For marketers, 2013 marks a shift in online advertising—to bigger budgets, sounder metrics and a continuing focus on brand advertising that we identified last year. According to the 2013 Online Advertising Performance Outlook, a report produced jointly by Vizu, a Nielsen company, and the CMO Council, advertisers are changing how they view the online medium. Long the bastion for direct response, marketers are now embracing online for branding purposes aimed at shifting consumer perception.
In 2013, advertisers project brand ad spending to grow more quickly than direct response. Sixty-three percent of marketers project that the dollars allocated to online brand advertising will grow in 2013, and one in five believes the increase will exceed 20 percent. These numbers are in line with what Vizu saw in marketers’ 2012 projections, demonstrating continued momentum on this front.
Roughly half (51%) of marketers also expect spending on direct response to increase in 2013. One in four stated that increase will exceed 20 percent; however, 41 percent say their digital direct response advertising budget will stay the same as last year.
While brand marketers are projecting overall growth in brand ad spending in 2013, they are also predicting their spending in particular digital channels will grow faster than others. Nearly three-quarters (70%) of brand marketers plan to increase their use of social media in 2013, followed closely by mobile advertising (69%) and video advertising (64%).
These numbers are all up from 2012 projections, indicating a continued shift toward the channels where consumers are spending an ever-increasing amount of their time. And the brands aren’t alone in their thinking. Agencies are also projecting growth in mobile advertising (81%) and video advertising (73 percent), followed by social (57%).
There’s no doubt that digital advertising is on the rise as more advertisers and agencies begin to understand and accept the opportunities the medium brings. How they use digital, however, will continue to evolve.
Whether your company is selling a product or service, professional video testimonials have the power to swing purchasing decisions in your favour in a big way. Here’s why:
Consumers have a voracious appetite for video
Video consumption is increasing year after year: 92 per cent of Canadians now tune in at home or work, according to comScore, with more consumers scouring the second-largest search engine, YouTube, for business, service and product information.
Furthermore, video seems to offer a higher degree of authenticity as it allows viewers to see and hear from a client delivering the testimonial.
Real recommendations rock
You may think your products and services are great, but do your customers feel the same way? The reason platforms such as TripAdvisor and Yelp are so popular is that they present real stories about customer experiences and feedback, which carry a lot more weight than what a company has to say about itself.
Establish trust with the brand
Giving your clients the opportunity to offer their opinions adds a powerful layer of transparency to your brand. Viewers can watch real people provide genuine feedback, and the topics they cover will often address their main concerns about your business.
Content is king
When working with a company to produce your business’s video testimonials, it’s important to be clear on your messaging. Vague testimonials won’t spark the same response as topic-specific testimonials.
For example, if you have a car dealership, you may want to focus on questions such as: What was the experience like working with your sales team? How much money did your customers save? How did they find the process of buying a car through your dealership? What exactly do you love about your car? Why would they recommend others work with your clients?
Any unique features you would promote about your business tend to be great areas around which to produce testimonial videos.
An effective selling tool
If positioned properly, professional-looking videos are some of the most powerful tools a business can have in its marketing toolbox. The top places to promote your testimonial videos are: on your website, on relevant social media platforms, in e-mail signature, in-store displays, presentations, trade shows, client quotes and proposals.
Loyal clients will be happy to help
Video is such a powerful vehicle to communicate experience, and using it strategically will work wonders for any business. Leverage your loyal customers by asking them to provide testimonials about your business. If the video testimonials come across as honest and trustworthy, more and more potential customers will respond, translating into great results for your bottom line.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Lisa Ostrikoff is a TV journalist and anchor-turned-creator of BizBOXTV, a Canadian online video production, advertising and social media marketing agency.
According to new consumer research from the e-tailing group and Invodo, 57% of online consumers feel more confident when watching product videos before making purchases online. This is an increase of nearly 10% over last year’s online video survey.
Confident shoppers are happy shoppers, and online video helps to create positive sentiments towards your brand. This feeling likely stems from video’s ability to show and demonstrate the product in a realistic environment: more than 2 out of 3 shoppers claimed that video helped them to understand how the product really works. It’s tough to buy something online without being able to try it out like you could in a store, but video helps to bridge that gap.
In addition, shoppers are also increasingly likely to be driven to purchase (40%, up from 31%), to purchase more (44%, up from 37%), and to shop again (45%, up from 41%) with retailers who provide online video. It also doesn’t hurt that increased confidence translates to reduced returns. All of these are great for the retailer – who can argue with more sales more often? And that’s not even taking the effects of a satisfied consumer, including positive reviews and brand loyalty, into account.
Shoppers more likely to buy products after viewing them online.
Shoppers who view online video are “174 percent more likely to purchase” than viewers who don’t, according to a research white paper developed by invodo, which said the online viewing trend will mature and explode in 2013.
The white paper, entitled “Video Statistics: The Marketer’s Summary,” comes to the conclusion that retailers must use video to demonstrate their products across a bevy of platforms and must stay tuned to the latest technology and professional services.
“Video generates purchases by bringing shoppers closer to the product. It provides a rich sensory experience (color, motion and sound) along with relevant context (scale and demonstration),” the white paper stated. “Because of this, customers are more confident to purchase.”
According to the white paper, consumers expect to see product videos this year and expect them to be readily available without technological restriction.
“Users aren’t concerned with form factors, devices or operating systems; they simply want product video available on-demand on computers, tablets, smartphones and Internet-connected televisions,” the report concluded. “As new platforms and tools emerge, retailers must make content available across channels in order to maintain needed consistency for the omnichannel consumer.”
According to the company’s research, 52 percent of consumers say watching product videos make them more confident in their online purchase decision. And, it said, people are willing to watch video to learn what they need to know before making a purchase.
“More than three out of five consumers will spend at least two minutes watching an online video that educates them about a product they plan to purchase and 37 percent will watch for more than three minutes,” the research found.
The researchers also found that mobile and tablet shoppers are three times as likely to look at an online video as laptop and desktop users, with 28 percent of smartphone owners watching videos on their devices in an average month and 49 percent watching at least one product video.
It’s gotten to the point, the researchers concluded, that online video is important enough that it needs professional attention going beyond the social media aspects that have long dominated the online video space.
“Professionally produced online video optimized for eCommerce outperforms user-generated video by 30 percent, delivering a 24.7 percent lift as compared with an 18.7 percent lift for the UGC video,” the report said.
Broadcast-television ratings have dropped sharply this season. And that, combined with the weak economy and competition from other media, augurs badly for the spring ad-sales market, ad buyers and analysts say.
More TV ad dollars are expected to move to cable channels, a shift that has accelerated in the past couple of years. But both broadcast and cable television are facing more intense competition from online media, including Web video outlets.
Ratings declines have some marketers rethinking their ad-buying strategies, ad buyers said. Some are expected to shift money to cable channels, they said. While ratings have declined at some cable channels, ad prices on cable tend to be lower than on broadcast TV, according to ad buyers. In some cases, the Web could take a share of those dollars. “Advertisers have seen a significant shortage of ratings, and some are willing to take some money and move it online,” said John Muszynski, chief investment officer at ad company Publicis Groupe.
Facebook reached a new high last month with almost 558 million video views, according to comScore’s February 2013 US Online Video Rankings.
For the month, Facebook was second with 61.2 million unique video viewers — well behind Google/YouTube’s 150.6 million uniques. Facebook’s 558 million video views was third overall, way behind Google/YouTube’s 11.3 billion and AOL with 570 million video views. Facebook is near the bottom when it comes to engagement, with an average of 19.9 minutes per viewer (MPV) during February. The only Top 10 video site with lower engagement is Amazon at 12.6 MPV.
Facebook video production views wasn’t the only online video record last month. ComScore says Google/YouTube set a new high with more than 2.2 billion video ads delivered in February — almost a quarter of the overall 9.9 billion video ads that were shown during the month.
Are you looking for a company to create your business/brand’s Facebook Video Production?