OTT Video Ad Production Tips & Cheats

Streaming media, which now makes up 80% of all internet traffic, has created an unprecedented opportunity for marketers to get OTT video ads in front of their target audience anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Yet many brands are still missing out, overwhelmed with the thought of producing a video or the cost of pulling it off.

If this resonates, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 steps for creating OTT video ads that will crush your marketing goals without breaking the bank.

1. Get Clear on Your Objective

The first thing you need to do is identify your video’s primary objective within the scope of your marketing campaign. What are you trying to accomplish with your video ad- drive conversions, raise brand awareness, or increase website traffic? 

Different marketing goals require different video content, so you need to narrow your focus to be effective. For instance, if your objective is to raise brand awareness, you would want to focus more on sharing your story and impact. But if your end goal is to generate sales, you might choose to highlight product benefits and testimonials to inspire action.

2. Do your Homework

One of the biggest perks of OTT is the depth of audience targeting you can leverage to augment with your own internal data. Remember, the more tailored your messaging is to your ideal customer, the higher your conversion rates.

There are a growing number of distribution channels beyond Netflix and Amazon Prime, each with its own set of required video ad specs. Make sure your platforms are the best fit for your audience and your content is the best fit for your platform.

The smartest way to get information and inspiration for your video is by checking out your competition. Watch their videos and jot down the things that work and the things that could be better…and then do it better.

3. Create an Ad Script that Packs a Punch

Your commercial script is the star of the show and should be treated as such. Your script needs to capture your viewer’s attention, communicate a compelling message, and evoke enough emotion to inspire action…in less than a minute.

Aim to keep your video short and sweet- ads under 30 seconds have 200% higher completion rates than longer versions. Be bold with your approach, using the first 10 seconds to make an impression, which is precisely how long it takes for the viewer to decide whether or not to jump ship. And make sure to end your video with a specific CTA that tells the user exactly what you want them to do.

The best approach to writing your ad script is with a two-column format, with all visuals on the left and all audio (music, sound effects, and dialogue) on the right. It’s a good idea to add closed captions to the final product since 92% of mobile users and 83% of online viewers watch videos without sound.

4. Bring Your Video to Life with a Storyboard

Your storyboard is the blueprint of your video- capturing all the elements you want to include, from the script to the camera angles. Think of this process as visual storytelling, incorporating the graphics, people, and text that will captivate your audience.

Whether you create a collection of hand-drawn sketches, use a PowerPoint, or purchase specialized software, your storyboard needs to be a series of thumbnails with all the visual and non-visual components for each scene, including the following:

  • Key Scenes with script dialogue and/or voiceovers
  • Sequence of events  & time dedicated to each scene
  • Directional notes (lighting, camera angle, etc.)
  • Final Frame with a clear CTA, your company’s name, and contact info

For some inspiration, check out this ad by Cafe Appliances. Its bold colors and a happy vibe instantly has the viewer envisioning a better, brighter kitchen, with no sound or voiceover required.



5. Make the Most of Your Time & Money  

There are several ways to produce high-quality OTT videos on a limited budget or a tight schedule. In fact, if you are thorough with your research and storyboard preparation, you can capture a wide variety of footage in just one shot.

Animation is another popular option for creating affordable, engaging OTT video content. You can also repurpose content you already have, integrating motion graphics and post-production techniques to make it broadcast-worthy.  A great way that has reinvented the QR code is to place this on any material you market with. Now that menus are only accessible via QR code, the learning curve has occurred and QR codes are finally delivering real purpose.

Here is a brilliant example of a low-budget, high-quality video by Fix My Glasses made with a simple well thought out script and animation.

And another alternate illustration option from a design build firm, Sea Pointe Construction.


With an estimated 232 million people watching streaming or downloaded video in the U.S, there has never been a better time for advertisers to reach and recruit customers virtually anywhere. Use the steps and examples here to get your creative juices flowing and you too will be creating video ads that will have your customers streaming for more.   


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