Q&A With Ad Agency Video SEO Pro On Video Advertising

Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you’re aware that video is the hottest medium going. Your Linked In and Facebook feeds are likely littered with videos, YouTube (Westchester Magazine has its own page, too) and Vine have spawned countless “celebrities,” and now the medium is fast gaining popularity for online advertising as well. To help explain how local businesses can capitalize on this boom in online video advertising, David Vogel and Neco Turkienicz of White Plains-based video production and marketing agency Video SEO Pro, provide us with some insight.

Neco Turkienicz (above) and David Vogel know a thing or two about video advertising.

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What’s driving the growth in online video advertising?

The main reason why online video advertising is growing significantly faster than TV, search, and most other digital formats can be attributed to advances in technology—like DVR, the internet, high-speed internet access, Netflix, Hulu and YouTube—which has changed the behavior of consumers who watch video content. Consumers are now watching their TV content when and where they decide. Advertisers realized this and started shifting the advertising to the Internet. Now, once again consumers are forced to watch 15 seconds, or in some cases 30 seconds of advertising before they can watch TV content online.

The other shift in consumer behavior is consumers’ desire to create and share video content. Thanks to the smartphone, we all now have a video camera in our pocket. And thanks to social media and mobile apps, video can be shared through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram and SnapChat.

TV advertising has always been the most expensive form of advertising and therefore was a marketing tool only available to companies with large marketing/advertising budgets. With the shift of TV advertising to online the cost for distribution has gone down considerably. Granted, content on TV is shared with thousands if not millions of people at the same time and on the Internet it is done one person at a time. But as a result, now smaller companies with smaller budgets can leverage video to grow their business.

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Here are a few recent statistics that support this shift:

In November 2014 alone, more than 192 million Americans watched online videos

The number of viewers watching video on their mobile devices has increased in 200% compared to 2013 and 400% compared to 2012

In 2014 Online Video streaming grew in 60%, whereas TV consumption declined in 4%

Looking at these statistics it is easy to understand why advertisers have shifted their focus to online video advertising.  Simply put, this is where the audience is.

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What advantages does online video advertising have over some of the other formats and mediums?

The advantage of video advertising over other digital mediums is clear: engagement. Video has always been considered the most engaging type of content. Advertisers have used banner ads on websites for years and as a result the consumer is noticing them less. Now through video pre-roll ads and Facebook video ads, advertisers can get online video advertising in front of their target audience.

The advantage over other forms of video ads, such as TV, digital signage, or movies, is the reach: since people watch videos on their computers at work, at home, or on their mobile devices anywhere and at any time of the day, online video advertising can reach more eyeballs than any other medium.

Another point worth mentioning is cost. Small businesses with limited budgets that can’t afford a TV commercial media buy with their local cable company can now afford to produce a TV commercial and share it through social media for little or no money. The media buy cost has dropped out of the equation. That being said, there are ways of leveraging pay-per-click advertising with video, whether it is a Facebook video advertisement or a YouTube video pre-roll.

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You can see the most significant change in the multiple ways you can now leverage your investment in video. You can create a branding video for your website, edit it into a 30 second spot and advertise on cable, the local movie theater or through Facebook and YouTube. You can then use that same piece of content for email marketing, press releases, or use the audio on your office hold service, as one of our clients did. And lastly, but most importantly, video can get a business found on the first page of searches because Google gives preference to rich media like video, especially to YouTube videos.

What can local companies do to capitalize on this growth trend? How can firms start using online video advertising if they aren’t already, or improve their existing online video advertising strategy?

First, companies that are not creating video content on a regular basis should start doing it right away. Just by having a video on your website you can double the time that a viewer will stay, and of course increase the chance that they may do business with you.

You can do that by:

Creating branding videos to showcase your company

Product videos to promote specific products or services

Video blogs to fortify your branding and many other types of videos.

Second, you should leverage the SEO power of videos: it won’t help you to have videos if nobody is watching them. The Internet is a huge place, so you need to optimize your videos properly so they can be found online in organic searches when people are searching by typing words (keywords) that are related to what you do.

Other than that, you need to share your videos in all your social media channels, like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and to incorporate it into your email marketing strategy. The opening rate of emails that include videos is much higher than emails with just text.

Third, you can use online video ads on YouTube or on Facebook. YouTube ads can be either in-stream videos, which are the ones that run for 15 seconds before you watch a video on YouTube, or in-display videos that will appear as separate ads on the side of the page. Facebook Video Ads will appear in the News Feed of the targeted audience as sponsored content. Both options are very affordable and you have the great advantage of letting you target your ad very specifically at certain locations, demographics or interest groups.

What are the costs associated with this form of advertising? What is the typical ROI?

YouTube ads and Facebook Video ads are pretty inexpensive. You can determine your budget to be as low as $1/day if you want, but an expense of a few dollars a day you can reach a fairly large audience, potentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The disadvantage of this form of advertising is that once you stop paying, your video stops showing up.

It is difficult to say what is the typical ROI. Every business is different. The beautiful thing with this type of advertising is that you will know very quickly if it is working or not. As long as it is generating more dollars than you are spending it is a great investment.

Another option that many businesses overlook is video search engine optimization (SEO). Getting video found on the first page of Google organically. As much as the investment might be larger initially, with vSEO there are no recurring costs and the benefits are long-term. We have seen videos stay on the first page of Google for over 15 months even with all of the recent changes in the Google ranking algorithm. In regards to ROI of vSEO, we feel it is priceless. Over 90% of consumers search online before buying a local product or service and 91% of those people never go past the first page of Google. So if your business isn’t on the first page of Google, it is like you don’t exist at all.

Is video advertising just for big companies or can small firms benefit from this trend as well?

Online video advertising is absolutely not just for big companies. On the contrary, many small businesses are benefiting from this trend. You can say that this is a much more democratic form of advertising. In the past, when TV ads where the dominating trend, only big companies could afford to advertise with video. Today it is completely different. With a fraction of the investment of a TV ad you can create and advertise your video online on a multitude of available platforms, 24 hours a day.

Actually, most of our clients are small businesses. Small businesses have tried direct mail, newspaper ads and radio spots with limited success. As mentioned earlier 90% of consumers are researching online. Businesses understand this and realize that they need to improve their online visibility and online video marketing and online video adverting is an affordable and effective way of achieving this.

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