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Brand Activator/ Online Media

Online Video Killed The Video Star

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by Michael Ruby
Vice President, Executive Creative Director
Stein IAS (Americas)

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Article Highlights:

  • U.S. cable subscribers are on pace to lose 3 percent of their subscribers this year.
  • With online video consumption proliferating across every screen, it feels like we may be at an exciting tipping point.
  • Video is an excellent medium for providing a quick, but rich and informative introduction to your brand.

If video killed the radio star, then online video has killed the video star. Lamenting how MTV doesn’t play videos anymore? Music videos are alive and well on YouTube, comprising its all-time Top 5 most-viewed videos. Missed The Daily Show last night? You can hit up Hulu on your lunch break. Video is making a mass migration online, taking customers’ eyeballs with it.

According to the IHS Screen Digest Television Intelligence Report, U.S. cable subscribers are on pace to lose 3 percent of their subscribers this year, following a now longtime trend among U.S. cable operators–the ninth consecutive year of decline in cable video subscribers, going back to 2004. At the same time, voice and data revenues are on the rise.

With online video consumption increasing and proliferating across every screen–interactive TV, PCs, tablets, smartphones–it feels like we may be at an exciting tipping point.

As people seek out and expect more and more content online to be video in nature, advertisers and marketers will need to meet that demand. The merits of marketing with online video are nothing new. But, anecdotally, it feels like the wave of early adopters is turning into a tidal wave of activity.

In my tenure (and going even further back), SPBA has always been an active proponent and producer of video content on behalf of our clients. But this year has been by far one of the most–if not our most–active years in this regard. And 2013 is shaping up to be even more video-centric. Here are a few ways we’ve successfully marketed with video this year:

  • In-Banner Video: Spice up your display ads by embedding 15 seconds of video to tease out your value proposition. Or embed longer clips in expandable units to increase engagement. We have found these units to be incredibly effective in terms of driving front-end engagement metrics and conversions.
  • Mobile Video: Whether on a tablet or a smartphone, you can use video to put your brand literally in the hands of your customers/prospects. Innovative, expandable formats–like those developed and offered by our client Crisp Media–let you embed short- and long-form videos right in your ads.
  • Sales-Enablement Videos: From video-based product tutorials to branded documentaries that bring a company’s people, culture, products, and processes to life, video is an excellent medium for providing a quick, but rich and informative introduction to your brand.
  • Educational Videos: Many of our clients work in complex industries with products/solutions that have complex value propositions. Video helps to simplify communication, telling important stories quickly, plainly, and intuitively–for customers and internal stakeholders alike.

There are so many more ways to use online video, I couldn’t possibly list them all. And I haven’t spoken at all about aspects of production, measurement, or distribution/syndication; we’ll save that for a future post. My intent is simply this: to get you thinking about video if you already aren’t because your customers are going to expect it next year. And if you’re not ready to give it to them, your competitors will be.

To close, allow me to wish you a happy, healthy holiday season on behalf of Stein + Partners. And best of luck in the new year!

About Michael Ruby

The authors of the Brand Activator blog are from Stein IAS (Americas), New York, BtoB Magazine 2013 Agency of the Year.

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