Benefits of leveraging behavioral signals in OTT advertising

December 02, 2020

By Katherine Vasilopoulos
Sr. Product marketing manager

Behind the Streams: In this blog series, we’ll help you to gain insights and learn about the latest trends that are shaping OTT (over-the-top) video advertising, also known as Streaming TV ads.

The TV advertising industry has leveraged demographics to engage audiences for decades, with adults 18-49 years old being the most commonly reached segment. Although this audience is popular among advertisers, it consists of a wide range of customers with unique interests and shopping behaviors. There’s a big difference, for example, between 18-year-olds planning for their first year of college and 49-year-olds planning their 20th anniversary party. Although it is a common practice to use demographic attributes to reach potential customers, there are likely more effective options for driving relevance among audiences.

Build better connections based on demonstrated behaviors

Amazon is a store, but it’s also much more than that. Customers rely on Amazon to browse new products, watch movies, keep up with their shows, listen to podcasts and music, and read their favorite books. These daily interactions translate to billions of first-party metrics that can help advertisers better understand the audiences that are interacting with their brand across the customer journey wherever they spend time.

The images below illustrate this concept using an advertiser who considers women aged 18-49 as their core audience. The circle on the left represents the demographic on its own, while the circle on the right highlights a variety of lifestyle and in-market segments—like heavy TV watchers and gamers—that help provide a full picture of the audience.

Illustration of lifestyle audiences and in-market segments outside of demographic attributes

With behavioral signals, advertisers can drive consideration among audiences that have regularly demonstrated shopping behaviors reflective of broad interest groups, like 'deal seekers.' They can also leverage lifestyle audiences to reach shoppers who regularly visit and purchase products from particular aisles. For example, if they wish to promote the release of a new device, they may want to reach the lifestyle audience ‘tech enthusiasts’ to drive awareness with shoppers who regularly browse and purchase tech products on Amazon.

Behavioral signals can help drive consideration

So how much more effective are behavioral signals than demographic attributes for OTT video ads? Amazon Ads sought to answer this question by measuring the success of and comparing 28 Amazon Streaming TV ad campaigns that fell into three categories based on their audiences: demographics only, demographics and behavioral signals, and behavioral signals only. Here’s what we found.

Brands that leveraged Amazon Ads' behavioral signals saw an increase in consideration—which refers to total customers who visited brand detail pages on Amazon—compared to those that reached audiences based on demographic attributes alone. Amazon Streaming TV ad campaigns that leveraged both demographic attributes and behavioral signals saw a 38% lift in consideration. Further, Amazon Streaming TV ad campaigns that exclusively leveraged behavioral signals drove a 44% increase in consideration compared to those that used demographic attributes.

Source: Amazon internal, 2020

It’s time to use behavioral advertising signals in your OTT ads campaign

For advertisers, the takeaway is that behavioral signals can drive more connection and consideration among current and potential customers for OTT ads than audiences based on demographic attributes. And for advertisers who sell products on Amazon, leveraging behavioral signals could translate to a 38-44% increase in branded searches or glance views to your product page, meaning more demand for your brand. This isn’t to say that advertising using demographic attributes should completely disappear. However, it is clear that even in combination with demographics, behavioral signals can play an important role in the success of OTT video ad campaigns.

Want to learn more about Amazon Streaming TV ads and our unique behavioral signals? Check out our video ads page.