Read on Marketing Interactive

October 1, 2014 – Captivating copy and dynamic design are essential components of any marketing campaign but when it comes to persuasive storytelling, video is by far the most effective medium. Video provides a multi-sensory experience that engages audiences in ways other mediums simply cannot, and as a result marketers are keeping a keen eye on this rapidly rising channel.

Video is reaching more consumers than ever before with content available to download or stream live using devices as varied as desktops, smartphones, tablets, and connected TVs – and by the end of 2013, 77% of global internet users reported that they had watched online video during the previous month. Online video ads have been found to outperform TV commercials across a whole spectrum of effectiveness metrics including general recall, brand recall, message recall, and likability, and are particularly effective when combined with other channels such as social and mobile as part of an integrated campaign.

Internet and mobile video consumption is strong in APAC, actively surpassing European and Western Markets. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that investment in video advertising is increasing. It is expected that by 2015 display advertising in APAC will be far less dominant, and that a larger proportion of marketing budgets will be allocated to video advertising, alongside search, social, and mobile. The development of video advertising in the SEA market in particular is considered so important that the IAB has set up a video committee to drive the development of this medium across the region.

So how can marketers take full advantage of this emerging channel? Here are seven pointers to help marketers integrate video into their cross-channel advertising strategies.

1. Online video attracts an engaged audience

Online video viewers are a more engaged and receptive audience than linear TV viewers as they actively choose the content they want to watch. This means both brand and message recall are higher with video advertising compared to TV, and viewers are more likely to take action on the ads they view. Marketers can maximise the potential of increased attention levels by designing ads that require deeper engagement with the viewer – such as engagement ads or native advertising – instead of more obvious commercials aimed at a passive TV audience.

2. Viewers respond better to targeted ads

One of the big advantages of online video for advertisers is the ability to target specific audiences. With video, advertisers no longer have to target vast audience group knowing their advert will only be relevant to a select few. Instead, marketers can access specific audiences and can target users based on their online behaviour – for example, with the use of geotargeting or audience profiling, video ads can be personalised to the viewer’s location. Consumers are far more likely to engage with video ads if they find them relevant and useful, and are therefore more likely to take action on those they view.

3.Video ads are an effective prospecting tool

Video advertising is a considerable investment, which often means it is reserved for remarketing or other bottom-of-the-funnel activities that result in high conversion rates and are easily measured. However, marketers are missing a trick when it comes to using video advertising to increase brand awareness and introducing new customers into the top of the sales funnel. Recent advances in attribution modelling allow the impact of an ad to be measured at any stage in the purchase path, so there is very good reason to use video ads for prospecting as well as final conversions.

4.Online video viewers crave new experiences

Online video challenges advertisers to be more adventurous with their campaigns. While slick, professionally produced commercials are the accepted fodder of TV audiences, online viewers are often looking for something different.

Video ads that are reality based – using real people instead of actors and models, or ads compiled from user-generated content are both popular choices. Behind-the-scenes ads, or interactive adverts – where viewers can influence the story – are also worth considering.

5.Video is just one marketing touchpoint

Video gives marketers an excellent opportunity to drive brand awareness and motivate consumer action, but ultimately it is just one touchpoint in the conversion path that should be planned into a wider marketing campaign. When video is planned and executed in coordination with display, social, mobile, and other digital channels, the return will be greater than for a standalone effort.

6. Oversaturation can have a negative impact

Video is undoubtedly a valuable channel for increasing brand recognition, but overexposure can lead to viewer indifference or even negativity. Marketers should mix video formats and messages to keep campaigns fresh, and could even consider sequential ads that take a viewer progressively deeper into the brand story. Cross-channel frequency caps should be implemented to reduce the risk of oversaturation.

7. Video advertising is adaptable

Investment in video marketing is held back by the idea that, once launched, a campaign is set in stone. Tools now exist to gauge the success of online video advertising against predetermined goals and advanced algorithms can drive automated decision-making – optimising campaigns for different audience segments. Frequency, targeting, and even creative, can be altered in real time to ensure the best possible ROI.

A rapidly expanding channel, video is fast becoming a powerful tool for marketers. Keeping these seven pointers in mind when building online video into cross-channel advertising campaigns will allow marketers to leverage the unique nature of online video and its audience.

 The writer is Lim Wan Tsau, business development director, media partnerships, APAC, MediaMath