For Small and Regional Companies, Local Still Matters. It Just looks Different.
Updated: Jul 27, 2023
No matter your company’s size, change is inevitable. However, having the foresight to predict inevitable changes is a true talent and maybe what matters most. While it’s critical for national businesses, it’s even more important for local and regional businesses alike since they have less resources and outlets at their disposal to communicate with their consumers.
30 years ago, live radio and newspaper were two of the most prominent sources of news and advertising. They allowed a local business to communicate their message on a local level to their neighborhood consumers. However, within the past 10-15 years, live radio and newspaper have lost much of their marketing advantages within the media industry.
Today, OTT is a mainstream form of entertainment. “OTT stands for “over-the-top,” the term used for the delivery of film, TV, and video content via the internet, without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-tv service like a Comcast or Time Warner Cable.”
But many smaller businesses are unaware of these resources or unfamiliar with how they work. They assume that these offerings are only available to the large companies and not available to them, which isn’t true. So, we’ll take a quick dive into the different offerings.
OTT is the answer that many consumers have long been looking for; a way to watch TV on demand, without the requirement of paying enormous monthly fees that come with cable TV. Cable TV has long had a monopoly on the broadcast tv industry. However, with the introduction of streaming services such as Roku, Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and many others, consumers finally have options. These new video formats have also given birth to new media offerings as well. Within the media buying industry, these mediums have created dramatic changes.
Unlike traditional TV, most OTT services do not serve the generic commercial advertisements to the entire viewing audience that we were so accustomed to. Instead, they use a subscription-based model that ensures an advertiser a more detailed profile of exactly which consumers are being reached. They can target their age, gender, location and even their professions and interests. Arming a local advertiser with this information will help them utilize their smaller ad budgets more efficiently and give them a competitive edge. While all these services have their own algorithms to profile their users, they typically combine first and third-party data to find the right consumers.
YouTube, on the other hand, has taken a different approach to their advertisement revenue generation model. A consumer may log on to YouTube, click their preferred video, and will then be introduced to a 5-15 second video commercial. These are called TrueView ads. TrueView ads are efficient because advertisers only pay for ads when viewers watch or interact with their ad (for example, by clicking on a call-to-action). How about that?! Only getting what you paid for, and not getting shorted! Can this be the holy grail, clients have been searching for? Maybe, but not always.
It has been far too long since there has been an increase in the call to action, or the consumer mindlessly watching an advertisement. With this new model, consumers must now make a cognitive motion whether they would like to skip, or view the ad if they deem it relevant and helpful.
While there are different formats and various outlets available for small business to cash in on, understanding the differences and vetting their success rate is easier said than done. Assuming you can just pick one and your worries are over would be a mistake. However, a small business can now “play” with the big boys and on a very local level, they just need to know what, where and when to buy. They still need to know who their consumer is, where they work and play and have a powerful message that speaks to them, if they want to grow.