Combining Local Search With Video Advertising

Ritesh Gupta from EyeforTravel was kind enough to allow us to repost some excerpts from an interview that they did recently with Walid Al Saqquaf, Co-Founder & COO, Trusted Places, a localized online video events and "things to do" directory and guide.

In the interview, Walid discusses the current state and the future state of online video advertising and eludes to the growing sentiment that in-video advertising is more effective when highly targeted and when in a format that minimizes viewer interference. In addition, he talks about the need to have better ROI measurement methods and advertising models like CPA (cost per acquisition). Finally, Walid briefly discusses his company's interest in combining the power of local search with the power of online video content. If you have been following ReelSEO for a while, you will know that we too see a huge opportunity when it comes to the combination of local search and online video in general.

"I feel the industry has moved on a lot, but we're still trying to work out whether ads should be placed pre-, mid- or post-roll. I feel that contextual, demographic and behavioral targeting can only improve user acceptance and effectiveness. If you look at the large range of start-ups like VideoEgg, Coull or ScanScout coming up with new and innovative solutions in this space, I believe we've only seen a glimpse of the online video advertising potential. The combination of local search and video advertising is something we're very interested in," said Walid Al Saqquaf, Co-Founder & COO, Trusted Places.

Al Saqquaf feels providing the Internet users with the options to opt-in ads in their videos will make them more receptive.

"When YouTube launched video advertising there was a backlash by users unhappy with the introduction (of video advertising). It even resulted in services that were successful in providing those users with a service to block Youtube video advertising. However YouTube's response by providing content owners with the option to include video advertising essentially put part of the responsibility onto content owners. In the end if you look at the click through rates of video advertising, you will find that they're still more significant than the traditional form of online advertising. Advertisers just need to ensure that their ads are very relevant to the targeted demographic and the content of the video," he added.

For his part, Gillespie said, "Our experience so far is that in-video ads work for the user, and they work for the advertiser with enhanced click through levels."

On need to promote UGC, Gillespie said, "This is an interesting area. YouTube is unbelievably deep as a site. Every minute of the day 10 more hours of video are uploaded; hundreds of millions of videos are viewed every day. With this in mind, and with the destruction of distribution boundaries that is delivered by the Internet, it is naive for a brand to expect to be found. Clever marketers are realizing this, working out path-finding strategies, which include blogging, seeding and paid for promotional space on YouTube. The travel market deals in dream realization - why not visualize that by generating content and make it available for consumption."

Al Saqquaf agreed with Gillespie and said there is a lot of great content out on the web that idly sits with little views because of the lack of promotion.

"This is applicable to numerous industries as it is applicable to travel suppliers. From our experience at TrustedPlaces we have learned the following lessons:

  • Having good content is a pre-requisite. It must be highly relevant to your target user base and it must be engaging.
  • Content needs to travel. Adopting simple tools such as RSS, APIs, syndication, and other open formats gives Internet users the opportunity to export UGC content across the web, effectively promoting your content and brand.
  • Reach out to the relevant sites. Identify relevant blogs, forums, and Internet groups on Facebook and MySpace."

Finally, on ROI in advertising campaigns in a social media environment, Gillespie said the company wants to look at the cost per engagement.

"With search we now have a very good understanding of the value of the click, but for YouTube and its position as a video destination for users, we should be thinking about the value of the brand, of the development of the propensity to purchase, as well as the click journey itself," he said.

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  • http://www.localstars.com none

    I just thought I'd mention localstars.com as another company promoting local on line video