Over the last two years, we’ve seen several creative agencies expand both their rate cards and their advertising revenue by adding video content apps to their promotional portfolio – but this is merely the tip of the iceberg.
According to the Adobe Digital Advertising Report released in April, the next five years will bring about a dramatic shift in the media landscape, affecting consumers, media companies and advertising across the board. It’s not surprising, considering the proliferation of smart devices and the slow, but steady, maturation of digital video viewing habits; a trend comparable to the early years of broadcast television.
As internet speeds continue to improve, consumers are more connected than ever before – whether via mobile, laptops or tablets – and advertisers need to think outside the box to incorporate video and other digital incentives into the marketing mix.
This is, however, not nearly as simple as applying traditional marketing principles on a mobile or digital platform. A 30 second slot may be the sweet spot for television advertising, but far too long for a mobile audience. Radio may have a captive audience automatically, but digital content is driven by social media. This in itself has many benefits – with the traditional pre-roll videos, marketers were in the dark as to who was watching their videos, nowadays mobile and social allows us to see exactly who is accessing content.
Although it’s hard to predict what the DMA space will look like in the years to come, we know that in-stream videos that breaks up content as a commercial or before a video clip begins will continue to be effective, as will interactive features such as mobile banner ads that play video content and expand once users engage with it.
In addition, Adobe’s Report once again affirmed that mobile is fast-becoming the most usable platform in the marketing space, with completion rates on mobile devices the highest of any environment at 94%. Similarly, live content is king for advertisers. Video ads are in general more successful when included in live content than with video-on-demand (VOD). The completion rate during live content is 85%, 23% higher than with ads in VOD as users are aware that they only have one opportunity to view the content.
The market is also ripe for professional content – allowing advertising to expand their revenue models. Social networks have already primed the market for social video engagement by emphasising social sharing on their networks – professional, well-packaged digital content can take advantage of that by embedding interactive elements such as sharing, downloading and purchasing into their videos.
Already, we know that completion rates of ads in professional content (72%) tend to be higher compared to user generated content (UGC, 63%). This indicates a highly-engaged, focused audience willing to watch ads as part of professional content.We are seeing the growing similarities between broadcast and online delivery of ads. An average of 5.5 video ads are being served as part of long-form, professional content. With a completion rate of 70%, viewers are willing to watch and engage with ads online in exchange for premium video content.
The implications of this is huge. A recent example would be when Chris Basile of the SubSonic Recording Academy in New York started streaming educational audio and video tutorials from his new, media-rich website. Traffic increased by 400% in 60 days, and sales by 75% within the same time frame. It was as simple as placing an online video in a newsletter.
Ads may differ from agency to agency, but there are a few commonalities that successful campaigns seem to share:
· Interactivity: Networking and digital media interactivity is the key to popularity.
· Professional design: If you can’t make your video look professional, outsource the function. It is less expensive than you think, and a lot cheaper than a failed marketing campaign.
· Functionality: Make sure that your video can be seen on multiple devices and platforms and be sure to create a mobile version of your media-rich site.
· Choosing your platform carefully: Just like in the traditional advertising world, the reach of the video will be similar to the reach of the digital publication or site. Be discerning.
Digital ads allow companies to enhance their advertising and engage with their users in a way that traditional ads simply cannot do. It is fast becoming too important to ignore. Make sure that your agency or business adds digital media advertising to the pipeline – or you will find yourself losing out on a lucrative channel.
Wesley Lynch is CEO of Snapplify.