This morning while driving my car, I saw one of those new multi-color advertising signs – the kind that use red, green and blue LEDs to make a color picture. It was playing a video. It was an advertisement for cosmetics, or something, but that wasn’t the point – there, in my car, stopped at a light, I was watching a video. Then, the screen changed to something else, the light turned green, and I drove on.
But it hit me – we live in a society in which moving pictures dominate our attention. And video advertising, in particular, is the most powerful force in that sphere – because it works. Because video catches the eye, holds the focus. It makes us remember.
On the Internet, we are bombarded with motion and color. Banner ads flashing yellow and pink, jumping up and down, or sliding across the article we just sat down to read demand our attention. But those are frustrating, aggrivating. A video commands respect. It makes the eyes want to follow. And if the eyes want something, what is remembered is the product – the presentatation … not the frustration. I hate banner ads; but that reader board this morning was cool.
In a recent article, “Video Marketing – Its Differernt Manifestations,” Punam Parab pointed out the rising fortunes of Video Advertising. He quotes Bob Hanna of Burst Media saying such ads “‘could very well become the dominant form of online advertising… probably within the next 18 to 24 months.'” Thank The Maker – I’ll be glad to see popups pop right off the ‘net.
Parab also cites figures showing that online video advertising is poised to increase by 89% this year, and by 2010 could reach $2.9 billion. According to David Hallerman of eMarketer, Parab writes, “At some time early in 2010, one in 10 dollars devoted to internet advertising will go for video placements.” As computers become faster, and connection speeds increase, the effectiveness and reach of video ads will allow that one dollar in ten to rake in even more than today’s dollars.
The possible applications of video on the internet are endless, and they’re expanding daily, but there are some common mistakes to avoid as well. As Parab pointed out, experts believe that using existing television ads for online advertising is not a good idea. People who browse the internet are not stupid, and an ad made for television is easy to identify. Special care needs to be taken to target the differing demographic of the online audience from the television audience to be effective. Even worse, if an ad is already in television rotation, those viewers seeing the same ad again have most likely already tuned out the message, and the ad is doomed to failure as a web feature. To be most effective, then, video for web should be a unique experience for the viewer, whether or not it is specifically tailored for an Internet audience.
Parab identifies another form of video marketing called “in-text video advertising.” In this format, video ads are linked to key words or phrases in text. Hyperlinked, these underlined words cause a window or popup to appear and play the linked video whenever the user hovers over the text with the mouse. Experts claim that this method of delivering ads is highly efficient, Parab says, because the ads are targeted to a specific segment of the audience – the segment who will most likely mouse-over the highlighted text. Also, because in-text advertisements appear only when a user chooses to hover over a link, it is user-initiated, and thus is a source of interrest – not irritation – which leaves the user much more satisfied, and likely to visit a site or service with the intention to buy.
Yet another form of video advertising identified by Parab is “advertiser funded video.” In this format, the advertiser creates video to be viewed on third-party websites. Variations of this can be seen on YouTube and Revver, as entertaining and/or enlightening videos which happen to contain product advertisements or careful product placement. Similar to product placement in movies, these videos hold audience attention, while at the same time informing the viewer about the product or service. Its effectiveness can be measured in how well the product is linked to the subject of the video, and how memorable that subject is to the target audience. Examples of that can be found in the many videos on YouTube that have received a million views or more. Some of them contain – or are – product advertisements.
Speaking of YouTube, such social networking sites themselvees offer a special avenue for the delivery of targeted video advertising. According to Reuters, Parab cites, “‘YouTube, the leader in Internet video search, said on Sunday viewers are now watching more than 100 million videos per day on its site, marking the surge in demand for its “snack-sized” video fare.'” If even 1% of those 100 million videos contain advertising content, and 5% of those views lead to sales, that means 50 thousand actual sales – and some statistics point to numbers even higher, in some cases much higher. How cleaver or entertaining a video may be will directly affect that last ratio.
And then there’s the myriad of other media for watching targeted video ads: cell phones, PDA’s, i-Pods … and that reader board I was seeing this morning. You see, most of the new LED reader boards out there utilize the same kind of embedded technology as cell phones and i-Pods. Says Parab, “Experts state that since the number of mobile users is showing a tremendous increase, one can go in for mobile video marketing.” He quotes Jim Cook of MobiADNews.com as pointing to “‘2.5 billion mobile handsets in the world, roughly the same number as TVs and PC’s combined.’” And those mobil users, he states, “are showing a tremendous appetite for videos.” Marketing in a clamshell – delivered to the palm of your hand.
And that’s partly the key. “Most experts state that people are willing to see videos on their mobiles as long as these videos are relevant to their needs and desires,” said Parab, and that fact is true also for YouTube, and MySpace, and Revver, and even that aforementioned LED reader board I saw this morning. Video is interresting. Or, at least it can be, and it’s certainly far better than any banner ads or popup spam-pages. In the new century we’ve entered, Video for Web and related e-Commerce tools will form a major part of the advertising landscape. The best time is now to take the plunge into the fascinating world of video marketing on the web.
Video marketing is now, literally, everywhere you are. Citing Interactive Advertising Bureau, UK, Parab quotes “‘living rooms and cinemas are no longer the only place to view video.'” We now live in a world where it is as close as our back pocket, or the sign up the street.
Welcome to a brand new day.