Subscribers do not come by themselves, you should attract them.
Each channel of customer acquisition differs in the behavior and needs of its audience, the degree of its readiness to subscribe. You should focus on the cost of attracting or retaining a client using this channel.
For example, in the last 5 years, image advertising has been bought mainly by large OTT companies — this is how they cover and retain their leadership in the market.
Let's take a closer look at the most popular channels for attracting new subscribers to your OTT product.
For example we will take Netflix and other streaming services and it’s pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok etc.
Case: Netflix virality
It's no secret that social media has been heavily used in marketing lately, and Netflix is keeping up with the trend.
A creative approach to creating content on social networks leads to high audience engagement: subscribers actively comment on posts and discuss them with friends. The most popular posts can get over a million views.
This is especially true of the company's Twitter account. It regularly generates memes and comes to users' replies. Moreover, tweets are not even put on promotions, but they collect large reach, a bunch of likes and reposts due to virality. They are built on Netflix content - TV shows, films and service shows.
Quizzes and polls often appear on Netflix accounts, which provide another incentive for subscribers to keep up the conversation and give the brand a leading position in the trend rankings.
#Hashtags, humor and grapevine telegraph
Hashtags are one of the main methods of modern SMM promotion on social networks. With hashtags, people quickly find the content, information and discussions they need. Correctly selected hashtags in posts will help you quickly attract new followers and subscribers.
Also Netflix relies heavily on grapevine telegraph and creates content that users really want to share. Subscribers, on their own initiative, create endless memes, gifs and videos, which their friends then watch, and so on and so on, while the original Netflix content is constantly at the center of discussion.
Netflix does a great job with this. The company has developed a corporate style for communicating with fans. It is informal and it seems like another fan is talking to you, and not a huge corporation. This kind of communication gets a huge response from millennials and buzzers.
Word of mouth deserves special attention as a kind of partnership program
Affiliate programs are created by product manufacturers, service providers, or resellers who help a business sell products or services.
The basic principle is that the partner helps the company to implement their OTT subscriptions, and for this the OTT company pays the partner a percentage of the transaction or a fixed amount.
An affiliate program is one of the most effective ways to monetize an OTT resource and attract subscribers to a resource without spending on advertising. Thanks to your own affiliate program, you can earn up to 10-20% of the total turnover. It all depends on the literacy of handling this marketing tool. If you organize and maintain an affiliate program correctly, the result will not be long in coming.
Marketers quickly figured it out and turned it into a trend. Influencer marketing - promoting products through influencers (opinion leaders) in the digital environment - is actively used to advertise goods and services. And it makes sense: up to 92% of users trust the advice of influencers more than the standard advertising from the stars. The message blurs the line between commercial and user-generated content and informs about the products in the form of a friendly recommendation.
Just recently, the Ukrainian streaming service SWEET.TV held the largest "Battle of Bloggers" of Ukrainian Instagram in order to raise funds for the development of Ukrainian cinema.
"Battle of Bloggers" SWEET.TV united 30 of the most popular Ukrainian influencers and 15 million of their subscribers.
In just a month of the battle, bloggers made about 3,000 publications, which were viewed almost 84 million times. In total, the project was seen by 11.6 million unique users from Ukraine and 16.6 million worldwide. The traffic to the site using referral links increased 5 times, and 57% of the traffic growth on the SWEET.TV site was due to referrals from bloggers. 78% of the increase in the number of purchases on the site was also due to the "Battle of Bloggers".
Case: Streaming platform IVI.RU + YoutTube vlogger Bad Comedian: 18 000 000 impressions YouTubing as an instrument
It is very difficult for people to understand the huge amount of content themselves and they need opinion from leaders whom they trust.
In 2019, the IVI online cinema signed a contract with Evgeny Bozhenov, the creator of the “BadComedian” YouTube channel. Within the framework of cooperation, a special section with recommendations from BadComedian will appear on the IVI website, while the video blogger during the reviews will recommend his subscribers to watch this or that movie on IVI.
Such mutual advertising is a powerful tool for attracting new subscribers to both the OTT service and the YouTube channel.
Interactivity is a call to action
Contests work great at attracting new subscribers for your OTT through social media because people can win something in a contest without much effort. The more valuable the prize, the more people will come for it. You can also ask your subscribers and followers to share the competition with friends after they fulfill the conditions of the competition. For the participation of a friend, award the participant additional points that will give an advantage during the contest, give a free subscription to your OTT service or access to exclusive channel content.
E.g in 2019, Netflix launched a challenge. They released a video on the French market that contained about 20 eggs for their original series.
This video promotes the idea of using a subscription from two different devices.
The creators of the video invite users who are ready to pass this challenge to go to a special site and take part.
Another great example of interactivity is shown at https://www.dark.netflix.io/en. It was created especially for fans of the "Dark" TV series. Here fans can find detailed descriptions of the characters, understand all the intricacies of the plot lines and read summaries of the seasons and episodes of the series.
Case: Netflix + iPhone mobile app (FastLaugh=TikTok)
Perhaps you have come across posts in which you recognized yourself or a friend. For example, in a post about how difficult it is to find a good science film about space, you recognized your situation. Or you remembered a friend of yours complaining about the lack of history series.
Not so long ago, Netflix launched their FastLaugh app, which is very similar to the well-known TikTok app. This experiment turned out to be quite successful. Both new and old users of the video service can now share short funny videos with other users, as well as add video to their watch lists.
Targeted and contextual advertising
Targeting is a kind of advertising mechanism with which you can select only that specific target audience from the entire mass of Internet users. And it is the target audience that needs to show an advertisement for your OTT service.
Targeting can be: geographic, socio-demographic, time and topic targeting, targeting by interests and behavioral targeting.
It directly affects your potential subscriber. It works with the target audience, and therefore is incredibly effective. The main task remains to determine who your subscriber is (age, gender, place of residence, interests, etc.). However, do not forget that you have to pay for any advertising. Still, the targeted one is worth it.
Contextual advertising appears to the OTT subscriber depending on his search queries, visited sites, etc. Unlike targeted advertising, which uses information provided by the subscriber, contextual advertising takes into account behavioral algorithms. This makes it work faster. But if the contextual advertising is configured incorrectly, there is a risk of high costs.
Each kind of advertising is only up to you and your audience.
Email marketing of the giant of OTT Netflix is primarily based on personalization based on user data.
First of all they have our email address. They know which shows we’ve watched and how much we watch (once or twice). They know how long it’s been since we last logged in. They know what kind of flight risk we are based on that period. They want us to re-engage in the streaming service.
In this letter, Netflix reminds the user to finish a series that has already begun. By demonstrating favorably the watched and remaining episodes, the service motivates you to continue watching and find out how it all ends. Interestingly, the letter does not contain a CTA as it is. The role of a call button is played by a screenshot of an overlooked series.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization works with Google's ranking algorithms. Therefore, the main task of SEO is to bring your OTT service to the top of the search results, bringing it closer to the ideal. For this, not only "pains" and clients are analyzed, but also dozens of resources of your direct competitors.
The more accurately your service will respond to customer requests, the more convenient and functional it will be, the more effective the promotion will be.
Whatever method you choose to attract a new audience to your OTT service, more and more new methods of attracting users appear every day. It is important not only to blindly follow trends, but also to keep in mind and apply proven attraction methods. And the competent application of each method in your marketing strategy will help you choose your own unique strategy for attracting and retaining an audience in the future.