What's the state of online video advertising as we enter Q4 2009? Last year around this time, some bemoaned that, as a consequence of the economic crisis, experimental budgets for online video advertising were gone. Ad rates all over, including those for online video, fell as much as 25 percent and many of us held our breath to see how our clients' budgets would be affected.
Suddenly, though, a slew of good news about online video advertising came out last month:
Even our intrepid executive editor, Anna Maria Virzi, wrote recently about this resurgence, so perhaps it's time to gear up your online video advertising know-how and determine the right questions to ask.
What are the online video ad standards, and have publishers accepted them? How can I avoid needing to have multiple versions of the same video ad just to accommodate different specifications?
The IAB has laid out Digital Video Guidance standards, though reformatting, recoding, or resizing of video ads is still a common and problematic occurrence due to lack of adopted standards. Brands used to television advertising yearn for widespread adoption like the 30-second commercial.
How will the viewer see my ad?
Though standard video ads exist, some solutions still provide custom ad deliveries, like ad-sponsored player skins or display ads embedded around or within the player.
What kind of targeting is available?
Much like with other online ad buying, targeting capabilities vary among networks and publishers, but they do exist. Find out how the targeting is determined and delivered, however.
How much control and transparency do I have over where my ad will appear?
If you're planning on using a network or large publisher or portal, this question is even more important, particularly for advertisers who have restrictions around what kind of content their ads can appear.
How can I limit competition?
Just because I can buy, for example, the pre-roll ad placement, how do I know I'm not exposing my advertiser to a competitor's ad around, nearby, within, or after it?
Can I see past performance metrics?
Recognizing that ad creative has a lot to do with performance, it's still helpful to see performance metrics for your site or network when comparing it to others.
What kind of rates should I expect to pay? How much do they vary among those providing online advertising opportunities? What kinds of cost structures will I encounter?
I won't speak to rates, but in addition to CPM (define) pricing, increasingly more providers have rolled out or are rolling out performance-based pricing, like cost per engagement or cost per completed view.
How will our online ad reporting have to change to accommodate online video metrics? How do we show ad effectiveness as compared to our other online ad buys?
It's true that online video metrics will be different than other typical online ad buys. To some extent, online video engagement is closer to measuring social media marketing than typical online advertising. You may want to segment your reporting accordingly, rather than trying to draw direct comparisons.
Besides YouTube, where else can I go to locate online video advertising opportunities?
Most of the major publishers and ad networks now have online video ad offerings. Based on potential reach of unique U.S. viewers, comScore ranked the following as top video ad networks:
Along the way, you might want to check out these companies also providing online video advertising solutions:
With talk of the recession lifting, more advertisers will likely be asking about online video ad placements. The time to get educated on the topic is now.
Online video is the fastest-growing medium in history and is becoming an increasingly important weapon in the best marketers' arsenals. How are savvy marketers making online video work for them? Join us on Friday, September 28, 2009, at 2 p.m., for a free Webinar to learn how to make video an effective part of your next campaign.
A ClickZ expert columnist since 2005, Hollis Thomases (@hollisthomases) is president and founder of Maryland-based WebAdvantage.net, an online marketing company that provides results-centric, strategic Internet marketing services, including online media planning, SEO, PPC campaign management, social media marketing, and Internet consulting. Author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day and an award-winning entrepreneur, Hollis is the Maryland 2007 SBA Small Business Person of the Year. Hollis speaks extensively on online marketing, having presented for ClickZ, the American Marketing Association, SES, The Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association, The Kelsey Group, and the Vocus Worldwide User Forum. WebAdvantage.net's client list has included Nokia USA, Nature Made Vitamins, Johns Hopkins University, ENDO Pharmaceuticals, K'NEX Construction Toys, and Visit Baltimore. The agency was recognized as a "Small Giant" by the Greater Baltimore Tech Council and was chosen as a "Best Place for Business Women to Work" by "Smart Woman Magazine."
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