How To

Convincing Clients to Buy Web Video

Even in 2008, Web Video can be scary for clients looking to place ads. Your arsenal of facts supporting a Web-video buy is expanding.

By Published on .

Convincing clients to use online video involves three key elements: sharing key facts, making specific recommendations and backing all initial video efforts with a strong research effort.

Key Facts
Clients are aware of online video, but they generally don't realize the growth, scale or performance facts.

1. Video is Bigger Than Search: 12 billion videos are watched per month vs. 10.5 billion searches conducted.
2. Video Consumption is Quickly Moving Online: 19% of total video consumption is now online, versus 11% a year ago.
3. Most Users Consume Video: 80% of Internet users watch video, moving to 88% by 2012.
4. Consumption is High Across All Demos: 76% of children and 44% of seniors watched online video.
5. Video Is Fastest Growing Ad Category: Video advertising will growth 45% this year vs. 37% for social media.
6. TV Scale is Accessible Online: Many vendors now represent unique and volume numbers that are larger than prime-time TV.
7. Video is Highest Performing Unit Online: Pre-roll video outperforms all traditional display units on brand lift, brand recall and lift in purchase intent.

Specific Recommendations
Clients need simple ways to get started and clear ways to add to existing programs or campaigns.

1. Use Existing Creative: Current 15 and 30 second television spots can be used to create most video ad units online.
2. Customize the Skin: Rather than creating new and expensive video ads, focus customization on skinning pages or players.
3. Always Have a Companion Banner: Companions bring down the effective cost per thousand and are a key to performance, so always have one.
4. Clarify Target Metrics: Vendors can easily optimize for clicks, duration, cost per view or conversion so recommend the metric upfront.
5. Test Multiple Ad Units: For clients just starting in video, run multiple different video units and quickly cancel underperforming units.
6. Avoid direct response—Focus on Brand Budgets: With regurgitated TV creative, direct response campaigns will likely miss targets, so avoid getting off to a bad start.
7. Do Not Pay Rich Media or Serving Fees: Many vendors exist that do not charge fees, so preserve the client's budget for the media.

Research Efforts
Clients need to know if video is performing in three key areas: attitude /brand metrics vs. display and within-ad units.

1. Research Attitude/Brand Metrics: Proof of performance will drive increased budgets so demonstrate brand lift, brand recall or an increase in purchase intent for branding campaigns. Work with a third party who is credible and has experience in video advertising.
2. Research Performance of Video vs. Display Advertising: Your video budget will come at the expense of display advertising, so it is important to demonstrate video outperforms. For any campaigns with a direct response metric, measure the impact of video advertising on the conversions of display and search.
3. Research Ad Units: Video ad units have widely varying performance, measure both by hard metrics such as clicks and conversions, but also on the user perception of a brand and on the impact of the performance of other, non-video units.

—Tod Sacerdoti is CEO & Founder of BrightRoll. BrightRoll is the Internet's largest video advertising network. It enables agencies and brand advertisers to execute smart video ad campaigns across the industry's top media properties, including over half of the top 100 media properties in the United States. Prior to founding BrightRoll, Sacerdoti served as the director of revenue at Plaxo, one of the fastest growing Internet companies in history. Previously, he led business development at Spoke Software, an Internet pioneer in sales and marketing efficiency solutions and also held positions at Interscope, Geffen and A&M Records, a division of the Universal Music Group. Previously, he worked as an investment banker in the Internet marketing group at Robertson Stephens. Sacerdoti is the Amazon best-selling author of the ebooks: How to Use Google, and the expanded version How to Use Google II. He currently authors a blog that covers the span of video advertising and online monetization and can be found at: Tod Sacerdoti holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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