November 24, 2015

Written by Mark Smith

When It Comes to Paid Video Search, Listen to Mom

In Video Search - Listen to your mom's adviceBy now you’ve probably heard the declaration that 2015 is the “year of video marketing.” The pundits declared it, the headlines have screamed and the actual numbers are certainly making a good case for it. Of course, all this talk is making marketers nervous as they fear they’re being left behind.

That’s why in times like these it’s important to remember the wise words of your mother.

Nearly all of us at one time or another begged to be allowed to do something or see something or go somewhere because all the other kids were doing it. And what was the universal response of all mothers everywhere? “If your friends were jumping off the roof, would you do it too?”

Yes, video is growing and presents a wide range of opportunities for savvy marketers. But like anything else, you still need to be sure you have a reason for getting into paid video search. Here’s a look at what’s driving the trend, as well as the factors that will help you decide whether it makes sense for your organization, and provide some ideas on what to do if it does.

Explosive growth

There is no dispute that video is rapidly overtaking text and images as the preferred method for consuming content on the Internet. Video already accounts for 64 percent of all Web traffic, and that figure is expected to rise to 80 percent by 2019.

Part of the reason for this growth is the continued use of mobile to watch video. For example, YouTube says half of all views of its content are on mobile devices. As more videos become mobile-friendly, and wireless connections get faster, you can expect that figure to continue to rise.

But it’s not just about greater availability. Forrester estimates that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words of text as far as the message communicated. That’s pretty attractive to marketers in their ever-present quest to break through the clutter.

The big attraction of video to marketers, though, is that it is currently the road less traveled. Traditional paid search has become ultra-competitive (and expensive), in part as a result of developments such as close variant matching (CVM). As search results are broadened to the “close enough” level, more marketers are jumping in. Since fewer organizations are taking advantage of video search, eyeballs can be acquired for a relative bargain. Mom would appreciate that thriftiness.

While these numbers may make your eyes bulge, remember – it’s not as simple as posting a clever cat video to attract your audience. (Though cat videos, inexplicably, always seem to do well.) Just like with mobile marketing, you still need to get people to your videos, then measure the effectiveness of each one. If you know the tools to use – and how to use them – you can track the path from a video view all the way through to a purchase.

In my next post, we will look at some of those tools and how savvy marketers are using them for last-click conversion measurements. This is one instance where Mom would encourage you to do what the other kids are doing.