Monday, August 11, 2008

Fundamentals of Online Video: Post 1: Introduction


This series of posts is designed to help the marketing generalist develop and execute strategically based marketing programs using web-based video. It is structured around the following questions:

1. What is online video?
2. What are the need to know industry terms in online video?
3. What is the incidence of online video consumption?
4. What are the marketing approaches in online video?
5. What are the targeting options in online video?
6. What about mobile video?

After reading this series of posts, I hope that the marketer will have the foundation necessary to make the right decisions that fully leverage online video for their business goals.

Online video is one of the most profound developments in digital. Its importance is at least as large as the advent of offline TV on media because it truly shakes digital and online at its foundations.

Before video, online was mostly a reading and writing platform. Video – the idea of watching the web versus read it – means that the role of this medium can expand in major ways. Video adds interactive entertainment to a medium that until its arrival was largely focused on news, research, and written communications.

This has added enormously to the amount of time that consumers spend online, to their willingness to cough up more money for broadband, and to their elemental enjoyment of the medium itself. The cultural impacts of these changes are only beginning to become clear.

Video adoption has grown extremely rapidly in the US in that past five or so years, with the result that roughly 80% of online consumers view video. Additionally, tens of millions of consumers have found ways to make “user generated video” (UGV,) and to alter or mash-up video assets to make their own video content. The result is that video plays a central role in the lives of many people. While its adoption was focused in young and up-market segments initially, it is now nearly ubiquitous. The love affair between consumers and video is continuing – indeed growing stronger every month.

As consumer usage of online video has grown, so too has the number of opportunities marketers can leverage to create stronger brand experiences. Among other options, marketers can now choose to:

1. Make their own videos, pay to have others make them, pay for inclusion of brands in videos, or ask users to create brand messages.
2. Advertise before, during, or after content requested by consumers is shown.
3. Advertise on top of a video while it plays, or next to it in “tandem” ads.
4. Select and work with specific publishers, sites, and communities, or employ an ad network to deliver a larger audience and outsource logistical tasks.
5. Track and optimize via site side reporting through third party reporting services like DFA.

With all of these issues and opportunities, it behooves marketers to develop a solid foundation in the space so they can select the ideal marketing instances and opportunities for their brands.

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