It’s a good time to use video to help you stand out from the crowd, before your competitors beat you to it.
Here are ten key things SMEs should know about online video advertising - one of the fastest growing areas of digital marketing spend.
1. Video has a big impact
It’s hardly surprising that video is seeing phenomenal growth given the impact and attention it generates. Video creates huge standout for your brand or product and can have a significant impact on sales - M&S recently reported a 30% increase in sales conversions when they started placing product videos next to products.
Video ads have been shown to enjoy eight times higher click-through rates (CTRs) than traditional online ads, as well as delivering benefits such as awareness, engagement and recall.
2. Not only for TV advertisers
While much of the spend on video comes from big TV advertisers, it’s not restricted to those with deep pockets. You can create and deliver video ads at a fraction of the price of broadcast TV campaigns, allowing smaller businesses to get in on the act.
3. Affordable fast video creation now a reality
Video doesn't have to cost the earth - and new technologies mean that highly effective video products can be sourced for the low hundreds of pounds. And you can get your video professionally produced through an array of channels ranging from sites such as Yell and ThomsonLocal amongst others.
4. Automated video adverts
As well as enhancing your own website's appeal, videos can be used as part of online video advertising campaigns. There are automated video creation services emerging that can create a 15 second ad for your business using professionally shot library footage.
They are often specifically targeted at smaller businesses, so whether the advertiser is a skip hire company, a car dealer or a florist, they can select an appropriate short video and personalise it with logo and contact details – without having to shoot original video.
5. Locally targeted video is growing
Local papers are developing their digital offerings and delivering video advertising. They often provide help with shooting and editing original ads or offer automated creation. Many roll-up the ad production fee into the cost of delivering the ad to an online audience - a very cost effective way of getting involved with video.
6. Video ad formats explained
Most video adverts are 15 seconds in length, which is becoming an industry standard - long enough to get advertisers’ messages across, while brief enough to keep audiences engaged.
Video formats are still developing, but there are essentially two main groups; ads that run inside other video content – called in-stream ads – and standalone ads (also known as in-page ads).
In-stream ads, can be divided further into pre-, mid- or post-roll, depending on whether they are placed before, during or after the actual video content you may be watching – from catch-up TV services, to videos on news sites and, of course, YouTube. These ads are akin to TV ads in that they ‘interrupt’ whatever the viewer is watching.
In page ads are different in that they appear in a fixed size and placement on a web page. They are commonly designed to fit industry standard ad sizes, such as rectangles, skyscrapers and leaderboards.
7. There are plenty of targeting options
Good targeting is essential for controlling costs. Demographic, contextual (related to the content on the page in which the ad appears), behavioural (based upon content a user has looked at recently) and geographic (country, county and city) variables can be used for targeting, as well as specific keywords/tags.
Or you can simply decide to place your in-stream ad within specific videos or approach specific publishers directly. Another option is video ad networks which act as aggregators, collating ad ‘inventory’ from a number of sites.
9. Budgeting should be straightforward and controllable
Most video ads are sold on a cost per thousand (CPM) basis, meaning you pay based on a rate for a thousand impressions or opportunities to view your advert. However there are publishers who are open to payment based on other models, such as cost per click.
And to help manage costs and ensure accountability, most publishers and networks provide campaign tracking data, including the number of impressions, completed plays and volume of click-throughs.
10. Mobile makes video even more attractive
The rise of smartphones and tablet devices means the audience for online video is expanding. Consumption of free and paid for online video is expected to exceed 770 billion views across the USA, UK, France and Germany. It’s a good time to use video to help you stand out from the crowd, before your competitors beat you to it.
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