Video Marketing: Three Things We Need to Get Right in 2019

Jan 14, 2019


Article ImageOn average, we spend nearly seven hours a week watching online video – or roughly the length of the original Star Wars trilogy. That’s an increase of one hour in just 12 months. When you consider how drastically online consumption habits have changed, this should come as no surprise. 

Thanks to social media, readers have grown accustomed to a premier content experience that is tailored to their device and incredibly engaging. This has “raised the bar,” so-to-speak, and challenged publishers and marketers to offer equally engaging, if not superior, content. Video has been a surefire way to offer that deeper, more visual experience readers have grown accustomed to. In fact, when describing the meteoric rise of video advertising, Forbes’ contributor TJ McCue said, “it is nearly unstoppable.” 

There is a world of untapped potential in video and I truly believe we’ve only scratched the surface of what this medium is capable of. But we can’t be complacent. While we’re heading in the right direction, publishers and advertisers will struggle to stay effective unless we make some fundamental shifts together as an industry. 

Video today is already eclipsing the written word, and, if we get things right, the video of tomorrow could be even more disruptive. Here are three opportunities to address in 2019. 

Become Vertically Inclined

Some 94% of us hold our phone vertically, but the majority of content providers haven’t yet taken the leap into vertical video...although Netflix did introduce vertical mobile 30-second previews back in April. I hope it’s a sign of streams to come. 

While creating content in portrait mode can impose creative challenges, early evidence from brands like Hyundai and ESPN support the argument for change. It’s a more natural way for humans to engage, and it does allow for more intimate experiences better attuned to the viewing habits of the Instagram generation. 

Publishers and advertisers may find it hard to justify the heavy investment that the vertical video format will need, but solutions have come to market to make it easier for all parties to incorporate vertical video into their content strategies. I hope to see even more opportunities and creative experiences for vertical video become available in 2019. 

Take Transparency To The Next Level

Research by Google suggests that fraudsters impersonating publisher inventory on ad exchanges are responsible for up to 700 million false ad requests per day, costing publishers up to $1.27 billion a year. To combat this, the IAB Tech Lab introduced the ads.txt initiative to easily identify the seller accounts of ad networks and exchanges.0

Several new approaches – like some interesting blockchain use cases – are aiming to bring higher levels of transparency to the industry. Take server-to-server integration, for example. It enables the publisher to streamline the auction bidding process to the ad vendor’s server, reducing the number of partners the publisher has to deal with, and enables them to track campaign performance on a single system. 

All signs point towards a more streamlined route between the buyer and seller, but we need to go further. For true transparency, the reselling that happens today (even with ads.txt) needs to end. IAB initiatives like ads.Cert, which will limit the sale of an impression to the original seller, should be our top priority. And the sooner we get there, the better.

Think About Video Like We Do Social

Publishers are still looking for ways to detangle themselves from the walled gardens, especially after Facebook announced a decided step away from content discovery. The challenge will be to do so in a way that doesn’t detract from the overall reader experience. Up until now, publishers have been able to create a great feedback loop with readers via social media, and even customize the content shown.

Video is a natural way to maintain an immersive content experience, and we’re only just starting to unlock its full potential. It may seem far-fetched to offer the “Instagram experience” outside of Instagram, but it’s only a matter of time before this level of interactivity is commonplace across the web. Publishers and advertisers alike need to take a hard look at their tech stack to ensure they are acquiring the tools and technology needed (like interactive video) to enter the new era of socially-enhanced content. 


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