Online Video Ads Have Higher Impact Than TV Ads

Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 9.28.45 AMI recently came across this infographic during my early morning blog reading entitled “Digital video usage continues to grow in time spent and videos streamed”.

This peaked my interest. Why? Because I’m a HUGE propagator of spending advertising dollars on online videos, to be more specific YouTube pre-rolls and inline ads.

YouTube is the most widely used search engine online. The average consumer is looking for more than just a blog post, plus its similarity to TV makes it more familiar and comfortable, accessible from anywhere, and most importantly benefits the sales cycle.

TV is not dead, but TV ads are failing! Big brands invest millions in television campaigns, and what the media companies won’t tell you is that the tracking and reporting on ROI is not so simple or even valid.

Example: I use to work for a large consumer product company and at the time we had a robust budget for both producing commercials in-house or through an agency and buying spots on various networks. At the end of each month the agency we purchased time slots from would send us a report on how many people viewed our commercials, daily, weekly, etc. However, trying to make a “valid” connection between those numbers and the increase or decrease in follows, likes, comments, etc on social channels and traffic on our web portals was difficult – or should I say nearly impossible.

Yes, there are those of you who will disagree. Sorry, but your wrong! There is no one way to prove that x amount of people landed on a website based on commercial viewings. Why? Because there is no direct link. Let’s say 10,000 people viewed our commercial on a given day. We don’t know how many people actually paid attention to it or if they were even in the room at the time – they were probably getting popcorn. The problem is, we’re paying for the views, not the sales lift in-store!

TV commercials, unlike web media, can’t have any form of embeded tracking,  basically code that reports back to tools like google analytics.

With YouTube, for example, we can create a pre-roll ad, basically a commercial that plays before the video that the user requested. We can track views like a regular TV ads, but we can also track how many people clicked on that ad. Not only can we track the CTR (Click Through Rate) we can also follow the users path and actions once they leave YouTube. If we send them to a campaign based landing page we’ll know how long they stayed on that landing page and what they clicked on – did we get a conversion!

I’ll take it one step further. If we’re a consumer brand and we have a coupon code associated with this camping, we can then compare the number of “conversions” from the landing page to the redemption rate of the coupon code – that’s a REAL ROI!

It doesn’t have to be a coupon code, it could be a like on Facebook, a follow on Twitter, or what ever the bottom line is for this campaign.

Ok, enough of my banter, back to the infographic.

This, for me, is the most meaningful section:

Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 1.15.58 PM

This graphic is pretty telling. Common sense tells us that the reason for a higher impact on internet videos vs. TV ads stems from the ability to give a prospective or returning customers an instant way to buy! As a marketer or advertiser I don’t have to “cross my fingers” that the viewer loved my TV ad enough to remember it and physically go into a store to purchase, or leave the room to get their laptop, or pick up their phone to purchase online.

For the brand, it’s super cost effective to produce, even the highest of quality internet videos, and put them on YouTube with tracking codes and landing pages. Regardless of your budget, all those combined still add up to less than the cost of producing a television commercial and buying time slots. With online video advertising we also have an incredible technological advantage with A/B testing tools. We can iterate live campaigns to increase conversions – you’re not going to produce multiple TV ads and test them individually. Why? Because the cost outweighs the ROI – see above 🙂

Take look at this infographic, there are some pretty strong stats that should make any marketer re-consider television.  Plus, for those brands who can’t afford to play in that arena can now do so with lower budgets online.

This entry was posted in Misc on by .

About The Saint

Brendan Tully Walsh, CEO of Horse & Cart is a strategic marketing consultant with a decade and half of experience working with startups and fortune 1000 companies in technology, healthcare, retail and broadcasting.

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