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Should I Be Doing Online Video Ads?

Category : online marketing


video.jpgI’m starting to come around to the idea. You’ve most likely seen one of those banner ads that all of sudden starts playing a video advertisement right next to you as you’re trying to read something. Admittedly, I can’t help but take notice and I’m pretty sure you’re also taking notice. This means small business marketers might need to get familiar with this trend and plan for the day their static banner ads are extinct.

eMarketer recently reported that half of the US population will watch online video by next year. Additionally, they also reported that video ad spending will increase 89% over last year to reach $775 million this year.

“One is the uncertainty about what the audience will accept, with questions about where in the content the ad will run and how long it will run for,” said David Hallerman, a senior analyst and author of the report. “The other is the difficulty gathering together enough video ad inventory, with questions about ad placement and how to monetize the billions of user-generated video streams.”

I did a quick search to see what other bloggers had to say about this and I found some interesting opinions. Howard Owens questions what “professionally produced” means in a study he reference while Andy Beal questions if online video advertising can really have this type of growth when mediums such as search marketing are easier to implement and are more accountable. In another article, Michael Pick has a great outline of a new online video advertising service from LiveRail.

I’m at the information gathering phase right now for video advertising. Here are some of my questions:

  • How feasible is it to produce a set of videos for online video advertising?
  • What are the costs associated with the production?
  • How long or short should they be?
  • In what formats should they be produced and how do you optimize for online delivery?
  • How do you get across branding, messaging, etc. in the short video?

I could go on and on. But, the good news for you is that I’ll eventually find the answers I need and report back. In the meantime, have you experimented with video advertising and if so, can you share your experience and give the rest of us some tips?

Comments (8)

Should I Be Doing Online Video Ads?…

I’m starting to come around to the idea. You’ve most likely seen one of those banner ads that all of sudden starts playing a video advertisement right next to you as you’re trying to read something….

I’m not totally sold on the idea of video banner ads. In a sense, they’re like TV commercials, but more intrusive and harder to ignore. That intrusiveness can be seen as either an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on who your target market is, and what sites you’re placing the ads on.

I know that, personally, if I land on a site and a video ad starts playing, the very first thing I do is to turn the ad off (or at least mute it, if there is no “stop” option). If you’re marketing to tech/net savvy people, their reaction will likely be the same.

If you’re advertising to people who aren’t as internet savvy, they might not realize that they can turn off the ad, and will be more likely to pay attention to it (or they might just navigate away from the page).

Of course, this is all conjecture on my part. If I see numbers that contradict what I’m saying, I might change my mind.

One place where I think video ads have great potential is on other video sites. I can’t think of an example off the top of my head, but I know that a lot of free video content sites make you watch a 30 second ad before the video you’re looking for starts playing. In this situation, you have a potentially captive audience, because they HAVE to watch the ad in order to watch the video that they actually came for. In a way, this is similar to TV ads.

Given the expectations for video to become one of the main media on the internet (if not the dominant medium), I can see this form of video ad becoming more popular. It might be effective, but something about it rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s all the time I’ve spent working with social media marketing, but something about trying to force your ad on an audience bothers me.


I am a terrible subject for your research as there are two things I do daily that override video ads: reading and writing. To be honest, I know sound is coming from somewhere, but I totally block it out.

Am I a rare bird? How common is this? Those are two questions you might want to add to your list.

Good thoughts and I think your viewpoint is more common than you think. There is so much happening on web pages these days that the need to focus and block out is increasing daily.

Thanks for your comments. To be honest, I’m not sure where video ads play best yet. I like your thought of less savvy browsers getting pulled in more often.

As with writing, it will boil down to content and how quickly a message can be sent. I’ll be curious to watch this industry grow.

Hey Patrick,

I came across some information that you might find useful. Graphs and stats re: online video.


Wow! Great information, Adam. Thanks for passing that on.

You’re welcome, Pat. I figured: I have the info, why not share it? :D