Since the earliest days of television, the medium of video has all but dominated the world of marketing. As the decades rolled by, TV commercials have become the standard against which all other marketing channels were compared. TV commercials have also brought us some of the most iconic examples of pure advertising joy, like the legendary TV ad for Golf GTI from the late 1980s.
As marketing started turning to the internet some time ago, video sort of fell out of favor for many marketing people. Sure, TV ads have still gone on, but the web leveled the playing field for smaller companies whose marketing budgets could not cover production of video content or its placement.
All of a sudden, they could reach huge numbers of people, without video.
Thanks to the speeding up of the internet, the leap in computational power of an average computer and increasingly cheaper video recording equipment, video is entering its Golden Online Age as well.
So, what are the current trends in digital video marketing and where might we see it go in years to come?
The Complex World of Online Video Ads
One of the most prominent recent video marketing storylines has been the criticism that has been aimed at Google, Facebook and other publishers whose “unique” approach to calculating the reach of video ads has been put on the hot seat by some truly big names in branding and marketing.
In a series of talks that Mark Ritson has given recently, he very effectively demonstrated what amounted to a digital video view according to the publishers.
The part on the digital views starts at 30:50.
He demonstrates that the digital view (such as defined by Facebook, one of the biggest publishers of digital video ads) lasts for three seconds, without sound, with only a single pixel visible. He is not exaggerating. This is what companies are paying for as a view of a video ad on Facebook.
P&G’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard also included scathing remarks on video measurement standards and other transparency problems of digital video advertising as part of his IAB ALM speech.
The current trend is definitely one of disillusionment with the promised wonders of hyper-targeting and reach of digital video. While some of it can and probably will be corrected by adopting certain objective and independently-regulated standards, we are still a long way from a stable digital video ad ecosystem where companies will know exactly where their money has gone and what kind of brand exposure they received for their money.
New Technologies in Video Marketing
While the situation with digital video marketing is complicated when it comes to the publishing and reach, the situation on the technology front is quite different. More precisely, we are seeing an explosion in quality video content that has been initiated by a number of technological leaps that have made such high-quality video content more affordable to produce.
For one, the advancements made in the recording capabilities of affordable cameras have been simply staggering over the last decade or so. A high-end smartphone is nowadays capable of recording video that had required professional video equipment just ten years ago. The same goes for video processing and editing software which has become much more affordable thanks to new pricing models and the increased computing powers of an average desktop computer. Organizations are now leveraging video to connect with their audiences in a more meaningful way. From branding and marketing, to managing a remote workforce, to recruiting new talent with video interview software; video has become an undeniable force in the business world.
Another recent development that has enabled some truly amazing video content is the proliferation of drones that can be used to film scenes that would have used aerial photography in the past. Videos shot by drones truly do look amazing and they can turn the smallest business into a serious operation, playing with our preconceived notions of what big-budget videos look like. Drones are especially popular in the real estate industry where they can be used to shoot photos of the property or to do video marketing of a property, giving potential buyers an unprecedented insight into what the property looks like.
We are also witnessing the second coming of virtual reality, although the quantifier second is probably not correct as we have seen a reemergence of this particular video technology for at least a few times in previous decades. The things are different this time around as the gear needed to enjoy VR content has finally been made actually wearable without one’s neck snapping after a couple of minutes. Also, thanks to the overall improvement in video quality, the current VR marketing campaigns make for a truly spectacular experience.
At the moment, digital video marketing is at a turning point. On the one hand, producing spectacular content has never been cheaper and easier and many companies are taking advantage of it. On the other hand, reaching potential customers with this content is a veritable minefield that has to be cleared up somewhat before we get some clarity.
The good news is that, if past is anything to go by, things will be standardized in the future and great video content will get its fair share of attention.