Product Spotlight Series, Post #5: OTT Messaging

Wondering if and how OTT (over the top) streaming should be part of your engagement strategy? For those of you who don’t know, OTT represents the internet-based audio and video streaming services (think: NetFlix, Prime Video, and Hulu) that are bypassing traditional cable, broadcast and satellite providers. Cable cutting, the process of cutting expensive options in favor of a low-cost OTT streaming subscription, has moved from being an early adopter trend to the mainstream. According to a 2019 Harris Poll, 65% of Americans own a smart TV and 52% use OTT services.

Millennials and generations who grew up with the iPhone are providing an especially interesting look: 65% of them use OTT services and watch twice as much OTT content as they do live content. And this isn’t just a here-for-now trend. Millennials are being referred to as “cable burners,” indicating they will never be lured back to traditional cable companies, and even “cord-nevers,” having never paid for cable at all. So there should be no argument that you need an engagement strategy to meet this new generation of consumers exactly where they are, and capture them with relevant content to make them loyal advocates of your brand. 

It’s also worth noting that the average OTT customer owns three devices and subscribes to three different OTT services. This highly customized, on-demand, where-you-want-it environment sets the stage for higher customer expectations around immediacy and satisfaction. 

Swrve’s OTT capabilities for Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Smart TV platforms empower businesses with highly relevant, real-time engagement capabilities. Swrve’s deep behavioral insights and real-time targeting successfully bring viewers to the content that they’re most likely to watch, save, and share with others, so that businesses can reduce acquisition costs and churn rates, and drive measurable increases in subscriptions, viewers, and active users.

Let’s take a look at a few ways to drive engagement using Swrve’s in-app messages, A/B testing, and analytics functionality.

Targeting Users with Personalized Content to Increase Engagement

Personalization is essential whether you are trying to drive strong engagement with new users, or to build the relationships you have with existing ones. And the key to personalization is understanding and tracking behavior so that you can unlock customer intent at an individual level at scale.  

One-size-fits-all campaigns are ineffective. Instead, building programs based off listening or watching behaviors (frequency, timing, regularity) as well as data points like subscription level, duration, time spent logged in, etc. allow you to deliver the right content at the right time, pulling them deeper into their experience and relationship with you. 

So, if a subscriber has never listened to Kanye West or watched Game of Thrones (yes, they are out there!), then don’t promote that content to them. Instead show that you understand them by delivering a valuable in-app message about an artist or show that they care about. In the below example, an active Beyonce listener is targeted. 

Managing Free Trials to Increase Subscriptions

With so much competition, particularly from behemoths like Netflix and Spotify, it is vital to capitalize on your user acquisition by increasing retention, and converting as many free trials into fully fledged paying subscriptions as possible. But however long your free trial or introductory offer lasts, it is of utmost importance to get your conversion strategy right, after all you’ll probably get only one chance before that customer decides to try a competitor instead (or nothing at all). 

Fortunately, a few simple tactics could help. Begin by delivering strategically-timed rich messaging for expiring trials within the app, on OTT, and on mobile; done right, and this will encourage a full subscription. Use in-app messages to explain the great features that they might not know about, and demonstrate the full value that users will be getting from a subscription. Also A/B test subscription package offers and implement the one that brings in the best results for you. 

Building a Cross-Channel Win-Back Strategy

Customers are fluid between devices, and your communications with them should be the same. Remember: they think of you as a single business and expect consistent communications whatever device they are on. It’s vital to synchronize your digital streaming and mobile campaigns, and integrate any additional engagement (such as email) in the same way.

Orchestrate campaigns across all available channels during the trial period. Also consider using your user data for retargeting ads on Instagram or Facebook, especially for renewing the interest of users who haven’t subscribed.

By understanding your past customers, and which shows they watched frequently, you can push cross-channel promotions that will bring them back to new content and programming, and ultimately to choosing a long term subscription option.  

To find out more about Swrve’s OTT capabilities, or indeed any other aspects of our customer engagement platform, join a demo today