Hands holding a digital SLR camera with zoom digital lens
Hands holding a digital SLR camera with zoom digital lens

The Changing Face of Video Marketing

The use of video as a marketing tool isn’t exactly hot off the fire.

On their introduction in the 1940s, television advertising breaks provided the platform for video to become a mainstay of modern marketing. The internet then revolutionised the market, providing an exciting new platform on which to promote products and services on a massive scale. Video quickly became the dominant form online too.

So why does video marketing seem to have reinvented itself online in recent years?

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Pre-Rolls and Exposure - An Outdated Model?

You know the score.

Company wants to advertise a product. Company employs agency to create promotional video. Company pays Google to play its promotional video as a pre-roll ad on YouTube. Google takes company’s money. Company and product gain exposure.

It’s a tried and tested formula which has dominated online video marketing since Google acquired YouTube in 2006. But it has become outdated.

While the use of pre-roll advertising brings undoubted exposure, it has a shockingly low rate of success in terms of prompting users to buy a product or service. Recent statistics showed that the average ‘click-through’ rate on YouTube pre-rolls sits at less than 1%.

In addition (with the exception of the most expensive pre-roll options), viewers are typically given the option to ‘skip’ longer adverts, which makes successful engagement even more difficult. This is especially true when targeting smartphone users. On average 65% of browser users skip YouTube pre-roll ads when given the chance, a number which rises to more than 80% among smartphone users.

Forward thinking companies have recognised the need to identify alternate methods of utilising online video marketing. Those which haven’t made an effort to move with the times are now stuck in the mud.

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Dynamic and Interactive - The New Model

In a digital climate dominated by the immediacy of social media and ‘view-grabbing’ content, advertisers have become increasingly aware that no campaign is going to be successful if it cannot catch the eye and hold a potential consumer’s attention.

More than anything, campaigns need to be effective in either prompting viewers to ‘click-through’ to the product or service being sold or in increasing their likelihood of using that product or service at another point in time.

This collective epiphany amongst advertisers has initiated a drive to find new methods of engaging viewers through online video marketing. For example, many gaming apps now offer in-game currency to players who watch sponsored videos. As users are required to watch full adverts in order to collect their reward, such platforms provide a solution to the ‘skippable ad’ problem, thus allowing for more engaging video marketing.

Having said that, questions remain over whether users actually watch these in-app adverts or just use them as an opportunity to make themselves a cup of tea and come back to a nice virtual reward.

Nevertheless, opportunities such as these have prompted agencies to turn to multi-platform video marketing in order to maximise engagement and ‘click-through’ potential. You only have to look at JustEat’s new all-singing, all-dancing multi-platform campaign – which on its introduction not only seemed to pop up in every advertising break on television, but also appeared all over the internet, as well as through in-app advertising – for an example of this in practice.

I for one found myself downloading the JustEat app after ‘clicking through’ from an unskippable, 30 second advert which I watched to earn credits on a gaming app. I’ve since used it to order myself a kebab or two.

Now that’s effective advertising.

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What do we take from this at JBi?

Online marketing trends are important to consider when working primarily on digital platforms. Recent developments in video marketing across the internet have established a precedent for web design; websites which do not provide for the use of video are bound to fall behind the times.

Accommodating video is something that we know a lot of our clients are interested in. It’s an exciting field, and one which can make or break a brand.

At JBi, we want to be the makers, not the breakers. Understanding the power of video marketing is central to this ambition.

If you have a video marketing project you’d like to discuss with us, drop us an email at [email protected].