What Advertisers Should Know About Video in 2012

As I thought about the future of online media planning (or “digital” media planning, as the industry now calls it), one of the areas I’m eager to learn more about is video. Digital video ad opportunities have been around for quite a while now, but critical mass adoption and game-changing circumstances like long-form video, Internet TV, new devices to deliver content to our TV screens, and mobile video consumption exist now that should make us all pay attention. EMarketer estimates that in 2012, U.S. online video ad spending will increase 40 percent topping $3.1 billion. For some inside perspective, I turned to Spencer Scott, chief revenue officer of video syndication solution OneScreen:

Hollis Thomases: Spencer, first tell us about what OneScreen does.

Spencer Scott: OneScreen is a technology platform focused on solving the complexity of video syndication across multiple platforms and devices. In the past, everyone had to cobble solutions together using multiple vendors; OneScreen offers a turnkey solution for content owners, advertisers, and content distributors alike. Each of these three stakeholders has different challenges that we solve. For the content owners (those who produce video content), we handle rights management, ad sales management, reporting, and the syndication that allows their content to reach a broader audience. For advertisers, we help them reach the right audience through networks and publishers with better transparency and control over ad placements. And for distributors (websites and publishers), we help bring and easily enable them to deliver and monetize this video content throughout their site(s). What we’ve really created is a video content marketplace.

HT: So let’s focus on the advertiser. What kinds of things should the advertiser be thinking about right now with respect to online video?

SS: There are challenges for ad agencies because of all the moving parts, and brands should be looking for more than just impression-based programmatic display ad buying. There are more opportunities out there like cross-platform buys, dashboards, incentivized views, and CPA buys. Brands also want to tell their story in longer form video, be that :60 spots to three-minute runs, and the ability to deliver this video where they want.

HT: What do you see trending with respect to short- vs. long-form video?

SS: Right now, brands don’t exactly know how long they need to do the right job telling their story because they’ve mostly been confined to :15 or :30 spots and because it’s been hard and expensive to go across multiple channels. But now is the time to experiment and learn. Hours of taped video content are being left on the cutting room floor – use this content to put together video of different lengths and test for performance. Last year, OneScreen did a test with video of The Office and whereas we expected the :20 spot to outperform the long-form, the :90 spot actually did better. Think too of ways you can get your consumers to better engage with your brand, like providing video of “the making of” a commercial or “how’d they do that?” And spread your video around since there are now more and more ways to get it out there.

HT: What other concerns are on advertisers’ minds?

SS: A few:

  1. Quality inventory. There’s still a lot more demand for placements than there is relevant placement inventory to buy against.
  2. Visibility, transparency, and reporting. Advertisers want to know more about where their ad ran, when it ran, and how it performed.
  3. New technology. What are they (like mobile, out-of-home, IPTV) and how do they handle all of these channels?
  4. Social. How can they better leverage their video in social sharing environments?
  5. Control. How do they protect their brand and their brand assets in a world where anyone can grab and share just about everything?
  6. Targeting. Media buyers need to divorce themselves from their typical targeting thought processes and broaden their scope beyond audience targeting to device and contextual targeting too.
  7. Paid vs. earned media. How can advertisers get more for their buck?

HT: How so?

SS: Brands shouldn’t expect some kind of viral, ripple effect to happen from their videos. They need to set aside budget to not only produce the video content but to also promote it, which can lead to exponential returns on the video production spend through greater unpaid social sharing exposure.

HT: Great information, Spencer. Thanks for being a resource!

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