You already know how important SEO is for helping viewers find your video. Beyond the satisfaction of reaching a larger audience and raising your site's profile, the increased traffic that effective SEO brings can help you command higher CPMs for your ad inventory.
But that's only part of the picture.
While video views in bulk may be enough to satisfy some online advertisers, others pay closer attention to the specific context in which where their ads appear. Rather than focusing on just the site's general category and audience or the page on which the video runs, they also look to the video content itself to determine:
- Is it brand safe?
- Does it appeal to the kind of consumers the advertiser hopes to reach?
- Is it a good fit for the ad?
- For that matter, will it appear the right way to each viewer, regardless of the device they're using?
As national brands direct more and more of their ad spend to online video, they'll be looking for publishers who can deliver this kind of relevance. And they'll pay a premium for it.
Online video advertising comes of age—almost
No longer a secondary or niche channel for brand advertisers, online video is now a billion-dollar market, projected to pass $5 billion in annual ad spend by 2014 (eMarketer, Piper Jaffray). While television is still the preferred medium for brand advertising and is likely to remain so, online video has proven its effectiveness in a complementary role, as it reinforces awareness and enables cost-efficient buys. Brands now have literally thousands of new channels to choose from as they direct TV dollars online.
But while TV advertisers are ready for the web, web video inventory isn't exactly ready for TV advertisers. The efficacy of any campaign hinges on its relevance to its audience. This relevance depends on the alignment of the needs of the advertisers with the audience reached and the context provided by the publisher—in other words, relevance in video advertising means showing the right ad to the right person, in the right context, on the right screen.
Some elements of relevance are a matter of back-end technology, like delivering a consistent view across different types of devices. But one of the most critical elements lies directly in the hands of publishers: enabling advertisers to deliver ads into video streams that match their criteria for audience targeting, page content, video content, and brand safety. The good news is that publishers have been doing much of this work already by tagging and categorizing their video for SEO. Supplementary tools are now coming to market that incorporate relevance into the automated ad serving processes already in place.
As online video publishers catch up with the relevance requirements of brand advertisers, the full promise of the online video channel can finally be fulfilled. Online video has always benefitted from the advantages of online advertising in general, such as the availability of targeting data based on the demographics, ad viewing history, preferences, and channel interests of specific viewers. By making the actual content of video streams transparent for targeting purposes, publishers can put this rich consumer information to work to deliver a level of relevance for online video impressions that no traditional TV spot could ever match.
So keep on tagging and categorizing your video content. It's worth it for SEO alone—but the ad revenue it unlocks will make it all the more worthwhile.