Video is rapidly becoming the preferred method for consuming content on the Internet. From Netflix to Facebook to the video “granddaddy” YouTube, video already accounts for 64 percent of all Web traffic, and that figure is expected to rise to 80% by 2019. Video presents a wide range of opportunities for savvy marketers. But like anything else, you need to be sure you have a reason for getting into paid video search.
Just like mobile marketing, you still need to get people to find your videos, then measure the effectiveness of each click. Tools are being introduced that make it easier to measure the effectiveness of paid video search. For example, Google is making a real effort to integrate the YouTube advertising platform into AdWords. They also have a product in beta called TrueView for Shopping that combines video with shopping feeds. Consumers can watch a video, click on a product image and shop right there.
That should help overcome one of the biggest objections, which is the lack of ability to directly attribute a purchase to a consumer watching a video. Currently, Google recommends using attribution modeling to measure the effectiveness of a video. With TrueView for Shopping, however, marketers will be able to use last-click conversion measurements much more effectively. Finally, you will be able to see hard data on which videos work and which fall flat. Do you need more explainer videos, or does your audience prefer humor? Is 30 seconds the ideal length, or are your prospects seeking long-form content?
Change in the way video is consumed
Perhaps one of the biggest factors contributing to the growth of video is the change in the way it’s consumed. Video viewing (think television) used to be controlled by the content providers.
Now anyone can watch what they want, when they want. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and their ilk have seen to that. Measuring the audience has been challenging, although Nielsen may have cracked the code on Netflix. On other sites, Google TrueView will ensure you’re paying only for actual views, rather than estimated viewership.
The net takeaway is consumers are not spending as much time flopping on their couch watching whatever is pushed to them. Instead, they are seeking out content on their own terms, and on a variety of devices. YouTube claims that advertisers have seen click-through rates for these more targeted ad videos that are 3-4 times higher than other video ad formats.
There’s always a “but…”
With all that going for it, why shouldn’t marketers just jump whole-hog into video? To be effective, at least at present, you need to be sure your attribution modeling is in place so you can judge the success of your paid video search. If it isn’t, you need to get that house in order first. Especially if your product or service is more of a considered purchase. Taking time to understand your audience and build the models will help you drive more value throughout your campaign.
Having a deeper understanding into which video ads work is, of course, a tremendous boon for marketers using that medium. But before you get to the point of placing video ads, you must produce the actual videos. While that doesn’t have to bust your budget, it isn’t always cheap. Are video ads right for your marketing plan?
As I said in my previous post, this is the time to recall the wise words of your mother: “If your friends were jumping off the roof, would you do it too?” Just like back in those days, you need to carefully consider the risks and measure them against the thrill of the leap. In my next post, I will give you some pointers to help you make that determination – “To video, or not to video?”