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By Paul Brickel

Director of Product Management, OTT Solutions at Brightcove

OTT Marketing Essentials: Search Marketing


In 2017, we saw households embracing OTT services more than ever, with 69 percent of U.S. broadband households subscribed to at least one OTT video service. More than 50 percent of those that use OTT services subscribe to multiple services, compared to 20 percent in 2014. With estimates putting it at a 150 billion dollar market by 2025, the OTT trend is not slowing anytime soon.

But with this growth comes competition and pressure on newer content owners to acquire and retain subscribers and compete with the big players like Netflix and Amazon for OTT market share. The good news is that you can apply a few fundamental marketing tactics, at a relatively low cost, to drive results.

Over the upcoming weeks, we’ll be covering a series of topics all under the umbrella of “Essential Marketing Tactics for Every OTT Service.” From today’s topic of search marketing to content and social media, we’ll provide tips, best practices and recommendations for additional resources to help you and your team succeed.

Search Marketing  

There are two pillars that fall under Search Marketing: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

SEO is used to organically increase visibility in search results of the major search engines. It requires an understanding of how search engines work and what people are searching for in terms of keywords and phrases, as well as the intent behind those searches. By understanding what keywords people are searching for, content on the site and any collateral being produced can be optimized. Incorporating these tags, words, and information into each part of the website helps it to become more discoverable by search engines. Another component of SEO is making sure your website is structured in a way that search engines understand.

With SEM, you can also purchase keywords through Google to ensure your site ranks at the top of the search results via a paid ad. This can be a helpful tool as SEO is ramping up. Establishing a history of traffic to your site is difficult, that’s why many opt to advertise to drive traffic in the beginning. Defining a pattern of traffic will help to render your Google ranking which will eventually help to funnel traffic to the site.

Getting started with Search Marketing can seem like a daunting task but it is a necessary one. Here are four easy steps to follow.

  1. Determine the target keywords and phrases that best speak to the genre and theme of the service. Google Trends is a great starting point for this. It shows how people are searching for topics.
  2. Set up Google AdWords by creating a free account at, and evaluate search volume associated with the keywords and phrases selected to better prioritize.
  3. Update existing content using these keywords and incorporate into new collateral when created. SEO requires ongoing management and includes other tactics like optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, header tags and more.
  4. Invest in keywords through Google to ensure your site ranks at the top of the search results via a paid ad. This is a helpful tool as SEO is ramping up. Use your target keywords and create a campaign at Set up a daily budget and monitor the results and optimize in real time based on which ad groups are driving the strongest results.

Search Marketing can seem overwhelming, however, ensuring your service is visible in Google, either through paid or organic traffic, is critical. Once you have launched an OTT service, you want to make sure viewers can find it and subscribe.

Want to learn more? Here are a few guides we found helpful.