OTT Content Strategy to Get Better User Engagement and Higher Revenue Generation

A change in consumer demand was the primary reason for the popularity of OTT platforms in India. Now change is the only constant in the digital world. Thus keeping up with the latest trends is very important if service providers have to take advantage of this dynamicity.

Traditionally, TV viewing was limited to the programs being telecasted at specific times in a particular location. Today, it has gotten a personalised and interactive experience anytime and from anywhere. The easy availability of a huge amount of content has been an important contributor to the growing popularity of OTT platforms in India.

However, for the OTT business to sustain its current success, quality original content and content marketing strategy are very important. Implementation of marketing strategies aimed at increasing audience engagement is critical for revenue generation and user traction. They define the roadmap for OTT’s business growth.

The criticality of content for OTT monetisation is such that compelling content increases user traction, thereby increasing revenue. Alternatively, content piracy presents one of the biggest challenges to the monetisation of OTT platforms in India. This further increases the need for building and implementing a good content strategy.

Building a Good Content Strategy

It is well known that video drives data traffic. Approximately, 35% of the total time users spend on media is dedicated to digital media consumption. Consumption of video content, both in short and long forms, social media video sharing etc are rapidly growing. This growth is backed by better connectivity and reducing data costs.

Today, the user does not ask, “What is being telecast.” He decides what he would like to watch. The shift from traditional TV viewing towards on-demand, convenience-based viewing is increasing the need for OTT platforms to have a good content strategy.

When the concept of OTT was first initiated, most content was developed for a targeted niche audience. Almost all players, global and local, were largely catering to the urban populace. The tides have changed since then.

Today, content is being created for the masses living in the rural and developing regions as well. There are websites such as PhunFlix that offer more vernacular content along with mainstream content to suit the palate across the country. Thus, most big OTT players are investing heavily into the creation of original content and content libraries or pools that have better mass appeal and can cater to a wider audience base with their regional preferences and vernacular needs.

Most broadcasters, multi-media brands, independent producers etc., however, do not know how to build a good ROI-focussed content strategy. The primary requirements of a content strategy include:

      • Capability to cater to niche as well as mass audience
      • Creation of a good content pool
      • Streaming of original content
      • Developing a strong regional content base
      • Live video streaming

To create a content strategy based on the above requirements so that it generates good ROI and increases user traction, the following points need to be kept in mind:

1. Goal Definition

The ultimate goal of the strategy is very simple. It needs to increase user traction and generate more ROI. However, to ensure the attainment of these goals, content creators need to understand whether:

          • The content is original and worthy of watching
          • It caters to the audience tastes
          • There are restrictions on current content focus

Content creators today offer different kinds of content, some catering to a specific genre, some to a targeted audience, some for the masses etc. The idea is not to appeal to all. The idea is to have a content pool that makes an OTT platform stand out. Appealing deeply to a narrower user base might play a big role in ultimately increasing ROI.

2. Audience Build-up

To understand how to make content effective, creators need a thorough understanding of the audience. The key to a successful content strategy is to dwell deep into the viewing habits of the users. This helps to drive better viewer engagement by ensuring relevant content reaches them thereby enabling conversions and bringing in new customers.

3. Content optimisation or SEO

This is perhaps the best way for the content to gain user traction. Making SEO based content enables it to appear high up in the search engine thereby bettering the content rankings. Structuring the OTT platform for SEO content is not a one-time job. It is a constant and on-going process that requires:

          • Competitor performance appraisal and analysis of the best content practices adopted by them
          • Conducting quality research
          • Optimising the use of the right niche-relevant keywords by:
              • Video metadata optimisation
              • Tagging videos using appropriate keywords, snippets, thumbnails etc
              • Incorporating backlinks etc

4. Distribution Channels

Since the distribution channels either follow three different monetisation models or a combination of the same explained below, content can simply be broadcast to reach the audience. However, the right content has to reach the right audience at the right time. Thus, the viewer forms the core of all content strategies built. Viewer habits need to be analysed and different innovative methods need to be adopted so content can reach the correct audience niche.

5. Monetisation Model Adoption

Current monetisation models that are followed include the following VOD or video on demand services:

          • AVOD or advertisement VOD wherein free content is readily available to the audience and monetisation happens through video advertisements baked into the content
          • SVOD or subscription VOD wherein the viewer has unlimited access to all programs being aired by an OTT platform but he has to pay a monthly fee for it
          • TVOD or transactional VOD wherein OTT platforms in India use the concept of pay per view or the audience buys specific content for watching.

The best way to ensure ROI generation is to ensure the content strategy adopted perfectly matches with the monetisation model chosen. Eventually, this match will help in business scale-up and an enhanced customer pool.

6. Content Promotions

Content is king but without its proper promotion, it loses its roar. An OTT platform might be well aware of the audience demands and have the right content to cater to them. The trick, however, is to push the right content at the right time to the right audience. Entertainment based videos are easy to promote. However, some videos are difficult to promote. They need the backing of a good content marketing strategy for generating results.

Some popular methods of promoting content include:

          • Emailing newsletters
          • Native advertising
          • Social media

7. Content Evaluation and Execution

Herein content creators and marketers try to guarantee that content loading happens in the proper sequence at the right time. This is an on-going process wherein broadcasters experiment with content uploading, learn from their failures and re-load using improved strategies in their effort to improve the content strategy built.

Today, the dominance of content has resulted in the blurring of lines separating an OTT platform and the content creator. The streaming of successful content has resulted in consumers adopting platforms and sticking by them. Consequently, the creation of a content pool with original content has enabled OTT platforms in India to drive audience engagement and loyalty.


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