Online Video Advertising Levels Playing Field for SMBs - Page 2

By Daniel Casciato
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Types of Video Ads

The two types of online video ads prevalent on the Web today are called pre-roll and overlay.

"Pre-roll ads have to be 15 seconds or less, or you'll have people opting out of the experience altogether, which serves no one well," explained Wayne. "Overlay ads pop out at the bottom while the video is playing and will often persist for anywhere from five to 15 seconds over the video. They're less intrusive to the viewer, however they tend to be much less effective in terms of driving conversion."

Wayne encourages pre-roll ads for sites that have high-value content. "It's more effective and the audience will put up with a pre-roll ad because they really want to see the content. Where you tend to have lower value content, an overlay ad is much more successful. In that case, the ad duration is more important because it's less invasive in terms of the experience."

Tips on Producing an Effective Ad

Like any innovative marketing tool, when applied correctly and strategically, online video advertising has great potential. Denisco offers three tips for producing an online advertisement.

"Keep the video short. You don't want to overwhelm the viewer," he said. "Also, keep it honest because the viewer will know when you're being truthful. Finally, show the consumers what your business is all about. If it's a serious business, show a serious business. If it's a fun type of business, then show it as a fun type of business."

Josh Martin, the director of emerging media at ID Media, a direct response and digital services media agency, believe that while a wide range of businesses use online video ads to supplement their marketing efforts, the practice remains underutilized.

"Online video advertising has strong potential in the food industry, especially restaurants," he said. "More consumers have broadband connections, which means you can run a video ad alongside a banner ad with a coupon. This could be great way to distribute coupons and increase in-store traffic, especially for small retailers and restaurants."

Is Online Video Advertising Right for You?

Online video advertising is only beneficial if used by the right kind of company, said Richard Dovere, managing partner of Hardin Design & Development, a full service Internet management and marketing firm.

"Online video advertising is extremely advantageous for companies introducing innovative concepts and products that demand explanation both through audio and visual communication," Dovere said. "It presents messages in a setting that is more conducive to the target watching the video beginning to end than other mediums like television."

On the other hand, Dovere believes that not all products require online video advertising when other forms of Internet advertising will do, such as banner ads. He recommends considering two points before deciding whether online video advertising is an avenue to pursue.

"If online video advertising production doesn't meet a high professional standard, its poor quality will potentially hurt a company’s image," he said. "Additionally, a large portion of people still don't have broadband capabilities, which means that online video advertising will not reach as many viewers as other Internet marketing tools."

Daniel Casciato is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to writing for Small Business Computing, he writes legal, medical, real estate and technology-related articles for trade and consumer publications and has his own copywriting business. For more information, visit www.danielcasciato.com.

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This article was originally published on June 04, 2008
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