When it comes to OTT, content is quite rightly considered king, which can mean only thing, marketing is its queen. Sure, you need great content and a fantastic OTT service but if people don’t know a thing about it, how can you generate sales? Quite simply: You can’t. You may know everything there is to know about your OTT service, and in particular what makes it better than the competition but if you don’t communicate that effectively, you won’t see subscriber growth.
A well thought through marketing strategy is essential for any business. Not only does it help educate potential customers about your service it also builds brand awareness, can increase sales and reduce churn. In order to improve your chances of long-term success, put a solid marketing strategy in place before launch. Even a little effort can go a long way if you’re working to tight budgets or have limited resources. Engaging with customers (new and existing) on social media platforms, for example, costs nothing but is a great way to build your brand and business’s future.
In our latest eBook, we share our top marketing tips and tactics that can help you lay the right foundations for launch. In this guide, we take you through some marketing fundamentals that will help you generate leads and convert them into loyal subscribers.
- How to optimize your sales funnel
- Design your digital ecosystem
- Improve your conversion rates
- Reduce churn
- And much, much more
Looking for a little more marketing advice to get your OTT service off the ground? Check out our blog where we regularly publish articles that can help you build and grow your business. You can also get in touch with us and speak to an experienced member of the Magine Pro team.
To find out more about Magine Pro and our global OTT solutions and services, head here.
It’s vital for any new business to have a solid customer communications strategy in place before launch. For OTT services, how you choose to communicate with your users will have a direct effect on the long-term success of your service.
Take our own partner’s for example; combined they add over 650 hours of new content every month. However, without an effective communications strategy in place, no one would know a thing about it; not their current paying subscribers or new potential customers. And with content being the key reason people sign up to a service in the first place (and return every day, week or month), it’s pretty important it’s not overlooked.
One Magine Pro partner, in particular, will see on average around 30% of their paying subscribers active in a month when no new content has been added. By comparison, this will rocket to over 80% when new content is made available. But it only does so because they have actively promoted new content through their marketing channels.
The digital marketing channels you choose to utilize are important but don’t pit them against one another when you’re planning your CRM & communications strategy. Social Media marketing and email marketing are as important as each other. Sure, social gives you the best chance to reach large audiences instantly, but email enables you to nurture relationships and convert leads (generated through social) into actual paying subscribers.
You can use social as a tool to help drive traffic to your website, landing page or even service sign up screen. And it’s here you can encourage visitors to stay in touch by submitting their email address for further info your service and future updates on new content or features and service promotions etc.
At the very least your email communications strategy should include:
- Automated welcome email sent to all those who submit their email address.
- Onboarding emails sent to introduce new subscribers to your service.
- Re-activation emails sent after time period delay to encourage visitors to return, re-subscribe or complete signup.
- Automated customer service reminders to inform users when payments have completed or subscriptions are coming to an end etc.
- Weekly or monthly newsletters to update users on new features, content, and any service promotions.
At Magine Pro, we recommend all our partners prepare their onboarding comms prior to launch. Onboarding emails can educate customers about the service and also relieve some pressure from the customer service team. We also recommend our partners send a short survey to their users during their first week after sign up; this will not only help improve their experience but also the product in the future.
Proposed Onboarding Funnel:
- Day 0: Introductory welcome email
- Day 1: Welcome offer/promotion
- Day 3: Overview of devices to stream on
- Day 5: Overview of the services offered
- Day 7: Short survey to feedback on their experience so far
- Day 10: Deep Dive into the service and features
- Day 14: Upsell email that promotes additional content packages
- Day 30: Reactivation #1 (if a user has not returned and completed sign up)
- Day 50-70: Reactivation #2 (reminder if a user has not returned after sign up)
Onboarding emails can be set up before launch to send autonomously. You can also A/B test with emails to see which subject lines and messaging work best.
Alongside sending automated onboarding emails, regularly reach out to your users. Email is considered a retention channel, designed to keep customers interested and engaged after they’ve signed up or subscribed to a service. A weekly or monthly newsletter, for example, is a great way to keep your users informed on service updates, promotions and new content.
Don’t let subscribers slip away either, entice inactive users back to your service with promotions via email. You can do the same for those who have recently canceled their subscription; remind them you exist, what they’re missing and make it easy to get back onboard!
Looking for a little more marketing advice to get your OTT service off the ground? Check out our blog where we also cover how to convert leads into loyal subscribers, reduce subscription churn rates and optimize your OTT service for Search.
Search Engine Optimisation, otherwise known as SEO is integral to building brand awareness and your online presence. Although SEO is commonly associated with websites, it can, in fact, be just as beneficial when applied to your web-based OTT service and apps. Making your content and service visible to search engines like Google, either organically or through paid activities, really is vital if you want viewers to find you and subscribe.
If you’re currently planning, curating or even updating your video service, now is the time to optimize and improve your SEO. Some of the key benefits of an effective SEO strategy include:
- Increased and higher quality traffic
- Better visibility online
- Creates credibility and trust
- Cost effective marketing
- Gives you a better insight into your audience and traffic
Here are a few of our top tips to help you get started:
Identify your keywords
Keywords are an extremely important part of your SEO strategy. To research short and long-tail keywords successfully, you’ll need to get into the mindset of your audience and consider how they may search online for your content or service. It’s also a good idea to check out what words your competitors are optimizing. That doesn’t mean you should optimize the same words though (it will cost more to do so, particularly if they’re already well established).
To research keywords, check out some helpful online tools, including Google Keyword Planner and Keyword Tool. Once you’ve identified your keywords, position them within the copy on your service and web page. Don’t overdo it though, Google, in particular, is great at sussing out keyword overuse and it will penalize you for it.
Use keywords effectively
Thoughtfully position keywords within the copy of your service and/or website. Scattering keywords all over the place really won’t be effective.
Of course, there are obvious places you should use keywords, such as in movie, series or program titles etc. However, you can also utilize keywords in filenames before uploading new content to your service. Simply ensure video filenames match that of the film title or TV program. This will make it much easier for search engines like Google to locate your video content when it’s being searched for online.
Be meticulous with metadata
Metadata will not only help your users locate great content within your service, but can also impact online search results. Metadata effectively tells search engines like Google, what the video is about and helps them to determine where it should appear in results.
Always use keywords in content tiles, descriptions, and tags. But, as we mentioned earlier, try not to overdo it. Keyword stuffing is frowned upon by Search Engines and can result in lower rankings. It can also be off-putting to your users. When it comes to writing video descriptions or general web copy, make sure sentences flow and read naturally. You should also experiment with keyword variations, including synonyms as well as singular and plural keywords.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
Social media is one of the best ways to reach out to your target audience and promote your OTT service. Although it’s important to note that social media won’t have a direct effect on your Google ranking, it can still aid your SEO efforts.
Building a strong social community is one of the best ways to promote your service and content organically. Loyal followers will help build buzz by sharing the links you post on your social channels. These links should take followers directly to your service, new content, relevant web pages etc. In turn, this will drive more traffic to your website/service, which Search Engine’s like Google actually recognize. Links on social media that have been shared hundreds of times (if not more) have been known to improve web page rankings for keywords/phrases that are very competitive. In short, don’t overlook the importance of digital marketing and your social presence.
How can we help?
At Magine Pro we appreciate how important SEO is to launching your own OTT service. And in particular the impact it can have on building your subscriber numbers. Because of this, we provide all our partners with the advice and the tools they need to effectively optimize their service for launch and in future. This not only includes digital marketing guidance but also access to the Magine Pro Console, our web-based management tool.
Using the Magine Pro Console, our partners can independently curate and manage their Pioneer or Premium video services. The Console enables them to edit their service’s start page, content categories and assets metadata with immediate effect. This gives them full control over where and how keywords appear in their service. Want to find out more about our global OTT solutions and services, or have an SEO related question? Get in touch with the team today.
Loyal subscribers don’t tend to form long virtual queues on the day a new OTT service is launched. A well-executed pre-launch marketing plan may drive a lot of traffic but there’s no guarantee those that show up will sign up and stick around.
Converting potential customers into paying subscribers requires pre-planning and a good marketing strategy. To be successful, you need to optimize your conversion funnel and user journey. Conversion funnels apply to all online sales-focused businesses and outline the journey a potential customer will take before they commit to purchase. In it’s simplest form, the conversion funnel has four main steps that we’ve outlined below.
The first stage is all about building awareness around your brand and service. At this point, the funnel is broad because although a large volume of people may become aware of your service through marketing, they may not be interested in going further and finding out more.
In order to successfully build awareness that leads to subscribers, focus your digital marketing efforts on a defined target audience. Use social media to reach out and spread awareness, run targeted paid ads online and ensure you’re website and service is SEO optimized to improve organic reach.
At this stage, only those who are aware and interested will look for more information and effectively enter the funnel. This may be reflected in increased click-through rates on your paid ads or even a boost in organic SEO-lead traffic.
The trick here is to keep interested visitors engaged. You need to give them a better understanding of what your service includes and the value it provides. Offering promotions or discounts on your website in exchange for visitor emails is a great way to keep them moving through the funnel. Once you have their email address, you’ll be able to send more helpful info and reminders to them later.
The funnel will shrink further because not all those who showed interest will actually want the service after they learn more. This stage is predominantly influenced by the service itself and in particular what content is available and whether it appeals to them. It is here that you need to show potential customers why they need your service – what are you offering that others on the market aren’t? Or, what is it you do better?
Ramp up your marketing efforts here and retarget those who have visited your website or service but not committed to subscribe just yet.
This is the smallest part of the funnel as only a small percentage of the original leads will want to take action and subscribe. It’s important at this stage that the process to do so is simple and straightforward to minimize bounce.
Even after customers have taken action you need to stay active to reduce churn. Automated onboarding emails are a great way to introduce customers to your service and remind them to come back regularly to watch new content. You can also use your social channels as a tool to keep them engaged and up-to-date on new features, content or promotions.
The funnel above gives a great overview but mapping out a detailed user flow will ensure your strategy is tight and easy to follow. It also gives you an opportunity to outline what channels you want to utilize, alongside customer comms that need to be in place pre, during and post launch. Here’s an overview of a typical user flow, which also includes the retention stage you’ll need to consider after action.
Want more advice and support on converting leads into loyal subscribers? Get in touch with the Magine Pro team and find out how we can help. You can also learn more about our branded OTT solutions and services here.