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8 Things to Consider When Selling Video

Generating video advertising revenue is no longer restricted to simply injecting a 30 second TV ad in-front of some content. Publishers, says Andrew Petherick, are becoming smarter as the needs of their advertisers become broader, readers’ tolerance levels become more select, and video technology becomes more sophisticated.

By Andrew Petherick

Our experience in helping publishers make money from video has taught us and our publisher partners many things. While not an exhaustive list, here are some of the basics we’ve all learnt. I hope you find them useful.

1. Video on the web is not like video on TV...

It’s 99% certain most small and medium sized advertisers will have been on the receiving end of an online video marketing campaign at some stage, most likely one that involved a 15 or 30 second TV ad being injected in-front of some content. As a result, many small advertisers think they need a TV style ad to advertise with video. They are wrong. Unlike TV, there are no time restrictions on the web, allowing room for video creative material to be informative, engaging, relaxed, personal and useful rather than creatively snappy, expensive and hard hitting.

2. Some advertisers will assume it costs £10,000+ to make a video...

A few years ago, creating a one minute video involved directors, cameramen, editors and at least one person holding a clipboard. These days, filmmakers have directing, filmmaking and editing skills. That, combined with the onset of technology means costs have plummeted. What used to cost £10,000 can now be achieved for 1/10th of the price.

3. Publishers should consider offering a variety of video products.

In your magazines, newspapers and websites, you offer a variety of positions and shapes of media space costing the advertiser various amounts. The same should apply to video. Work out what you are going to offer and at what price. Video now comes in many forms, from self serve technology where the advertiser creates their own video online, to location based filming. Many of the publishers we supply services to offer video products ranging from £50 - £5,000 ensuring they have a video product for every advertiser budget.

4. Be clear what you’re selling.

If you’re selling video production to your advertisers (in the same way you might design an ad for those without a creative) be clear that they’re paying not just for a video to be produced but the targeted place on which to promote it; often advertisers conveniently forget this fact! Video Direct also offers un-restricted streaming, so video we produce for a publisher’s advertiser is streamed into their own site as well as the publishers, adding considerable value to the package.

5. Many advertisers don’t know they can use video to advertise with; they need to be told.

Unless you make it obvious, advertisers will not know video is part of your media portfolio. You cannot assume advertisers are not interested in video because they’re not enquiring about it. Video will be a new medium to most advertisers and you need to tell them about it. In our publishers’ experience, there’s genuine interest from advertisers when told about video.

6. Advertisers’ pre-existing video is a revenue opportunity you can’t ignore.

Over the next few years, more and more of your advertisers will have a video; this is a potential gold mine for publishers and you need to think where and how you’re going to display it. Having a web-page full of YouTube videos will look amateur – video players like Mothership offer attractive and low cost ways to collate and add value to an advertisers’ video, legitimising any premium price you should be charging for inclusion.

7. Be proud of it - don’t bury it where no-one can see it.

You’ll stand a much better chance of success when selling video if the potential advertiser can find other video easily on your site. Don’t bury video deep in a directory where no-one can find it.

8. Don’t get too clever, too early.

There are many new video innovations being developed by us (and others) that publishers will be able to benefit commercially from. For instance, we’re working with one publisher on a micro-payment model where viewers pay £2-£3 to view content. Data capture through video is also on the horizon, as is augmented reality. Most of the publishers we’re working with are right to learn how to walk first though; not because they lack the sophistication but because their advertisers do. Blinding advertisers with complex video products will confuse them; tempt them with simple and quality video production first. There’s plenty of time for wizardry later!