Just when you think people are getting over the whole “Poor me, I can’t monetize my video” thing, a whole bunch of bigwig ad executives get together in a public forum and start whining about how their ad agencies haven’t come up with a solution for interrupting streaming video content without ruining user experience.
Take, for example, this quote from Adam Kramer’s excellent article on NewTeeVee:
“Perkins Miller, SVP of digital media at NBC Sports, recounted at Tuesday night’s event how he asked a number of agencies to come up with better ways to do advertising online. But out of a half dozen agencies that NBC reached out to, Miller said he didn’t get back a single workable idea. So NBC developed its own interactive ad capabilities for many of its live sporting events.”
Right. It an agency’s fault that interruptive advertising makes users close their browser windows faster than a Rickroll. Never mind the whole people-think-pre-rolls-suck thing – you just keep repurposing your TV ads.
But wait! It gets better:
“Even if agencies are not able to create more engaging ad campaigns for online video, [EVP of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication George] Kliavkoff said that the industry could at least do a better job of targeting the spots it has. ‘If all we’re going to do is take content from the TV and put it on the web, and all we’re going to do is put the same 15-second or 30-second ads on the web, can we at least target those ads? I know it’s some grand vision of the future, but i figured it would be here by now.'”
In other words, if our advertising tactics are going to look and perform like giant dino turds, can we at least give them a good spit-shine?
Come on, guys. Seriously?
The conversation should not be about how to leverage third-party video content for the purposes of advertising. Everyone and their mothers recognize that repurposing TV content for the Web is a Very Bad Thing. Why, then, do video executives believe that the standard methods of TV advertising (interrupting content with bite-sized ads) is appropriate for the Web?
No, that’s the wrong conversation. The conversation should be about how to create video content that your audience wants to watch, how to make them aware of it, and how best to give them the ability to watch and share it. That is how media consumption on the Web works.
The answer to your “interactivity and targeting” problems, Big Video, is staring you right in the face. You’re overlaying ads on YouTube content that people want to consume. The question is not how to leverage that third-party content, but how to replicate the success of that content on a consistent basis. Pre- and post-roll ads are lazy, and blaming shrinking agencies for not being able to reinvent the wheel is asinine.
So listen up, Big Video. I’m going to break it down for you step-by-step. Here’s how you create interactive, targeted, and profitable video content.
- Create content that your target demographic wants to watch.
- Forget YouTube. Embed your video in a campaign-specific microsite.
- Optimize that microsite using keywords and search terms that your target audience is searching.
- Promote your microsite to your target demographics, whether by video email, social media, corporate blogs, etc.
- Make sure that your content is inherently sharable.
- Surround your content with specific, non-intrusive calls to action.
- Implement a video analytics service that measures traffic to your microsite, and that reports viewer activity in a way that makes traffic statistics actionable.
- Do it. Analyze it. Tweak it.
- Repeat step 8.
Are you paying attention, Big Video? Have I gotten your attention yet?
Whether or not you realize it, you are in a position — right now! — to start making moves to change the Web video advertising game. Do it. Those of us who consume online video will sing your praises until the end of days.