Who are your audiences? There isn’t just one type of viewer. Honestly, every content consumer in America changes audiences a dozen times a day. Every time a person moves from their car, to their couch, to their computer chair, they metaphorically change seats as well to a different audience.
To engage audiences, marketers must have a deep understanding of viewers’ attributes—and to that end, video is not TV. Television is a channel to deliver video, but video itself is not restricted by delivery method.
Television is fundamentally a broadcast experience defined by the huge size of network audiences. The impact of an ad that reaches millions of viewers at once has a huge impact. Networks charge huge prices for this privilege, and that puts a huge cost of failure onto every TV commercial. However, the huge audience guarantees that every TV commercial isn’t going to move everyone in the audience the same way. A wide net misses many fish.
Video doesn’t have to be restricted by these terms, but we’ve taken the old TV commercial model and applied it everywhere. When we see pre-roll ads on YouTube, for example, we’ve taken the TV commercial approach and fitted it into the online video experience.
Because it’s easy? It certainly is.
Because we’re restricted by technology? We certainly aren’t.
Because we haven’t come up with anything better? We have.
We’d like to focus on how to engage specific members of the audience, rather than defining the target audience. Targeting is interesting, but it’s a problem that’s common to all video channels.
The primary question for advertisers always comes back to return on investment—how do we impact more people in a cost effective way?
Advertisers are looking at an incredible opportunity to take the stock video advertising they already have to put on the Web. ROI is the main reason behind the identical advertising strategy across different video channels. It’s cheaper to take the same commercial that you’ve created for television and chop it into 30/15/6 second spots that you can air across different Internet platforms like YouTube and Vine, rather than creating an entirely customized online campaign.
We don’t see a problem with using TV-style video advertising as a starting point for online video ads, but we have a problem with the pace of innovation around the online video experience. Part 2 of the post will discuss how the EngageClick platform can use existing creatives to enable real-time communications between users and advertisers.