Paid Video Marketing

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Without a doubt, video can be a highly effective marketing channel when used properly.  There are amazing things that can be done with videos to engage an audience that can’t be done with other mediums, such as paid digital advertising.  However, if you’re considering video as an option, you should be sure it’s right for you before investing.  Clients with existing video assets can usually set up a test fairly easily with little risk, but for those starting from scratch, the production of the video itself can be quite expensive.  In most cases, it makes more sense to maximize your expansion opportunities in the lower part of the sales funnel, before spending that upfront money to test the waters.  Once those channels are performing well, video may provide additional opportunity to increase awareness of your product offering and create demand.  

The majority of paid video advertising opportunities exist via YouTube and are purchased through a similar biddable inventory that can be bought on a cost per view (CPV) basis. These can usually be run alongside a paid search strategy in Google AdWords to maximize impact.  Video ads that are run on social media (Facebook/Twitter) fall within paid social advertising efforts because they tend to perform more like mid-funnel channels than upper-funnel ones.  


Video Advertising Platforms

YOUTUBE

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While YouTube offers  several different ad formats, TrueView skippable ads are by far the most popular (and what we typically recommend for our clients).  Almost everyone who has ever watched videos on YouTube is familiar with this format – these are the standard ads that play before the video you are trying to watch.They run on both mobile and desktop, and in many cases advertisers only pay when the full video is viewed.  (If the video is longer than 60 seconds, the viewer has to watch more than 30 seconds before you’ll be charged.)    This inventory is typically bought through Google AdWords, which allows targeting by keyword, interest, affinity, topic and even remarketing.  The biggest advantage of TrueView ads – and why we can make them work on a performance model – is that there is so much unsold inventory on YouTube these days that we are often able to get a cost per view of as little as one cent!


The Relay Approach To Video Advertising

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When we are presented with a client that either wants to run video advertising or for whom we see a potential fit, we make sure to clearly lay out the risks and rewards.   If you already have existing video assets to start with, in most cases we will be happy to set up a few different audience segments with a small budget and run some tests to determine if we should pursue this method further.  However, if you still need to create the videos, we will make sure to talk you through the kinds of results you’re looking for and whether they can be directly tracked or not.  As you climb up the funnel – moving from paid search to paid social to paid display and finally to paid video – the direct impact on your company may become harder to see, as it can be more complex than just a click and a conversion.  

Much of the potential with video lies not only in driving direct conversions, but also in exposing your product to users that were not even seeking out what you were offering in the first place.  What this can mean is that while the viewer was not ready to click through to your website and convert right there (so no sale can be recorded), your video can keep you at the top of their mind so when the time does come for them to purchase, you will be the first place they go.  Not only is this much harder to track, but the impact on direct traffic and brand search volume can take months to see.  It also requires a consistent budget in this space.  As your partner, rest assured that Relay Paid Media will analyze the data every which way we can and share the results with you.


Where We See Others Fail

Video is clearly one of the most engaging new forms of marketing available today.  Why would anyone want to read a boring text ad when they can sit back and watch an interesting video?  Unfortunately, the two biggest areas in which we see others fail are first, in not being upfront with the client on the difficulty of tracking the full impact of their investment, and second, in poorly planning the budget for their initial video production costs.  Alongside this,  we’ve seen other marketing managers haphazardly running video ads without any optimization whatsoever, just like they would do with any other traffic source.  Even if our team determines that we are unable to track direct conversions for your videos, there are still more areas we will optimize to help us gauge the impact.  A view of your video is only going to help if it’s in front of the right viewer and alongside the right content.  Most marketers know that the “set it and forget it” approach does not work in paid search or paid social media, but this strategy generally seems to run more rampant in paid video campaigns. At the end of the day though, we know it’s not just about getting views of your videos – it’s about maximizing the impact of your advertising dollars.


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