Why Marketers Are Bullish on Video

In 2004, the widespread destruction of the Asian tsunami and the US presidential election were the first events to really find exposure through the emerging medium of online video. Almost nine years have passed and video has not only become one of the most popular formats for content sharing online, but has evolved to accommodate various markets, including advertising.

More recently, advertisers have been leveraging engaging and interactive content in this layout, fueling awareness and branding efforts and gaining momentum within marketing mixes. Over the last couple of years, the shift from PC to mobile has ushered a surge in video, which is impacting the way advertisers allocate their budgets. Mobile and tablet shoppers are three times as likely to watch a video as laptop or desktop users and video accounts for more than half of all Internet traffic on mobile devices, with tablet users three times more likely to watch a video than their smartphone counterparts.

With such providers of streaming media as Hulu and YouTube, television and movies are easily accessible online, giving advertisers premium pre-roll and in-stream video inventory to promote their brand or products. As consumers are widely turning to these providers to watch their preferred programs over television, marketers are able to harness more effective video spots. And with the predicted growth of mobile surging over the next several years, it is evident that video will continue to gain display advertising spend.

Social media is also an incredible catalyst for video growth. Mobile video ads that include social media buttons drive 36% higher engagement and 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. Combine the incredible development of social (accounting for 1 in 6 minutes spent online) with the power of mobile and the vast potential in video is clear.

Advantages

  • Video is far more engaging than traditional forms of display advertising, and is becoming increasingly more interactive. The IAB published “Digital Video Rising Star Ad Units,” which delves into the “in-stream and linear interactive digital video ad product concepts,” exemplifying the creative ways brands are able to extend the customer experience beyond the video in unique and captivating ways.
  • Video generates excitement. This year, brands launched their Super Bowl campaigns before game night, and found that preview footage generated 600% more views than when their videos debuted during the event. People get excited about good commercials and are going out of their way to watch these ads on-demand and on-line. Where back-to-back ads on TV are dreaded, glimpses at these shorter online videos are actually sought after.
  • Video allows ample room for creative freedom. Interactivity aside, video provides the opportunity for marketers to think beyond the constraints of the traditional video spot (read: a couple of ingenious automotive brands within the last decade). Original branded content masks the video’s promotional undertones with entertainment value.

Disadvantages

  • Video is disruptive. Like all advertising, video can be a nuisance when all you are interested in is the content beyond the ad. Unlike most display advertising, which can be ignored, video content cannot be skipped over (in some cases, before 10 seconds of play time).
  • Video can be time consuming. Unlike display ads, you cannot skim over video content.
  •  There is a lack of standard metrics for measuring the actual success of video. The same is argued for social, and slowly but surely, we are more able to appropriately attribute credit to the medium.

Where are we headed?

Some brands are shifting 10-20% of their budgets out of TV and into digital video and online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion by 2016. In 2012, advertisers spent $2.3 billion on digital video advertising, an increase of 29% over 2011. 76% of marketers plan to add video to their sites, making it a higher priority than Facebook, Twitter and blog integration and online video production will account for more than one-third of all online advertising spending within the next five years. Inventory for video ads is becoming available in new places, such as a recent addition of LinkedIn, with more publishers to come.

As consumers become more integrated in technology and the Internet, we can only expect video to continue to grow.

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