The Media OTT industry has witnessed explosive growth over the last few years. In fact, global viewing hours across OTT platforms doubled last year to collectively stand at 12.6 billion hours on 2.4 billion unique devices. While the US continues to be the largest OTT market, accounting for 58% of global content consumption, the Asian market, with just over 19%, is fast catching up.
Closer home, in India, the online video market is slated to be valued at over $1.5 billion by 2021, almost tripling in size from 2017. These staggering numbers further underscore the significance of media OTT apps in the video consumption ecosystem. The likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, SonyLIV, and Voot are continuing to bring diverse content to smartphone and tablet screens.
Set in this backdrop, as a mobile marketer, you need to work incredibly hard to break through the clutter and create a relevant and appealing content library. You need to put in place an intelligent mobile marketing strategy that appropriately targets different user segments at every stage of the app user lifecycle, right from user onboarding through to engagement and long-term retention.
Do you have recently onboarded users who have watched some part of an English horror film before logging off for days? Or, do you have users who prefer watching highlights of their favourite sport instead of opting to stream it live?
You will have a wide spectrum of users that display varying in-app behaviour, requiring you to engage with them in a highly personalised, relevant, and timely manner.
Here are five user engagement campaigns that are guaranteed to help you scale your media OTT app:
1. User Behaviour-Driven Campaigns:
Push notifications have to be a vital component of your overall user engagement strategy. In fact, push enabled communication can help you boost engagement rates by over 80%.
By convincing first time users to opt-in during the onboarding stage, you can craft hyper-personalised and customised engagement campaigns based on your users’ genre preferences, browsing and viewing history, content wishlists, and general time of consumption.
For instance, if you have users who have displayed a penchant for binge-watching a particular English drama series, you can send them a push notification on the same day that the latest episode of the current season becomes available on your platform.
Such communication builds greater platform loyalty, bringing users back to the app, driving up your average time spent in-app and overall consumption hours.
For instance, OTT major Netflix does a fantastic job at this.
You can further optimise your engagement campaigns, embedding greater relevance by encouraging first time users to enable location sharing. Using this data, you can regionalise your notification copy, sending updates on the latest movies, drama series, reality shows, or live sporting events delivered in the users’ time zone.
Concerned about your push notification delivery rates, even after securing your users buy-in?
Smartech’s proprietary Push Amplification feature now allows you to boost delivery rates by 15-20% across both Android and iOS devices.
2. Recommendation-Based Campaigns:
Your users begin their consumption journey on your OTT app based on content of their choice and interest. The ball is then in your court to drive greater time spent in-app by making the most relevant content suggestions over a period of time.
Based on their viewing history, in-app behaviour, and daily time of app launch, you can begin creating a more rounded persona of your users, essentially a unified customer view.
Using these insights, you can craft and send push notifications promoting relevant content.
For instance, if you have identified a user segment that has shown a proclivity to watch shows in the thriller/drama genre over a span of 1-month post app install, you can create a personalised push notification campaign recommending the launch of a forthcoming show in the same genre.
Netflix does it best, creating a sense of excitement, getting relevant user segments hooked right from the time of the trailer release.
You can add another dimension to your engagement outreach by also creating in-app messaging campaigns recommended related content while users are on your OTT platform. Such an approach helps you tap into exactly what the user might want to watch, and engage with him/her right in the moment without interfering with the user experience.
For instance, if you have identified a user segment that has shown a history of watching football match highlights from the English Premier League, you can send them in-app messages encouraging them to explore your live streaming service over the weekend.
3. Time-Sensitive Campaigns:
While your engagement campaigns have to be personalised and contextual to drive greater conversions, there are certain campaigns that produce exceptional CTRs when sent to the right user at the right time.
For instance, if your OTT app showcases live sports events (eg. football) or news and you’ve segregated user segments that have consumed such content as part of their historical behaviour, you can schedule rich push notification campaigns at least 2 hours before the next football match or 1 hour before the latest news channel debate, encouraging such user segments to tune into the live stream.
You may also choose to run a series of recurring campaigns 1 hour or 30 minutes before kick-off or the news hour in question. Not only does this serve as a valuable reminder, but it also succeeds in bringing back some users from the identified segment to your app right from the beginning of the live stream.
Alternatively, you can also send out push notifications based on real-time events during the ongoing match itself. This creates excitement in the moment and adds to the overall immersive quality of the live OTT sports viewing experience.
For instance, in the above example, if one team takes the lead during the football match, you can immediately send out a campaign intimating users of the current scoreline, encouraging them to relaunch the app and sampling live action.
That’s not all, though!
You can add another intelligent time-automated dimension to your mobile marketing efforts by using Smartech’s AI-powered Send Time Optimisation feature, enabling you to deliver campaigns when relevant user segments are most likely to respond or convert. This is based on actionable analytics derived from their historical behaviour.
4. Upsell-Driven Campaigns:
While user acquisition forms a core pivot of your growth strategy, you also need to focus on converting your freemium monthly active users (MAUs) into paying subscribers. Remember, sustainable monetisation determines potential success.
One way to facilitate this is by pitching your monthly/annual subscription plan at repeat users (ideally those who have launched your app at least 10 times over a span of 4-8 weeks). These are users who have experienced value in your platform first-hand by consuming free content and might be tempted to sign up for a subscription.
The key lies in effectively communicating the benefits of your subscription plan such as discounted introductory offers and unrestricted access to your entire content library.
Care should be taken to ensure that you don’t hound your users to sign up for a subscription too soon or don’t delay encouraging the same when app usage might be falling (as a last ditch re-engagement effort).
A well-timed scheduled personalised push notification campaign targeted at the relevant user segment can help gradually expand your paying subscriber base.
5. User Feedback-Based Campaigns:
A large part of delivering a great end-to-end user experience stems from seeking periodic feedback on your app platform, service, and content from your repeat users. Brand loyalty is built on the back of positive customer sentiment and making your users feel cared for.
This is precisely why you need to encourage repeat users (ideally those who have launched your app at least 5 times and consumed about 10 hours of cumulative content) to rate and/or review your app via carefully crafted push notifications or in-app messages.
Positive ratings and reviews also serve another purpose: they help you boost your ranking in the app store in question, playing an important role in your App Store Optimisation (ASO) strategy in the long-run.
Furthermore, such user feedback will eventually help you make iterative improvements to your OTT platform in the quest to deliver satisfactory customer experiences, consistently.
At the end of the day, as a mobile marketer, remember that the lines between the provision of and accessibility to quality content across OTT platforms will continue to blur. One way to gain a significant competitive advantage is through the use of data-driven AI-powered personalised, relevant, and time-bound multi-channel conversations with users at scale.
Leveraging every single mobile moment for effective user engagement for your media OTT app can be facilitated through dynamic marketing automation platforms – such as Smartech – helping you fuel rapid growth and user retention.