Only 1/6th of Online Video Marketing Is About Advertising


With Online Video (OV) one of the fastest growing segments on the Internet, does it surprise you that the vast majority of articles written about online video purely focus on ad insertion?  Advertising makes up only about 1/6th of the market for OV, of course there is a valid business case for dynamic ad insertion, but ads will only account for a fraction of the overall use of OV.  The business use for OV consists of at least 6 elements:  Advertising, Branding, Communication, eLearning / Training, Promotion and Social Media.  Given this, innovative marketers are creatively experimenting with OV as a platform for influential storytelling, as opposed to simply a vehicle for ad insertion.  Today's marketing mix is getting turned upside down through the power of online video and successful brands and organizations are being built with online video playing a prominent role in the digital marketing mix.

In particular, two examples will exemplify this point: Social Media and eLearning.

Social Media

We know that OV is a great way to enhance one's message.  However, this is only a first step.  The natural and intuitive next step is to use OV to engage the viewer.  One way to engage the viewer is to combine OV with social networking. ITVT, Interactive Television of Today, uses engaging video by creating video that is immersive:  The ability to dive into the video and experience a deeper level of engagement - click on the video thumbnail below to play and interact with the video.

ITVT's social media video places social site icons (Facebook and Twitter in this case) that allow engaged viewers to reach deeper into the story.  It also shows relevant, dynamic images that are clickable to a person, place or anything one wants.

Furthermore, Mark Robertson (here at ReelSEO) recently wrote a great article about the effective use of OV in the context of Social Media Releases or SMR.  Note the subtlety that the video is the main element and the press release is attached as a PDF.  In other words, the Press Release is inside the Video, not the other way around.

Only 1/6th of Online Video Marketing Is About AdvertisingMark's point is proven out by a recent study conducted by Sally Cole, Marketing Director for Google's DoubleClick, in conjunction with Dynamic Logic MarketNorms.  The study validates that OV, coupled with rich media, is over 15 times more effective in creating brand favorability than more conventional approaches.  What may not be intuitive is that using video to create a brand experience means that it is the video itself that tells the story, and not ads being inserted into videos.  In fact, inserting an ad would detract from creating a compelling brand experience.


The educational and training use of OV will be massive.  We are at the beginning of OV being used for educational or community organizing purposes and, therefore, a great deal of experimentation is going on. One example of this is a recent video from Health Care Justice (HCJ), an organization interested in educating people on what they see as the benefits of single payer healthcare.  HCJ's use of OV is good because they use a well-known personality, in this case Mike Farrell of television's M.A.S.H. fame, to discuss the issue.

HJC is particularly creative in that they use the video to teach and add interactive 'calls to action' directly into the video – "Please Donate" and "Send Your Fax Now.”  They have made the video both informative and engaging.  What is especially important is that they measure how many people engage with the video by tracking how many people click on the Donate or Fax images.  They have figured out how to tell an engaging story through the creative use of OV.

Not to diminish the validity of video advertising, as video advertising will continue to grow rapidly.  What can be achieved through interactive online video is much bigger and we are only at the beginning of understanding this new opportunity.  We need to discover that OV is a broad component of the digital marketing mix.  We need to begin thinking about creating compelling stories, immersing the viewer into these stories, and enticing the viewer to engage through the use of OV as a very effective channel for creating a favorable brand experience.

The next article in this 'Mini-series for Marketers' will be about creating the traveling video website.  Stay tuned!

Only 1/6th of Online Video Marketing Is About AdvertisingThis post was authored by our guest and colleague, Scott Broomfield, Co-Founder and CEO of Veeple. If you ever have the pleasure to speak with Scott, you will no doubt find that he is one of the most passionate and energetic executives in the online video space.  The depth of knowledge that Scott possesses along with the willingness to share his valuable insight and experience with all of us that love online video, makes him a true online video thought leader.

Thank you Scott for this contribution.

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