In 2013, 182.5 million people in the United States viewed online videos, and video advertising spending increased by more than 40 percent. Social sharing and video viewing have a close relationship. Harris Interactive conducted a blinkx survey in April 2013 that found that over 40 percent of social network users discuss online video content with friends while they watch it. However, despite this significant relationship, most companies don’t make an association between paid social media campaigns and video. The vast majority of online ads are still text and image ads.
Most advertisers admit that they do not have much experience with video advertising and that the video ads that they have created under-perform. However, more businesses are starting to experiment with the concept. In 2014, almost 70 percent of ad agency executives plan to or are already advertising on YouTube. One quarter intend to run Twitter ads, and 14 percent anticipate running LinkedIn ads. Currently, video ads are not available on Facebook, Instagram, or Vine, although many companies would be interested in video advertising on these sites.
With a wealth of free online advertising channels, why consider paid social media campaigns and video? Keep in mind that you should maximize available free tools including monitoring (i.e., HootSuite) and analytics (i.e., Google Analytics) before you begin to explore paid social ads. Most organizations have to pull funds from an existing source in order to pay for social media ads. You want to ensure that you are pulling from an area that isn’t doing well.
Near the end of 2013, Facebook made some algorithm changes that significantly decreased organic reach for brand posts. Twitter is a public company that must drive revenue in order to survive. Google and Bing both offer paid ads, and Google Plus recently rolled out ads. Companies are under more pressure than ever to pay for sponsored posts in order to maintain a high visibility level.
It is difficult to quantify impressions on videos as well as the reach that a video has when viewers only stick around for the first few seconds. One of the biggest advantages of using video in paid social media campaigns is that there is often an option to pay solely for the ads that people choose to watch. As many channels allow video ads of different lengths, companies have a lot of flexibility in the format for their messages. Just a few popular video ad formats include tutorials or how-to, interactive, informative, and entertaining.
As you weigh different options for paid social media campaigns and video, consider the following factors:
- Option to skip. When viewers can choose to watch or skip the ad, viewership increases. Advertisers who use the skip option see as much as a 50 percent increase in retention.
- Reaching the target audience. Deliver the right message to the right audience to maximize an advertising budget.
Ad length limit. Long ad formats enable greater flexibility for message format and delivery.