One of the 4 themes that should guide brands’ marketing and communication strategies is ‘online video’. IAB (UK) reports that online video spend has overtaken banner advertising for the first time. In UK, there has been a 46% y-o-y growth in online video spends in the first half of 2017 compared to just 2% for banner ads. This growth is driven by the increase in time spent ‘watching online videos’ by consumers across all demographics. Easier access and cost advantages in delivering engaging content to consumers online as compared to traditional TV has attracted marketers of all sizes and budgets. Added to this is the inherent targeting capabilities offered by the online video platforms. However, marketers are advised to take measures to reduce the incidence of ad-blocking. Stricter control on quality of creative and avoiding intrusive tactics like pre/mid–roll ads or auto-play with audio can improve user experience. Ad experience can be enhanced by using insights to develop truly relevant content for the intended audience. YouTube still dominates this space but below are some recent developments from other social networks around their video offerings Twitter
Video website cards: This allows advertisers to have a ‘muted’ auto-play video with a custom headline that opens to a larger video with a website preview. Clicking on this, the viewer is directed to the advertiser’s website. Advertisers who have used this feature have reported greater website traffic. Facebook
‘Watch’ is launched to all users in US: After testing this feature among a controlled group, Facebook has opened ‘Watch’ to all users in US. They can access original pieces of content produced exclusively for Facebook. Digiday reports (based on a survey by Delmondo) that the average viewing time of videos on ‘Watch’ is 23seconds which is greater than the average video viewing time on the regular ‘news feed’ of 16.7seconds. However, without a definite plan for global roll-out of this feature, it will be a while before the full potential of this feature can be evaluated.LinkedIn
Auto-play video ads: LinkedIn posts that contain videos are being shared at a much higher rate (reportedly 20times more). This has encouraged LinkedIn to start selling ‘muted’ auto-play video ads. It appears as a stand-alone post with a ‘Promoted’ label. This feature is currently available to only select brands but will be made available to all brands by first half of 2018. Snapchat
Multi-snap feature: Users can post longer videos with the ‘multi-snap’ feature – a continuous 60sec video format in a 6x10sec module. This was introduced in July – but only for iOS users. It’s now rolled out to Android users as well, bringing more scale. This along with their full-screen ‘Snap Ads’ provide advertisers with ‘fun’ ways to engage the audience. InstagramMultiple updates: Instagram’s recent updates include a ‘superzoom’ feature for the videos where you can select one object within the video and add music for extra effect; two-person live video that was announced in August is now available to all users; stop-motion is a feature that lets users stitch series of still photos into a single video (still in beta).
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Sourav Ganguly is the chief media officer at Centric. Leading a ten-man team of optimizers, planners, and strategist, he worked with clients to deliver significant returns on marketing investment. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org