The idea of online video programming was a hot topic at the 2014 Digital NewFronts, an event focused on video content marketing and innovation, which brought together brands such as Yahoo, AOL, and Hulu to discuss consumer behavioral shifts taking place today.
Video content marketing has become an increasingly high priority for businesses as a way to reach people on desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Similar to how advertisers focused on embedding brands in what consumers watched on television, digital marketers are interested in finding ways to seamlessly include products into what viewers consume online, whether through clever video content marketing or pre-roll ads.
In his coverage of the Digital NewFronts, Stuart Elliot of The New York Times wrote: “Incorporating products into what viewers really want to see is typically more effective—and less annoying—than intruding on that programming with commercials.”
Research from the Content Marketing Institute confirmed that many brands have already invested time and money in online media campaigns that include video. Data showed that 73 percent of B2Bs and 72 percent of B2Cs use video content to engage their audiences online.
However, businesses are also experimenting with pre-roll video ads as a way to increase awareness and referral traffic to conversion pages. Despite Elliot’s bet that users prefer to come across branded content organically through video content, new data from the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) shows that ads that disrupt the viewing experience show impressive engagement rates.
MMA research found that non-skippable video ads that were 15 seconds or less had completion rates of 92 percent, compared to 9 percent for spots that allowed viewers to skip the content. More, 15- to 30-second ads generated completion rates of 94 percent when compared to clips viewers could bypass.
The data shows that users are growing tolerant of such advertising practices so long as marketers improve quality and continue to focus on consumer needs.
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