by Lauren Mazzaferro
Online video is growing at a rapid pace and provides a vehicle to engage consumers that cannot be ignored. In 2010 online video skyrocketed into mainstream with 147.5 million internet users watching at least once per month. This number continues to grow in 2011 with a projected 70% of all internet users viewing video at least once per month. Major brands are jumping into the video advertising space, and making an impact. We have all been witness to the phenomenon of Old Spice and the Evian dancing baby, both of which show the power of viral brand messaging. As the video landscape continues to grow, the options for advertising do as well. It is the responsibility of a Media Planner to be abreast of all opportunities and what makes sense for your client. Below are important considerations when approaching a video campaign:
The video space is constantly evolving and can be segmented into three categories: Paid, Earned & Owned media.
Paid video media is likely what first comes to mind, and what we are most familiar with as planners. This media is a partnership with video vendors such as Hulu, ABC or video networks like Tremor or Brightroll. Here, you pay for exposure and views of your video assets, and cost structures vary including CPM, Cost per view and CPC. Common video units include pre-roll, mid-roll, in banner, and a clickable overlay.
Earned video consists of video views gained as users share assets from paid and owned origins. These essentially are organic impressions and commonly occur on video portals such as YouTube & Metacafe or within sharing environments like Facebook.
A brand’s managed outlets where video is promoted falls into the owned media category. Similar to earned media, there are no costs associated with placements for these video views. Sample owned properties include a brand’s Facebook Page, YouTube Channel & Website.
Making the most of video assets
Many clients produce video with the goal of generating views and awareness of the messaging. If this is the objective, a holistic strategy including paid, earned & owned components should be followed. A paid seeding strategy is essential in increasing exposure of the video. This paid media can attribute more than a 350% growth to a previously non-paid video program. Earned media should be equally valued, as this provides maximum impact for the video at a lower effective cost. These organic views are non-invasive and respect consumer desire for choice. Additionally, earned videos have a high influence as users are more apt to receive messaging if shared from a person they know. Many seeding campaigns can be optimized to the earned media view which provides more legs to a campaign and lowers the effective cost per view metric. Lastly, it is important for brands to leverage owned media. Promotion within media outlets encourages user interaction and engagement.
When producing video, here are some best practices that should be kept in mind:
- Videos are most effective when they deliver usefulness, humor excitement or controversy. In order for a video to be watched by many, and shared to friends, it should provide value to the user.
- Rotating in several versions of creative to allow for optimizations is helpful. Additional videos drive incremental earned views due to the halo effect when users seek out other relevant videos.
- Ideal video length is 30-90 seconds – maximum length being 2 minutes.
Lastly, when evaluating campaign success, it is important to understand key video metrics. The objective of these campaigns should be to encourage branding metrics such as awareness and engagement, more so than drive to store or as a direct response tactic.
The most exciting aspect of video to me is that as it continues to grow, units must advance as well. Innovative units provide users more control and can help achieve different goals and objectives.
As previously discussed, video has been primarily used for branding purposes and units have been rather limited. Now, more inventive options such as the Ad Selector are taking off. The Ad Selector template allows the user to choose an ad from 3 options, increasing engagement and effectiveness. Vivaki’s The Pool takes a detailed look into the benefits of this type of unit.
Another trend we’re seeing is that vendors are identifying opportunity for units to include more functionality to an engaged user. Partners such as Video Egg & Jivox allow for expandable ad units with customizable components including share video, tweet video, Like on Facebook, data capture etc. These rich video ad units increase the legs of your video campaign, and allow for multiple objectives to be achieved.
Video has been a growing topic across the teams I have worked on, and I’m eager to see how it becomes more of a staple in our client’s campaigns. The question is: how will it continue to evolve?
Source: (eMarketer, April 2010)
About the blogger:
Lauren Mazzaferro is a Media Planner at Razorfish. She has worked across several retail accounts at the agency, most recently including Gilt Groupe. Lauren has experience planning and executing direct response, branding, video, acquisition and social campaigns. She has a passion for digital media, and is excited by new trends and staying educated in this constantly evolving space. Twitter @LMazza