A few years ago video was very hot in the local segment. It was a high-margin advertising product being sold by directory publishers and others — remember SpotRunner?
That all died down as video producers went out of business or evolved (e.g., TurnHere) and local media sellers saw demand decline amid uncertain ROI. At that time video was largely a branding/vanity play for SMBs.
Now video is back in a huge way.
At the enterprise level, brands and agencies are shifting budgets from TV to digital video. Mobile device adoption, changing consumer behavior and the rise of “over-the-top” content providers (e.g., Netflix, YouTube, Hulu) has powered this shift. In turn, precision online targeting and retargeting has made “addressable TV” effectively a reality for digital video.
There’s no question about the digital video opportunity for brands. Various forecasts argue that digital video will drive billions in ad revenues over the next few years (often at the expense of traditional TV). But what about local? Will that follow the same trajectory?
The answer to both questions is “yes.” As I wrote on the LSA blog in May, video is “A Big Marketing Opportunity Most SMBs and Their Vendors Miss.” YouTube and Facebook in particular offer myriad local video opportunities for SMBs and their vendors.
In May Google talked about the explosive growth of “how-to” searches on YouTube. The company said that these searches have grown 70% year over year. Many of these queries are being generated on mobile devices by people with an immediate need: “91% of smartphone users turn to their smartphone for ideas while doing a given task.”
SMBs get multiple benefits from posting video that answers common questions or demonstrates how-to accomplish a specific task. First you’re getting people who have a clear need and may turn into customers. Furthermore, the content is by definition within the realm of an SMB’s own expertise. With YouTube comes an SEO benefit. Finally the video content can be shared or posted across multiple social channels.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said on the company’s recent earnings call that more than 1 million videos had been uploaded by SMBs to Facebook. This type of video content is very different than the “vanity” ads created for SMBs in the digital video 1.0 era of a few years ago.
Borrell Associates has forecast that local online video will be worth more than $9 billion by 2018.
Which local-SMB categories will be most likely to spend? How much of this money will flow through programmatic buying channels? Which local media channels are in the best position to capitalize? What makes video different from other ad units?
Join LSA tomorrow at 2pm Eastern/11 Pacific for a thought-provoking and wide-ranging webinar look at the new local-video opportunity. You’ll hear about the latest forecast, market data and local case studies from:
- Corey Elliott, Director of Research, Borrell Associates
- Michael Taylor, Director Business Development, Thrive Analytics
- Mike Osborne, President and COO, bieMEDIA
- Greg Sterling, VP Strategy & Insights, LSA