s cost-effective.

Unlike traditional TV’s broad strokes, CTV/OTT allows for targeting specific demographics, interests, and viewing habits. This ensures your ads are reaching not just any eyes, but the right eyes and that makes for higher engagement rates. Plus, with real-time analytics, you can measure your effectiveness with a clarity rarely seen in traditional advertising.

Another benefit—production and media fees are actually affordable. By implementing a strong and well-thought-out creative strategy, combined with flexible techniques for media creation, you can generate highly impactful video ads for a relatively low cost. And they can be easily versioned to cater to multiple formats, ensuring maximum reach and effectiveness across various platforms.

Doing it right

The key to a successful CTV/OTT campaign lies in its creation. Like every campaign, you should start by setting clear marketing objectives. Then develop detailed buyer personas to understand them better. Your content should be tailored for the medium, focusing on creativity and relevance. Choosing the right platforms and ad formats is crucial—each has its strengths and caters to different segments of your audience.

With CTV/OTT campaigns, targeting a smaller or more niche audience can often yield better results than going for a broader reach. By focusing on a specific group, you reduce the number of competitors bidding for ad placements, allowing for increased exposure even with a limited budget. This approach can be particularly effective in reaching your desired audience and maximizing the impact of your advertising efforts.

The proof is in the pudding numbers

Many mid-sized businesses leverage the power of CTV/OTT with success, often on modest budgets. In 2023, the cat&tonic team helped two clients increase their awareness among audiences in specific geographic areas.

A local bank looking to build awareness saw a 118% increase in website traffic. During a 5-month CTV campaign, the ads were seen almost 300K times by prospects within a 5-mile radius around each bank branch. See more details here.

A nonprofit wanting to reach a specialized audience saw a 143% increase in website traffic. In just 30 days, their ad was seen more than 116K times by their target audience in an 11-county footprint. See more details here.

These success stories highlight the tremendous impact of well-crafted, audience-specific campaigns on brand awareness and sales. With the ability to effectively connect with customers in a clutter-free environment, CTV/OTT campaigns have opened new opportunities for these businesses to thrive and make a lasting impact.

Better together

CTV/OTT shouldn’t stand alone. It’s most effective when integrated with other affordable digital strategies like social media, display retargeting, SEO, and email marketing. This integration ensures a cohesive brand narrative across all platforms. Balancing your budget and channel distribution is vital to maximize impact without overspending.

Nothing is perfect

Despite its potential, CTV/OTT isn’t without challenges. Ad blocking, platform selection, and content creation are some hurdles to overcome. However, staying ahead of trends like AI and interactive ads can keep your strategy fresh and effective. Yet another argument for supplementing it with other strategies.

CTV/OTT advertising opens up a world of possibilities for mid-sized businesses looking to amplify their brand presence. With strategic planning, targeted campaigns, and creative content, these platforms can propel your brand to new heights of recognition and engagement.

About the Author: Beth Seitzberg

Beth Seitzberg
During her career crafting creative Beth has conceptualized, designed, developed, strategized and overseen the building of brands, campaigns, and creative platforms for large corporations as well as for dozens of regional and local companies in every sector including financial services, manufacturing, retail, medical, and non-profit. This range of experience with clients of all sizes has honed a specialization in brand management and application of master brand strategy across channels and tactics. With a background in psychology and sociology she brings both a researcher’s behavioral approach and an artist’s instinct to her work. Beth specializes in designing outstanding, strategic creative that ties into business goals and communicates the client’s message clearly and distinctly in their unique voice.
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