Are you still skeptical? Look at it this way. Back in the day, we relied primarily on classic 30-second spots. While some ads were memorable, 30 seconds is hardly enough time to tell a compelling story about a brand or product. With the advent of digital content marketing, we now have the luxury of creating videos of up to five minutes to tell a more compelling brand story that resonates with the target audience. Creatives have waited their whole lives for this opportunity – to become an auteur who creates more meaningful ads that speak the same language as the consumers they are very accurately targeting.
Even better is the opportunity to get real-time feedback on how online video ads are performing. Did people watch the whole thing or did they click off midway through? Did they share it with others? Did they rewind it and watch it again? This data allows advertisers to make campaign changes on the fly, often turning garden-variety ads into viral videos that deliver brand lift and immediate buzz across social channels.
But let’s get back to the concept of choice for a moment. Giving people the power to choose to watch your ad or not creates an unspoken trust between the brand and the consumer. In essence, the advertiser is respecting the time and the content preferences of the consumer, which engenders an automatic good will for the brand in question. If your ad network platform is doing targeting properly, chances are your content is being delivered to the right person at the right time with the right message. And isn’t that the Holy Grail of advertising?
Choice-based advertising is often the key to wildly popular viral video ads. When agency teams evaluate new campaign ideas, a key criterion is “will someone go to YouTube or Facebook or Twitter and share this with others?” Advertisers need to create content that people want to share with friends and family -- so it must have the depth, scope or relevance to get people sharing and talking. But the simple fact of the matter is this: If someone of her own free will chose to watch the ad in the first place, the chances are far greater that he or she will share it with their network than if it was foisted upon them.
By creating and producing video content that’s shared and discussed among like-minded people, marketers create deep, meaningful engagement with consumers. And it’s not engagement for entertainment’s sake; it’s engagement for the sake of persuasion and action. Since consumers are already online, they can move effortlessly from a particular piece of content to the brand or product website to learn more, find out where to buy, or order a product directly. Meanwhile, by measuring the behavior of consumers in the process, agency creatives can receive immediate feedback about what’s working and what’s not working, creating an infinite loop of constant improvement.
The brave new choice-based world keeps opening up new doors for brands, agencies and publishers alike. Let’s walk through them together.