Why marketers should invest half their budgets into video advertising.

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The words ‘invest’ and ‘advertising’ rarely appear in the same heading, but they should.
There has always been a silent battle within organisations between two hemispheres of thinking, namely a financial and measurement function (the role of the CFO) and a brand equity and consumer relationship function (the role of the CMO).This ‘undercurrent’ is best described by the most used quote marketers love to hate by British soap manufacturer William Lever who said: “I know half my advertising isn’t working, I just don’t know which half.” Now this was back in the 1880’s and it is still being used 135 years later. Mr Lever continued to advertise because he believed that it was an investment.Here are five reasons digital video is growing – and will continue to grow – as a percentage of total advertising investment:1. Video is the new day-time TV and cinema

Digital video is the new day-time-TV. However unlike day-time TV where the audience is mainly unemployed or house parents, video reaches an affluent audience of employed people who view video while they commute to and from work, while at work, and increasingly after work.

Video advertising is the new cinema advertising. The cost to watch video only requires a connected device (smartphone, PC, laptop or tablet) and fast enough data. Unlike cinema, popcorn and Slush Puppies are optional.

2. Creative insights that connect

Digital video will help reposition the advertising industry because the 30-second television commercial (TVC) will be replaced with more bespoke online video content and advertising.

What better way to test a campaign than by first running it online targeting a specific demographic or interest group?

What message do we need to consider for consumers that watch the video on their mobile phone, tablets and on their PC while at work? Do we need to consider different actors and actresses to target different audience demographics, interests and times of day?

3. More senses equals more emotion towards a brand

Online video is the only advertising medium that captures three senses instead of just one or two. Video appeals to the senses of sight, sound and touch. Viewers can interact during or after watching the video. Television, on the other hand, will get more expensive, is creatively subjective and can rarely be planned to succeed in advance.

The ability to measure the interactions with video and to target a message to a specific audience are the two most powerful attributes of video.

4. Diverse your media investment

Just under half of all advertising spend in South Africa is spent with only two media owners, namely the SABC and Multichoice (DStv). I am sure these statistics are similar in other countries around the world (please share with me below).

YouTube is the primary source of digital video advertising, Facebook (with their R400m+ acquisition of LiveRail) and Yahoo (with their $640m acquisition of BrightRoll) provide other channels for delivering scalable video to global, African and South African audiences.

While online usage in South Africa has increased by 300% over the past four years, all other media have stayed flat. In the case of cinema, usage has decreased substantially. There is still a large void between time spent online and ad spend online. The biggest reasons for this are fear of change, old structures (organisational and budgets) and misaligned business models.

With the future of audience research in the balance with television broadcasters funding their own research, marketers need to consider what is in their own best interest and that of their consumers. They need to allocate and diversify all media investments, especially when it comes to managing future constraints such as inflation and advertising effectiveness in a more fragmented and connected media landscape.

5. ‘Live’ experiences entertain an audience

You can’t click on a TV ad, however now you can tweet about it or Shazam it.

Video ads provide a scalable and interactivity experience especially when ads are created specifically for the consumer taking into consideration the context of their content consumption. More and more online and offline experiences and events will drive audiences to viewing and creating video.

You don’t have to look much further than the game and music industries to see how important it is to stay relevant to your audience. More recently video games connect people virtually, and music connects people physically. The fact that some of the most famous YouTubers review games is an example of this virtual experience. The fact that musicians make more money from touring than from music sales is an example of this physical experience.

‘Live’ virtual and physical experiences that are shared audiovisually will grow. Look no further than what live broadcasting apps Periscope and Meerkat have done in this space.

As the saying goes: “Good Times, Bad Times, Advertise.”

Reach and frequency are still important metrics but the most important future metric will be engagement. Make sure that you invest your time and money wisely so you can account for all 100% of your advertising, so that you grow your business by increasing your advertising investment with technologies like video at your disposal.