During the London 2012 Summer Olympics, advertisers were striving to outdistance their competitors with an array of TV, print, online and social media campaigns. More than 4 billion TV viewers globally were expected to watch the games and one-quarter of those were likely to view events and get updates on digital devices, such as PCs, mobile phones and tablets, according to a recent eMarketer report. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube may turn out to be this year’s biggest stars as many fans turned from their TV screens to social media to get the latest information and behind-the-scenes stories on events, teams or athletes.
The growth of online video, especially on YouTube, and advertisers’ increasing use of it are among the top trends for digital marketers that will far outlast this Olympics. Founded in February 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. Over 800 million unique users visit the site each month to watch over 3 billion hours of video. More importantly, consumers around the world have turned off their TVs, preferring to watch all types of video on their laptops, tablets, or smartphones. YouTube traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011 and more than 10 percent of global views come from mobile devices.
Consider these statistics:
- Last month 180 million U.S. Internet users (85 percent) watched 43.5 billion online videos for an average of 23 hours per
- YouTube gets about 40 percent of the online video audience each month.
- In June, video ads reached 50 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 37.6 times.
- A video is 53 times more likely to generate a first-page Google ranking than traditional search engine marketing techniques.
- 1 in every 10 tablet users watches online video content almost daily on their device.
- 500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute
- 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (like, share, comment) every week.
The implications of this growth for the digital advertising industry are huge. Whether you opt for YouTube, VEVO, Facebook or Hulu, online video is one of the most effective and efficient ways to communicate your marketing message to your audience. This visual and dynamic format gives customers another way to interact with your brand, and gives you a great opportunity to introduce your product or service to a new audience or redefine an established brand’s personality. Video can be a buzz maker and the right campaign can quickly generate referrals, friends, fans, and followers. With little or no media expense, depending on where it’s posted, your video can drive customer action, generating qualified sales leads with a lower cost for customer acquisition and higher ROI. Here are seven things every digital marketer can do take advantage of video.
- Make it search-engine friendly. Google has made video an integral part of search results. Companies can now gain visibility in the search engines quickly by providing video content that is search-engine friendly. YouTube Suggest is a keyword suggestion tool similar to the Google Suggest tool. Use keywords and titles when naming your video files and surround them with keyword-rich Web content. When you publish your videos on sites like YouTube, add tags to each video that put them in easily searchable categories.
- Make it social. More than 50 percent of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community. The best video starts conversations and spreads among friends and their social networks. Provide links and functionality to make it easy for people to email your video to friends, embed on Web pages and blogs, and post to their various social networking profiles.
- Reinforce recall. Statistics show that brands don’t need to choose between showing ads online or on TV. A 2011 Google study concluded that it’s better to do both. People exposed to a 15-second video ad on both YouTube and TV were two times as likely to recall the ad as those who saw the TV ad alone. For a 30-second spot, recall was boosted by 1.5 times.
- Know your ad types. Aside from in-search and in-display, YouTube also added in-slate and in-stream. Advertisers can now define a target group, set bid amounts for each of the four formats, and search and set target suggestions by keywords. For example, the targets include topics like Art & Entertainment; Audiences, males from 18-24; and Interests, Hiking & Camping. Advertisers also can target by content, such as Spanish-speaking content or sports.
- Use a call to action. Your video should create a clear action path and the surrounding Web content should make executing that action easy. Create “buy” specific ad copy for use in YouTube overlay ads and include a direct call to action. Maximize conversion opportunities by clearly showing your offer and encouraging viewers to click. YouTube’s call-to-action overlay makes an offer to viewers, shares more information about businesses and drives traffic to Web sites. The overlay appears as a display ad over the TrueView in-search and in-display videos that play on YouTube.
- Get a partner. In June, YouTube announced Video Creation Marketplace, a platform that will connect content creators on YouTube with marketers looking for viral buzz. Today, YouTube’s partner program has more than a million content creators globally. The platform allows partners to set up profiles indicating what they do and the demographics or types of brands they are best suited for. Search by parameters, such as content type, target demo and keywords, to find the right YouTube star for your campaign.
- Use In-stream video ads. It turns out that in-stream video ads boost brand recall. eMarketer noted that viewers not only remember seeing in-stream ads, but also recall the subject. Forty-seven percent said they remembered the brand or product advertised after viewing a pre-, mid- or post-roll video ad.
The Value of Video Marketing
Online video is becoming an increasingly effective and relevant way to reach and engage audiences. Comprehensive viewing intelligence, combined with demographics, provide an invaluable platform for improved media planning. By applying these tips, marketers in all industries can successfully incorporate video into their online campaigns and see positive results in brand awareness, lead generation and sales.