Direct Response Video for Small, Local Firms

Small and mid-tier businesses have long gravitated towards direct response marketing like yellow pages ads and dedicated phone numbers on late night cable ads. Startup Mixpo hopes they’ll want the same action-oriented approach when it comes to Web video.

Online video advertising “is going to start going in that direction,” suggested MixPo President and CEO Anupam Gupta. I met with the Seattle-based company yesterday morning nearby its headquarters before the Kelsey Group’s local media conference kicked off.

“Whether it is [based on] CPA or cost-per-view, we’ll see,” he continued. The two-year-old firm sees great potential in the small and local online video sector, despite the array of competitive services going after the same pool of mom-and-pops, mid-size retailers, auto dealers and other smaller advertisers.

Measurable direct response mechanisms within embedded video and video ad units could give Mixpo an advantage. Advertisers can include lead-gen forms, track-able and geo-targeted phone numbers and other features, and alter ads dynamically to optimize or change offers. The platform enables video creation from repurposed TV spots and uploaded photos-turned-slideshows. The company also does custom video production.

Like others in the growing local video space, Mixpo is talking with a range of potential partners, from regional ad agencies to online yellow pages firms. The goal is connecting to small business clients through companies that already have relationships with such advertisers.

One distribution partner is Active Rain, a social site for realtors (i.e., people looking for easy, cost-efficient ways to create and optimize video of properties for sale). Some site users have tested the platform, which should be fully functional as an Active Rain offering (“powered by Mixpo”) in a week or two, according to Gupta. The site will sell the videos for $30/per month, splitting revenue with Mixpo.

Spotmixer is yet another just-launched self-serve video company claiming it will “level the playing field” for video for SMBs. Others include AditAll, DMM, Spot Runner, EZShow and Visible World. TurnHere is also going after these smaller advertisers, though it’s taking the custom video production route, and also working with lots of large brands.

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