By now, you may have heard the term “OTT” or “Connected TV.” Surely you’ve used the term “streaming” in the past few years. But what do these terms mean, and how can they help you market your law firm?

OTT is an acronym for “Over The Top,” meaning over the top of a streaming service. While it’s not overly creative, it makes sense when you know that OTA is “Over The Air,” the traditional broadcast and cable medium. The same service is sometimes called “Connected TV” because your TV needs to be connected to the internet in order to receive the content. Basically, it’s TV that’s watched through a streaming device such as Roku, Hulu, or even Netflix.

Understanding How OTT Can Maximize Your Marketing

Now that you’ve learned three ways to convey the same concept, let’s discuss how you can use this new technology to market your firm more effectively. OTT offers something that’s eluded traditional TV forever. That is, are you targeting who you think you’re targeting? You can buy ads during a particular program, but do you really know how many people are watching that show? Better yet, do you know how many are, say, men between the ages of 25 and 45 who like mountain biking? It’s all been a big guessing game…until now. 

OTT gives you the ability to target your audience by literally hundreds of attributes, such as the following:

  • Zip Code
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Interests
  • Past purchases
  • Behaviors
  • Even medical history!

A traditional saying in TV advertising is, “it’s cheap if you can afford it.” Simply put, if you have a big enough budget, TV will give you an amazing CPM (Cost Per Thousand). That’s why big brands like Nike and Coca-Cola have used it for decades. They can afford to buy regional or national ads because they want everyone to know about them.

The challenge to a law firm when buying Cable & Broadcast is the way the regions or DMAs (Designated Market Area) are set up. You have to buy the entire area even if you were only interested in part of it. That means a large portion of your marketing dollars may be completely wasted on viewers who are not in your target audience.

With OTT, you don’t have to compete dollar for dollar with firms that have bigger budgets. Instead, you can create your own pond and become the biggest fish in it. 

For example, if you wanted to buy traditional TV time in Brooklyn, you would still have to buy the entire DMA for NYC. That is going to cost you a boatload! With OTT, you can market JUST to Brooklyn or even specific zip codes within Brooklyn.

TV is an effective way to market a law firm, but the pricing has been out of reach for most. However, now that over 50% of all TV is streamed and it will gain more and more market share every month, you have access to a proven medium that has the targeting ability of social media.

When buying OTT, you want to choose an agency that has access to as many platforms as possible. For example, if you advertise through Hulu, that is the only audience you will have access to. An agency uses a DSP (Demand Side Platform) that allows them to buy into many different digital platforms like Hulu, ESPN, Slingbox, Chromecast, Roku, and more.

OTT is about targeting an individual as opposed to a program that you think individuals are watching. For example, with traditional TV, if you wanted to target men between 18 and 45, you may choose to advertise during a sporting event or TV show with a large male following.

However, with OTT, you pick the exact attributes of your target audience, and the ads will be delivered to those individuals no matter what show they are watching. That means a 45-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman could be neighbors watching the same show at the same time but see completely different ads.

OTT Is An Awareness Medium

There are two types of marketing that will help get you in front of a new potential client. For someone who is actively searching for a lawyer, you’ll need to have a strong online presence. That could be PPC or SEO. For the person who doesn’t know they need a lawyer yet, an awareness medium like social media or OTT is a great choice.

If someone is in a car accident or about to file for divorce, they will either ask for a referral or turn to the internet to find a lawyer. However, some don’t know that hiring an attorney is an option for their situation. For example, a construction worker hurt on a job site might assume that everything will be handled through their employer. If they see an advertisement that explains all of their options, you’ve just made them aware you can help them recover other compensation.

Nowhere is this more true than with mass torts. A person may have taken a specific drug for years and then suffered an adverse event. There’s almost no way for that person to connect the two unless they are made aware of the correlation. That’s where OTT advertising can be very effective. You know the attributes of a person who takes a specific type of drug, so you can put a message in front of that group to let them know exactly how you can help. The targeting ability of an OTT campaign could be a valuable tool to help grow your practice.