In our opinion, direct response branding for content owners is straightforward: Wherever an OTT video brand exists, it needs to drive fans to act— Tune-in. Subscribe. Transact. Sign-up. Rent.
The great news is the real estate required is already owned and controlled by your video business. Direct response messaging informs your target audience about new programming, tune-in times, special offers, previews, and event information. It should also always include a strong call to action (CTA) that will incentivize your fans to take action.
All too often content owners don’t take advantage of the valuable real estate on their website, social channel, and emails. It’s your space, use it wisely. To get started, here are the top 10 direct response branding opportunities that every video business should be employing:
1. Make Your Homepage Dynamic
The first images a viewer sees on your homepage must reflect your brand’s dynamism. Don’t be afraid to change up the homepage on your website or apps, it will help to keep your brand fresh and engaging. The headers and sliders on your homepage are high visibility opportunities to communicate with your target audiences, make them work to your advantage.
2. Include Editorial Content
Editorial content is a prime space to include direct response messaging. Whether the editorial takes the form of news, a blog, podcast or a production vlog, insert a direct response message directly into the body of text, or into the voice-overs of the audio or video content. Check out how Zype’s client, NightFlight utilizes their website as an editorial engine to drive viewers to their premium subscription content.
3. Run House Ads
Put your unused advertising inventory to good use— run “house ads” with direct response calls-to-action. The same goes for unused video ad slots. If you’re advertising online, repurpose campaigns on your own site. If you’re not advertising online, create branded call-to-action ads for your site.
4. Optimize Your Video Player
The page real estate around your video player, ad slots embedded in your video, and talent-read ‘intros’ and ‘outros’ are all EXCELLENT direct response branding opportunities to incentivize your viewers to act.
5. Leverage Videos on Third-Party Platforms
Videos that aren’t paywalled are prime opportunities to include voiceover with a call-to-action for special pay-per-view events or subscription offers. This works great for promotional videos streamed on YouTube and Facebook. Video end cards are often overlooked and they are one of the best direct response opportunities. The most effective end cards include: strong branding, tune-in info, social media links, CTAs to subscribe and an attractive subscription offer.
6. Optimize Your Video Page Description
Video page descriptions are incredibly important on your O&O site’s video player and on third-party video platforms. In addition to driving organic traffic, video descriptions should include subscription CTAs and share information regarding OTT apps, special offers, and events. Don’t redirect your users to your homepage, send them to a subscription or transaction sign-up page to reduce any friction with the purchase process.
7. Promote on Social Media
Just like your homepage headers, the headers on your various social media accounts are also prime real estate to promote your brand, new programming, tune-in, subscription offers, previews, and event information. Bonus Tip: your YouTube header can link to your other social accounts and your subscription sign-up page.
8. Keep Social Media Descriptions Fresh
Social media account descriptions are great places to promote subscription or transaction CTAs, tune-in info, unique selling propositions (USPs), new programming and events. Descriptions on YouTube and Facebook have plenty of space for longer, more detailed account descriptions. Just remember to keep your CTAs at the top of your descriptions and routinely update them over time. Twitter and Instagram have shorter account descriptions, but they can still be freshened up with campaign-specific information and links.
9. Actively Communicate with Fans on Social Media
For social media channels, the combination of customized account descriptions & headers (see #7) coupled with appropriately cadenced CTA posts drive fans to act. This is especially important for social media outposts like Twitter and Instagram with limited account descriptions.
10. Actively Communicate with Fans through Email
Hopefully, you’ve built a healthy opt-in email database for communicating news and information to your uber fans - fans who want to hear from you and have given you permission to email them. Email marketing is the most efficient and effective method for communicating with your fans. It’s also a great place to make upsells and exclusive offers.
11. BONUS - A/B Test Custom Landing Pages
Have you considered custom landing pages for individual campaigns or shows? Consider it and A/B test them with services like instapage. Landing pages customized by interest, programs, and offers significantly increase subscription and transaction conversion rates.