While many marketing budgets have been adversely affected by the global recession, advertising over online video platforms has seen huge interest, with some estimates predicting 40 per cent growth in online video advertising this year. New Media Knowledge quizzed one video search specialist to find out why.
Despite the recession biting at marketing budgets over the last 18 months, advertisers’ appetite for online video has continued to grow. According to eMarketer, in the US at least advertising over online video was up 39 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009.
blinkx is a specialist online video search engine, locating and indexing more than 35 million hours of online video content. According to blinkx’s CEO and founder, Suranga Chandratillake, as brands increasingly look to justify their marketing spend, online video had become an extremely attractive proposition.
“[Online video advertising] harnesses both the power of storytelling, traditionally associated with TV advertising, and the targeting and measurability of traditional online advertising,” he told NMK. “Online video advertising offers marketers another unique value proposition — it combines the emotive power of TV promotion with the interactivity of the Web – brand advertising infused with the potential for immediate action, and it’s highly measurable.”
Standing out from the crowd
With so much video content available online, how can advertisers make their products stand out? Does it mean that only the big budget firms can win through? Not according to Chandratillake.
“Online video is actually a superb platform whatever the size of your business and far more inclusive than linear TV advertising, where prime time slots are often prohibitively expensive for firms with smaller budgets,” he said. “There are two rules of thumb to ensure that your products stand out from the competition - creative content and targeting.”
According to Chandratillake, firms shouldn’t simply try to transpose their TV advertising onto online platforms. In a roundtable that blinkx hosted this spring with media planners and industry bodies including the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) it found that the attention span of online video viewers was far shorter than with traditional TV audiences. Typically online audiences were more engaged with adverts around 30 seconds in length. As a result, companies need to create shorter, punchier online advertising that caters to their online audiences, he argues.
“Online video gives brands far greater control over the demographic that views its product advertising. Rather than blanket advertising against popular video content, advertisers can create tailored online campaigns that combine contextual viewing habits with a users online behaviour,” Chandratillake advises.
Chandratillake says that as Internet television comes of age many believe that the Web will open up a million channel experience, where broadcasters “are a myriad of constellations, scattered across a vast content universe”. However, he believes that five years from now, we will have a personalised river of information and content, which flows seamlessly with us throughout our day across a variety of interconnected platforms.
“The challenge for the user lies only in navigating this vast and highly fragmented space,” he concluded. “This is where intelligent search technology plays a critical role. Advanced video search engines will be the roadmap for the content universe. They will understand where relevant content exists and draw this together based on explicit search instructions and personal preferences inferred by a user’s viewing history.”