5 Tips for Monetizing Online Video Advertising
The use of online video is rapidly becoming mainstream for publishers as well as advertisers. Yet, publishers are still trying to figure out how best to capitalize on this trend and balance how much advertising in your video content is too much and annoying to the viewer.
The Mequoda Group, LLC is an online publishing and consulting company devoted to helping publishers of all forms master the Internet. Adam T. Sutton, managing editor, Mequoda Group, often blogs and writes articles for Mequoda Daily, a free e-mail newsletter, blog and RSS feed that sends five tips a week to more than 6,000 subscribers. He suggests that, especially now because of the increasing popularity of online video, it is important that publishers learn how to monetize this form of advertising.
“That popularity has caused more online publishers to offer video, but unfortunately a best practice for online video advertising has not emerged, yet. Research is still required for publishers to find the ideal video ads that will generate a high response rate for sponsors ….”
Sutton says that publishers that can achieve that delicate balance will continue to attract Web site visitors and high-paying sponsors.
“The best thing publishers can do when trying to monetize online video is to keep their audience’s needs in mind,” he says.
Publishing Executive Inbox asked Sutton for advice on keeping the audience’s needs in mind, and he offered the following five tips:
1) Don’t frustrate the audience.
Avoid ads that are going to frustrate your audience, no matter how much a sponsor is willing to pay for them. It is easy to be blinded by big dollar signs, but don’t forget that your ad revenue is a function of your audience size. If you drive away your audience with annoying, irrelevant ads, then the ad revenue is going to dry up. The goal is to find a balance that keeps your audience and your sponsors happy.
2) Test the waters.
Dip your toe into the water before jumping in. Every new type of ad should be tested before it is fully adopted to avoid annoying your entire audience. Start small with an ad in one video and gradually expand it to others. You can also hold testing labs. Play a video containing an ad for viewers and ask them, “On a scale of one to 10, how obtrusive did you find the advertisement?” Then ask them to rate the ad’s relevancy.
3) Be relevant.
A 30–second clip highlighting the latest and greatest frying pan should not precede a video about skateboarding. However, that ad might do well placed before a video-recipe for key lime pie. Users will respond better to ads targeted to their interests, so match your sponsors’ ads to your videos’ content.
4) Encourage your advertisers to use ads that are entertaining.
Television commercials that only have promotional content cause viewers to change the channel. [Work with your advertisers to] use ads that make people say, “This is my favorite commercial. Everyone come here and see this.” This is the television equivalent of viral marketing online. If the ads you use are funny or interesting, viewers will share them with their friends, which will increase your Web site traffic and your sponsor’s return.
5) Don’t be afraid to try new types of ads.
The traditional 30–second television commercial has been reborn online as the ‘pre-roll’ [online video ads that roll immediately before the content], but many times these ads rub viewers the wrong way.
There are many other types of ads being developed. YouTube recently announced its InVideo ads that feature “animated overlays that appear on the bottom 20 percent of a video. If you’re interested by what you see there, clicking on the overlay launches a deeper interactive video ad that we think is relevant and entertaining,” as explained on the YouTube blog. Research what types of ads are available. Some of them may satisfy your audience and your sponsors more than the traditional television-commercial ads would.