How to kickstart your channel on Roku and stand out: A comprehensive guide

Learn how to start your Roku channel from scratch – the best promotion methods, pitfalls, and techniques.

Roku is the most popular TV platform in the world, with nearly 40 million active accounts. The number is expected to grow even more, which will also increase the advertising revenue that Roku channel owners increase each year. Statistical trends, efficiency, and ease of business with Roku are the main drivers that attract content distributors to the platform and advertisers.

Unfortunately, there is no free lunch. Creating a channel is usually not enough to make things work. Some channel owners skip the hardest part – promotion – and trust organic growth or appear at the top of Roku. However, this strategy is inherently ineffective. Of course, the channels will eventually win over the audience, as they are regularly busy and contain original content. But whether the growth rate will reach operational targets is a very different debate.

Promoting a channel is a complicated subject with possible pitfalls and dangers that require attention to detail. However, this is not rocket science. In this article, we will explain what it takes to run a Roku channel successfully. To promote something, you must first do something. So let’s look at the two most common ways to set up your Roku channel before proceeding with channel promotion.

Standard solution: Roku Direct Publisher

1.Like any self-respecting CTV platform, Roku has its own tools for developing programs from scratch. First, they believe it is their responsibility to provide content distributors with the ability to develop applications. Second, one of Roku’s main goals is to facilitate this process so that they can attract quality content creators with their audience.

2.A direct Publisher is a standalone tool designed specifically for content creators. It is aimed at facilitating the process of creating and publishing channels so that ordinary users can configure everything themselves with a minimum of experience. However, it still requires technical knowledge and helps from the developer to fix things. Before you finally enjoy the benefits of a dedicated application, note the following:

3.Publishers must upload their content to a third-party service, such as CDN (Content Delivery Network) or OVP (online video platform). The files must meet the requirements of Roku. For example, videos must be in an unencrypted format and must also be exclusive or licensed to avoid copyright infringement.

4.Uploaded content must be anchored to your channel’s stream. The feed collects all the data needed to ensure proper viewing on Roku. Contains information about the catalog, such as IDs, descriptions, titles, URLs where the content is displayed, etc.

5.The trademark of the new application is also the responsibility of the channel owner. You must prepare all the necessary resources related to the preparation of the registration in the correct formats and formats. These include logos, home screens, thumbnails, screenshots, and so on. You also need to know how to organize the content layout, text and background color, highlights, and other UI details. Learn how to start your Roku channel from scratch – the best promotional methods, pitfalls, and techniques.

Go back to developing personal channels

As befits the complex digital fields, there are dedicated professionals and companies who are happy to help you with any problem for a reasonable price. This means you can outsource all of these responsibilities to professional Roku channel makers.

While it takes a long time to ensure proper layout and function, this method is not a critical issue for customers, but it is more expensive than Roku’s direct editor. A custom application is likely to meet exact specifications if available. Additionally, developers can add additional features that would otherwise not be available through direct publishing. If your goal is to grow, you should use this method as the default tool is limited. Watch Netflix or Spotify shows. They cannot trade without personal engineering.

At the same time, the agency or developer needs the complete development of the application. This in turn is related to development and maintenance costs. Custom development usually takes months and there is always a risk of poor third-party performance.

Start your channel

As is widely recognized, making a good product is only 30% of the success it determines, and perhaps 10% can be attributed to luck. The other 60% is how you sell. Just like any other product on the market, Roku apps will only work when promoted wisely.

As mentioned above, it’s unrealistic to set up the channel and expect huge revenue from the start. Develop a marketing strategy yourself or hire professionals to do it. Somehow the content needs to be promoted, especially in the beginning.

Here are some ways to do it.

1. Roku proprietary advertising platform. It is a resource for marketers who write ads and provide comprehensive statistics on their performance. It works with different payment models like CPI, CPM, or CPC which allow for ad scheduling and basic targeting. Sometimes, however, the functionality is not lacking, forcing advertisers to look for other solutions.

2. Marketing platform for all functions. The Roku advertising platform isn’t the only option for channel owners. All roll is a complete alternative to advertisers and content publishers on Roku. It offers three basic ad formats: carousels (animated), banners (static), and in-stream ads that can’t be ignored (video). One of the main benefits Allroll guarantees is 60% more app installs than the advertising platform for the same price (up to 20,000 installs per day). This performance is enhanced by advertising coverage with over 1.5 million viewers and remote users of smart apps. Through Allroll, channel owners can segment viewers based on their location, interests, and viewing history. Additionally, the company is developing a by-product for next-generation campaign performance.

3. Guerrilla marketing strategies. If you’re on a low budget, there are several ways to promote your Roku app. Most are completely free, but take a long time to take action. For example, you can partner with other content producers to “merge channels”, which basically means swapping videos and adding links to “this channel”. Or you can promote your content through social networks (mainly Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) by posting channel updates, short texts, and trailers. Developing a dedicated YouTube channel is also a good idea for promoting your Roku content, and can help you get a lot of traffic if you do it right.

General advice on how to manage a CTV / OTT application

Behavioral researchers suggest that CTV viewers tend to use “second screens” (mainly smartphones and tablets) when viewing their CTV content. This trend towards multitasking has led some Roku app developers to encourage viewers to interact with their “second screens” to enhance the viewing experience. For example, it can be used for interactive personalization during conversation programs or as an advanced reality tool. Somehow, experimenting with users by adding extra content to the normal second screen display routine can’t harm anyone.

How many times have you started watching a show on TV, but for some reason you wanted to end up somewhere else? Consider running your program on multiple CTV platforms to give users more options for viewing your content. The ability to quickly switch between screens and environments is greatly appreciated.

If you’re serving different content to different audiences through your app, it’s worth enabling the account switching feature to make it easier to change your content. This is especially useful for large families and for those who need parental control to prevent children from viewing confidential content.

Remember that watching video content on your TV, desktop, phone, or tablet is a completely different experience. Apps that are mainly used on larger screens, a few meters from a user, will always be different from looking at a smartphone on your lap. This means taking into account the differences in the character experience, optimizing the image loading quality/speed, and defining controls for each type of device individually.

In short, it’s no longer a matter of content creators creating their own Roku channels. The question is how can you do it more efficiently. From our point of view, new or small channels should either leave the job to Allroll Professionals themselves or consider using free promotional opportunities before getting the right traffic flow. At this point, now is the time to partner with Roku to get the most out of your self-promotion tool.

Channel owners need to be proactive to get the performance they want. There are many promotional techniques, including free activities done through social media, email, or cross-promotion. But the most effective way is, without a doubt, targeted advertising.

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