As brands continue to open their minds and wallets to new types of entertaining video content, many social sites have responded by creating innovative new ad experiences to accommodate this content. But the vast majority of online publishers are still making money through the web's earliest incarnations of advertising inventory: interruptive video and display ads.
This is about to change. With more budget than ever being shifted to social marketing and engagement strategies, I anticipate major changes to the way we experience branded content across the web. Here's a quick look at what's ahead:
1. Organic experiences. Publishers will begin offering ad experiences that feel like content and fit organically within the site experience. Visionary USV co-founder Fred Wilson recently put out a rally cry for "native monetization," a theme that fits squarely into our vision for a future driven by content, not ads.
2. Enhanced discoverability. Look for more sponsored content experiences that allow people to explore and discover entertaining branded videos rather than having a video ad "pushed" at them in an interruptive manner.
3. Greater social context. We know that embedding social graph features within the brand content experience dramatically increases engagement and sharing - as more publishers catch on, you'll see nearly every experience highlight connections between the brand and the user's friends and followers.
With brands going to extraordinary lengths to create video content that entertains and inspires - and putting substantial budget behind distribution - publishers need to be equally innovative with their ad experiences. Choice and discovery are becoming core attributes to content-driven media experiences, and in turn advertisers are embracing the environments that help their content thrive.
Dan Greenberg is co-founder and CEO of social video ad company Sharethrough. Dan is moderating a panel at Advertising Week on October 5th entitled "The Viral Business - How Brands Can Create Online Video Hit Machines."