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June 28, 2017

Seize the Video Advantage

If mobile is the king of online advertising, then video is a powerful prince. As we discussed on our blog, mobile advertising spend now accounts for more than half of all digital ad spend, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. But online video is surging in popularity, which underscores how important it is for businesses to use a rich content palette in their location marketing.

Couple watches video on mobile phone

The IAB’s annual Internet Advertising Report says that of all the ad formats measured – mobile, paid search, digital video, and banners – only mobile and desktop video saw an increase in revenue from 2016. As the IAB noted, desktop video revenues increased 16 percent, but its percentage of total revenues remained constant as a percentage. Other interesting points:

  • Total digital video, including mobile and desktop, rose to $9.1 billion, up 53 percent.
  • Digital video on smartphones and tablets continued strong triple-digit growth.
  • Forty-six percent of video ads were displayed on a mobile device, up from 29 percent the prior year.

The data suggests that businesses are getting more sophisticated about investing into digital video across different devices. This omnichannel approach is understandable because consumers have become more omnichannel, consuming content across different media, such as video, image, text-based content, GIFs, and emoji. Brands are reacting to a more visually oriented consumer experience (as I noted in a recent Search Engine Land column).

Video will continue to grow. As Mary Meeker’s recently published Internet Trends 2017 report indicates, technology developments such as the bundling of video into Amazon Echo Show will continue to make video a mainstream consumer behavior, and the rise of video gaming also underpins how comfortable consumers are interacting with video like drinking water. So when businesses create good video content, people are receptive, as Mary Meeker suggests:

IAB Video Image 2017-06-26

To succeed with video, I suggest that brands:

  • Understand how to use both paid and organic video content. On the paid side, for instance, brands use six-second bumper ads to create a quick impression, while an in-stream video ad provides more content but is skippable after five seconds. On the other hand, brands might use video organically to drive traffic to their sites and raise awareness for brick-and-mortar stores, such as a “how-to” car maintenance video that a brand like NAPA Auto Parts might use to boost interest in its brick-and-mortar locations. Depending on how you use it, video can generate awareness, reach, and engagement.
  • Understand how video will help you as opposed other forms of visual storytelling. For instance, GIFs are often used to create short bursts of whimsical content. The example I cited in Search Engine Land was Starbucks using humorous GIFs to promote its drinks. But in the same column I also noted that video, whether recorded or livestreamed, is better for longer-form visual storytelling and engagement. A brand can also chop up videos into smaller morsels to distribute across multiple platforms, as Tiffany & Co. did recently.  

A great way to get started with video is to match your customers’ journeys against your own brand’s objectives. First understand your customers’ omnichannel journeys across platforms and devices. And then figure out the right content for the platform and journey that best supports your brand. Facebook, for example, may lend itself to longer-form how-to video and livestreams than Instagram. But whether you take advantage on Facebook depends on how important Facebook is to your customers’ journeys.

Contact SIM Partners to figure out how to create engaging content that drives revenue at the local level.

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