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Marketing in the IPTV/OTT industry: needless spending or a must for growth?

Technology provides entrepreneurs access to information from multiple sources: social media, the Internet, or databases. Combined with software, it helps them take into account numerous indicators and trends. All of this can be used to make your business grow.

Marketing in the IPTV/OTT industry: needless spending or a must for growth?

The tasks of marketing

 

The common understanding of marketing is often associated with obtrusive offers of useless goods and services, forced advertising, pesky phone calls, and spam.

 

Marketing is about processes and actions through which consumers can enjoy useful, quality products, while manufacturers profit from selling them.

 

The goal of professional marketers is to attract customers to the brand’s services or products. To do so, they create and maintain trusting relationships between the company and its customers, establishing long-term partnerships. Marketers focus on the needs of the customer and help the company improve its product to make it meet the highest standards. It’s a win-win situation: customers get what they really need, and the manufacturer receives well-deserved profits.

 

Businesses also use marketing tools to maintain communication with those who consume their services: digital marketing allows them to keep customers informed about the goods, promotions, and new products. It also reminds customers about a company's services and is an effective way to elicit feedback about what they do and what customers want.

 

For marketing to deliver meaningful results, all of its elements must be used comprehensively and systematically: chaotic actions in this field won’t bring success. Let’s delve into how complex or integrated marketing works, what tools it offers, and whether it’s possible to measure its effectiveness.

Marketing in the IPTV/OTT industry: needless spending or a must for growth?


Marketing in the IPTV/OTT industry: needless spending or a must for growth?

SEO optimization

 

Your website should be as clear as possible for search engines to let potential customers find it. That’s what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) does.

 

Unless people who want to sign up for Internet TV get a recommendation from their friends, they’ll most likely look for a service on the Internet. Most users browse through the first page of search results or the second at most. Whether they see your ad there largely depends on how well your website is optimized.

 

Search engines use crawlers to determine where a website ranks in search results. These programs perform three tasks:

  1. Scanning new and updated website pages to examine their text and images
  2. Indexing, i.e., adding the retrieved data into the search engine database
  3. Displaying results, i.e., selecting the most relevant pages for each inquiry based on ranking algorithms

 

SEO specialists configure websites to make sure the robots give them the highest rank. Previously, it was easier: the website could be brought to the top just by adding dozens of keywords on its pages and placing them in various references and catalogs. Modern search engines use more sophisticated algorithms and can’t be tricked so easily: you need to follow the rules of internal and external optimization to hit the top. More and more requirements have emerged, and websites can be penalized for not meeting them. 

 

Internal optimization

External optimization

Niche analysis: SEO specialists research various resources in their niche and build the website optimization strategy. At this stage, they determine how to make the website’s contents as visible as possible to search engines.

Building a semantic core: collecting every possible inquiry. After that, SEO specialists divide this array of keywords into clusters and select the most accurate and frequently used words and terms that users will enter when searching.

Checking website navigation: making sure all the buttons, links, forms, and interactive elements work as intended.

Checking indexation: removing certain pages from search results, i.e., shopping cart and sorting pages.

 

SEO controls inbound links, which are the mentions of your website on other resources. Websites with “white hat” links rank the highest—those are links users share themselves because they find the content interesting.


When content is of poor quality, the number of links is increased artificially. If such links violate search engine rules, robots can impose penalties on the website.

 

 

Correct SEO provides the following benefits:

  • Traffic growth
  • High ranks in search results
  • Customer trust



Marketing in the IPTV/OTT industry: needless spending or a must for growth?

SMM

A smart content strategy on social media is an important tool for direct communication with your audience. It helps obtain valuable objective information and influence how customers perceive your brand.

 

Social media provides the following benefits:

 

  • Gather feedback

Surveys, comments, and feedback help understand what customers like or don’t like about your service. By knowing their tastes and desires, an operator can tweak its service to meet customer expectations, making them happier and reducing the chances of them leaving.

 

  • Attracting new subscribers

Social media has huge amounts of data on its users, including their age, gender, interests, hobbies, etc. Algorithms can be used to set up ads on social media so that they’re shown to those users who are potentially interested in your service. Social media helps boost audience engagement, attract new users, and increase traffic.

 

  • Enhancing brand reputation

Besides advertising your services on social media, you can also make posts there about subjects that will demonstrate your values to the audience. For example, you can let people know that you’re environmentally conscious and offer products that don’t use harmful substances. Such publications will increase trust and loyalty to your brand.

 

According to research by Braze, users are more willing to deal with businesses that endorse universal values. People want to be sure that manufacturers and service providers share their values – they deal with these businesses 1.7 times more often.

 

Email marketing

Email is a trusted and effective tool for interacting with your customers. It can be used to boost your ROI and brand loyalty, keep the audience interested in your service, and win back users who left.

Marketing in the IPTV/OTT industry: needless spending or a must for growth?


More than half of users are willing to get monthly and weekly emails.

Almost every adult with access to the Internet has an email address. There were more than 4 billion active email users in 2022, and their number is projected to reach 4.6 billion by 2025.


A popular opinion is that most users don’t want to receive emails with ads. However, a survey conducted by MarketingSherpa in the US showed a high proportion of users who were interested in getting these emails with varying frequency.

  • At least once a month
  • At least once a week
  • Daily
  • Twice a week
  • Three times a week
  • Weekly
  • Twice a month
  • Monthly
  • Quarterly (once in three months)
  • Yearly
  • Never

Source: marketingsherpa

 





 

Leading companies like  Netflix use email marketing to retain and activate its audience. According to Parks Associates, this video service had the highest customer retention rate in 2020: users extended their Netflix subscriptions by more than 50 months on average.


Source: Parks Associates

Average OTT service subscription duration


US households with access to broadband Internet that signed up for the following services:



  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Hulu
  • HBO Now
  • CBS All Access
  • Disney+
  • Apple TV+

Average subscription duration, months

 

 

The company is able to achieve such impressive results thanks, in part, to electronic mailing. Subscribers receive from four to seven personalized emails about Netflix’s new shows, movies, and original content each month. The email format allows integrating animation, which also helps keep recipients engaged.

 

Users who haven’t been active in a long time receive emails with fragments of content they watched previously. These reminders often prompt people to renew their subscriptions.

Email newsletters help with the following tasks:

 

  • Keeping subscribers interested in the content
  • Winning back the users who left the service
  • Prompting subscribers to buy new or additional services

 

Google paid advertising (PPC)

 

Pay-per-click (PPC) is the most beneficial and effective advertising model as advertisers pay only for desired actions—clicking a link or banner—rather than the number of ad impressions.

Marketing in the IPTV/OTT industry: needless spending or a must for growth?

Paid ads are shown in the search system when keywords are entered at the top of the page: these are the first and second lines that will appear. These ads are intended specifically for targeted users. PPC helps advertise your website to people who are potentially interested in your service and may be ready to sign up for it.

 

Paid advertising is the fastest and most effective way to attract customers within the first week of starting your service. At the same time, PPC is super flexible and can be tailored to meet any goals and budget.

Marketing in the IPTV/OTT industry: needless spending or a must for growth?

Web analytics

 

To make sure customers buy targeted content, the operator needs to know the interests of its audience. Web analytics provides extensive statistical data about users, their reactions to content, and website visits. Operators who are aware of these indicators can choose the most effective strategies to interact with their audience.

 

Complex analytics monitors website visitor statistics. This data helps get a picture of overall visits to the website and visits to its specific pages, boosts its ranking in search results, and increases traffic and conversion rates.

 

End-to-end analytics follows customer behavior all the way from seeing the ad to performing the desired action—subscribing or submitting a form.

 

The following indicators are analyzed for this purpose: 

 

  • Session duration
  • Number of viewed pages
  • Transitions between website pages
  • Reaction to popups
  • User geography, age, gender, and interests
  • Resources from which users were redirected to the website
  • Behavior on the website: the pages users visit and whether they perform desired actions

 

Web analytics helps visualize the state of your business, see its strengths and weaknesses, and build an effective development strategy. It gives operators the following opportunities:

 

Exploring the target audience:

 

web analytics is an ideal tool for start-ups and new projects. User data will help create an accurate description of a subscriber.

 

Optimizing budget

 

The data provided by web analytics helps to identify the most effective communication channels and strategies to focus on. Platforms that don’t generate enough leads can be scrapped. This way, an operator can cut costs and increase the efficiency of investments.

 

Optimizing content:

 

data on views, clicks, and interactions can be used to fine-tune your website to match the audience’s needs and tastes.

 

Segmenting the audience

 

To make the USP more effective, marketers isolate groups with similar needs and interests. For IPTV/OTT services, those can be groups such as “sport enthusiasts”, “movie fans”, or “pre-school children’s moms.” Each of them has different interests. If you want customers to be more loyal to your service, take care of every group. Create posts that will interest them and offer them special packages.

 

How it works in practice

 

Infomir’s specialists analyzed the marketing tools used by ten local European services.

Marketing in the IPTV/OTT industry: needless spending or a must for growth?

 

Traffic per 6 months, traffic visitors

Traffic sources, %

Clients

01.2022

02.2022

03.2022

04.2022

05.2022

06.2022

Traffic Search

Traffic Direct

Traffic Social

Traffic Mail

Traffic Paidreferrals

Traffic Referrals

Operator 1

1 150

1 313

1 443

1 015

984

1564

8

92

0

0

0

0

Operator 2

237

303

227

265

264

249

51

49

0

0

0

0

Operator 3

83

83

83

83

92

92

3

83

0

0

0

14

Operator 4

246

238

268

157

0

300

0

100

0

0

0

0

Operator 5

596

920

159

896

1 533

628

42

58

0

0

0

0

Operator 6

3 416

1 130

744

746

3 927

1925

65

27

0

0

0

8

Operator 7

304

294

298

312

373

328

63

28

0

0

0

9

Operator 8

1 298

291

291

1 241

3 641

1901

58

37

0

0

0

5

Operator 9

550

496

304

464

248

534

42

58

0

0

0

0

 

The research helped pinpoint the weaknesses in their marketing strategies:

???? Up to 50% of operators don’t use social media, targeted ads, and email newsletters. Most visits to operators’ websites are either direct traffic (visitors enter the website URL in the browser) or come from search results rather than links in emails, on social media, or ad banners.

???? Around 40% of the projects don’t have a feedback form for their customers. Operators don’t encourage users to contact them by phone or email. The websites that use feedback forms don’t place them on the main page, and some clients leave the website without seeing the company’s contact details.

???? As many as 76% of operators don’t have social media accounts. Most services aren’t on social media or haven’t updated their accounts in a long time.

Approximately 50% of operators don’t analyze the results of their business decisions and possible growth areas. Those services lose a major part of their potential audience due to the limited use of marketing instruments or by ignoring them completely. It’s possible to boost a website's conversion rate—and consequently, the operator’s profit—by optimizing the site and expanding communication with the target audience.

Competent, integrated marketing helps to understand your audience, establish communication with it, boost brand loyalty, find the most effective tools and platforms, build a strategy, and optimize costs.

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