Businesses are beginning to realise that the best way to source new products and services is through digital media, as it’s an instantaneous source of research. In fact figures suggest that over 90 per cent of us use the internet to research products or services before we commit to buy – a growing percentage of this is from mobile technologies.
Online marketing spend has just tipped the scales and overtaken print. Something experts expected to happen but not quite this early, with the rise of online tools to make marketing your company quick and easy, and what is more important, cost effective. With this increase in online advertising brings competition in terms of companies dreaming up new and inventive ways to engage an audience.
The Search Engines
With a sharp increase in Google and Microsoft’s Adcenter search engine advertising, the cost of advertising is steadily increasing also, with the most popular keywords costing way above £5 ‘per click’ to your site. This may not seem much, but if you are generating clicks and no enquiries, it is an expensive and time wasting exercise. So what else is available through digital media? Well, Apple have just launched a great service in the US called ‘iAD’, which enables an advertiser to promote their products and services directly to mobile technology, namely your iPhone or iPad, using the new HTML5 code. This code allows the browser to receive advertising in a number of exciting formats, from video through to animation. But, it’s not available here yet and if we do not see some similar competition, prices to advertise will be very high.
The YouTube Black Hole
Video is often seen as expensive, time consuming and hard to get right. Most people will associate it with TV budgets, which fictitiously end up at six figures! But this is not the case. Video for web is growing at an incredible speed. Take YouTube for instance. Stats show that between 150,000 and 200,000 videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. The UK being the 2nd highest at 6.9 per cent of global uploads behind the US at 34.5 per cent. It would take you over 400 years to view all the content on YouTube alone, but this proves a point, that video is the new boy in town. But (and there’s a huge ‘but’) this is not the case for businesses. Just because you upload a video to YouTube, doesn’t necessarily mean it will get viewed, and more importantly by the right audience.
Just think about those figures above regarding uploads per day and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that their video will get swallowed up with the other 150,000 or so others that were uploaded that day. In fact the most successful videos are associated with tags such as ‘sexy’, ‘funny’ and ‘music’. So is YouTube good for business, yes, but you need to have a great creative idea that’s going to capture an audience.
Viral video has become a term used loosely for an online video. It’s incredibly hard to “make” this happen as something has to BECOME viral. If somebody passes your content from one person to another by way of a digital device, or talks about your content via the web, your content has become viral. But creating a successful viral campaign relies on a number of factors, and most of which hang around ‘hard work’ or ‘big budgets’. Most of you probably have a Facebook or LinkedIn account. You will have ‘friends’ or ‘contacts’, and like most people on Facebook, it seems to be a popularity contest to see who has the most ‘friends’.
How many of you have received an invite from someone you knew back at school, but you never spoke to them then, so why should you now after 20 years? But here’s my point, your friends have 300 ‘friends’, they all have 300 ‘friends’ and so on. Soon you get into some pretty big numbers. Now, let’s say you get a video produced and you ask your 300 ‘friends’ to pass it on to their 300 ‘friends’ and you start to get something viral. Moreover, all it costs to you is the production. This is great if you are selling most consumables, but what about ‘business to business’. Well, here it gets a little harder.
Video and Online
Video is also used in online advertising. How many times have you visited a website to see a video MPU (Multi Positional Unit) running on the page. It grabs your attention almost immediately, and here’s where we start to see how this works for B2B. Most businesses use the web to research information about their industry. Most of these will probably advertise in their print versions, with little knowledge of how many people have seen their advertisement, sure we have the ABC and PPA audits, but do the publishers know if John Smith has read his free circulated publication? No, but their vertical websites do and are perfect for video content. What’s better than running a video MPU on an industry specific website, where the browsers will be from a certain industry and in a work mindset whilst browsing.
Lee Walker is a Director for Blue Chew – a video and digital marketing specialist.