While CPG marketers have not embraced digital marketing strategies as quickly as other marketers, the growth of online video has definitely drawn them into the game. In the last few years, video content has become essential for any consumer marketing campaign, and the results are hard to ignore. comScore reports that 100 million Americans watch online video daily, up 43 percent since 2010. Pew Research reports that 71 percent of online adults watch videos on a video-sharing site, such as YouTube. CatapultRPM's annual Digital Shopper Marketing (DSM) study reports that “watching a video” is the top digital activity that shoppers engaged in at home prior to shopping.
When it comes to advertising dollars, video advertising platform YuMe found that CPG brands have led the pack, spending more on advertising than any other group. In 2012, YuMe again found CPG brands leading in online video ad spending, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all dollars spent. In the last quarter, CPG video viewership rose sharply from Q2, according to research from 33Across and CPG consumers watched 44 percent more content. That's a lot of eyeballs, and it has been shown to pay off with increased CPG sales.
For CPG firms working with Web video, direct advertising is only part of the mix. Instructional and educational videos foster brand loyalty and help inform viewers about how to use products. Conversational videos offer product information for consumers. Videos also help support cause marketing campaigns, like the recent Cesar Dog Food videos for therapy dogs.
How can CPG firms use video to better connect with shoppers, and how should it be handled? Here are three easy ways to jump in.
A number of software vendors, including Ooyala, thePlatform, Brightcove, and VMIX Media offer cross-device Web video solutions complete with analytics and monetization options. The ability to track unique and repeat site visitors, videos watched, time spent watching, and click-throughs to other site pages or products is invaluable to CPG firms to correlate increased revenue with online media campaigns. Hosting video on your own site also enables more robust tracking metrics for viewership, click-throughs to separate product pages, and ads served. The Pampers “A Parent Is Born” webisodes that ran on YouTube, the Pampers Village Website and on Direct TV on Demand show the value of a TV-Web crossover. For Halloween, Mars incorporated online video into its shopper marketing efforts with Walmart, using the new Jingit mobile payment and engagement platform for participants to earn cash for watching ads online. And Pepsi Pulse uses streaming video as a dashboard for pop culture.
As stand-alone sites, YouTube, Vimeo, Metacafe, Blip, and Crackle make it easier to share content across mobile devices without altering or scaling mobile Web sites to fit video content. With the right tags and paid promotional slots on various landing pages on these sites, content on these platforms becomes discoverable in a way that embedding directly into a CPG Web property cannot be. Advertising can also link viewers of other videos to your content or channel page. P&G, for example, links to its YouTube channel from its home page.
Content can also be embedded elsewhere, which means CPG sites can link to the videos and encourage embedding and sharing on forums, blogs, and other Web sites. They can even embed these videos on their own sites, like this Kimberly Clark Kotex YouTube video.
Let the crowds join in
When companies create videos for download and remixing by fans and consumers, the possibilities for viral video exposure grow exponentially. When Cadbury's 2009 Eyebrows video came out, a number of spoofs popped up. Sometimes, firms even learn from consumer-produced videos -- this Tide commercial based on a funny fan video is an example. Tracking analytics on third-party sites can require additional legwork and tends to offer a less comprehensive overview of viewership. While YouTube offers analytics, for example, its data is far less comprehensive than reports from Brightcove.
As online video watching plays a growing role in the shopping experience and the technology to support and measure the results of video campaigns improves, the possibilities for CPG brands to successfully integrate online video into their market.