One of the most prominent and challenging aspects of your job as a salesperson is overcoming advertiser objections. Your customers may be on board with radio and TV spots but are a little lost when it comes to the potential of digital advertising. Within this segment, there are many options, and one that’s generating a lot of buzz is over-the-top (OTT). So, what are the objections to OTT, and how can you put them at ease for your clients?

Everybody’s Streaming

The rise of streaming has been steady, and the pandemic accelerated it. More than 150 million U.S. adults now have access to streaming video. That’s a significant market, and it’s not just younger generations. The majority are millennials and Gen Z, but 27% of consumers over 45 stream daily.

While traditional TV is losing viewers, streaming keeps adding them. The time they spend streaming matters as well. It crossed the hour mark in 2020, and experts predict it will reach 67 minutes in 2021.

This data points to lucrative opportunities for your advertisers. While you can present the numbers on OTT consumption, you still may not get the yes.

Why Do Advertisers Say No to OTT?

First, advertisers need to know it’s a viable option to support and include in their media mix. That conversation starts with explaining how it works — the delivery of video ad content through streaming services directly to devices such as smart or connected TVs (CTV).

When you pitch OTT to them, they may immediately turn you down for a few reasons:

  • They don’t have video assets to use.
  • The value is not clear because it’s a new medium, and they don’t have a benchmark.
  • It can be more costly than other options.
  • They don’t know the exact placement like traditional TV.

Those are some serious objections to fight against, but they are also not entirely accurate.


Addressing OTT Objections

So, how do you start a new conversation about OTT? Leading with benefits is a good start, but you also have to address those key concerns.

Defining the Benefits

The statistics on OTT show its growth and that consumers are all-in on streaming. For advertisers, that means it’s a great channel to engage with a variety of different consumers. More importantly, they can target very precisely, so they aren’t wasting impressions. In OTT, ads often pair with the streaming content, which makes it more relevant. It’s also something you can track well and attribute conversions to campaigns.

Additionally, most OTT ads are not skippable, so you have a captive audience. Because the ads are video, they are more engaging, so viewers are more likely to retain the information.

By talking about these benefits that correlate to ROI, you are delivering an exciting new opportunity. Some advertisers may realize its value but still say no because of those objections noted above. Here’s how you can address them.

They Don’t Have Video Assets

Video ads on OTT don’t have to be Oscar-worthy. However, they do need to be professional and of high quality. Production value is critical, but they should consider that their investment in video isn’t just for OTT. They can use it on their website, social media and other channels. Additional ways to cut costs include:

  • Working with production companies with access to stock videos.
  • Using old commercials or videos and recutting them into something fresh.
  • Shooting it themselves if they have staff with experience.

Ultimately, the finished product needs to make sense without sound, represent the brand, include a clear call to action and run no longer than 30 seconds.

They Don’t Have Benchmarks

Like any new tactic that an advertiser deploys, they have to start from somewhere. You can start small with OTT and expand as you have more data and results coming in that prove the ROI. If you have other OTT advertiser stories and metrics you can share, do so.

They Worry About the Cost

OTT can be more expensive than other digital or radio options. That’s not a reason to overlook it because it can have greater ROI than other tactics. Plus, if it’s part of an integrated campaign, the cost can balance out over some less expensive options.

They Have Concerns About Placement

In a traditional media buy, the advertiser will be aware of the program where the ad runs. OTT is different but not unlike other digital advertising. While they won’t know the exact placement, advertisers have the benefit of targeting very specific demographic groups and geographies. Knowing the show for traditional TV ads doesn’t really provide insight on who is watching it.

If you’re using a platform to purchase OTT, advertisers have a much wider reach across many options.

When Does OTT Make Sense?

If you can overcome objections to OTT, you have an opportunity. It’s most effective when:

  • KPIs are focused on brand awareness.
  • The creative captures something in video that would fall flat with static ads.
  • Audience interests are not relevant to targeting.
  • Your advertiser is most interested in precise geotargeting.


Selling OTT Is Good for You and Your Customers

Selling more OTT advertising will certainly expand your book of business. It also can drive significant results for your advertiser. Guiding them through their first OTT campaign will be key, as will the ability to deliver clear performance metrics.

Looking for more digital advertising tips? Subscribe to Aspire, written by and for broadcast and media sales pros.