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Video Advertising Options for Your Business

Video Advertising Options for Your Business

I want to assure everyone that I don’t have a thing for Amazon. I mean yes, I did write a blog last month for my sports business regarding their recent moves in the RSN space. I also recently wrote a blog on streaming TV back in September where they had some prominence but that doesn’t mean they are the only thing happening in media and sports right now.

Or are they?

A couple of weeks ago, Amazon announced that they are changing the game and giving viewers this option: pay an extra $3 a month on your Prime membership or be subjected to… wait for it… video ads.

What is the impact of streaming services on local TV advertisers?

Industry experts estimate that approximately 30% of prime members will opt for the extra charge. These same experts or perhaps some different ones estimate that this change will make the company that already has too much money an additional $5 billion dollars annually.

Yep, streaming… which was sold to us as different from cable is now becoming cable. Go figure. The difference is the ease of time-shifting and the ala carte nature of what your new monthly bill looks like.

You’d have to be living in a cave or perhaps still trying to park at the Phoenix Open to see this as a surprise. Hulu and Netflix went there last year as did our friends at Disney+. If you read the article I referenced above you’d have memorized the share of viewing Amazon Prime represents. Candidly, it’s not all that impressive (3.3% of all TV viewing) but it’s got two things that all the rest of the streaming platforms don’t have: the bundling of a rapid product delivery service and consumer data.

That means we’re on the precipice of getting ads served to us while we’re watching Thursday Night Football that remind us we’re almost out of our favorite mushroom coffee pods.

Amazon for the win…

As always, let’s explore what this means for local TV advertisers with a fond callback that I sold cable TV advertising for what will probably be 20% of my entire life. The beautiful thing about cable advertising in the 90s was that you could buy specific networks that your demographic audience watched in zones that your customers lived in. It just made advertising sense and wasn’t that hard to sell.

As major streaming platforms metamorphosize into cable or a resemblance thereof, you’ll see fewer and fewer local TV ads as you watch television. I am aware that OTT is a thing but I’m also aware that the way audiences are aggregated and served ads lends itself to a much different landscape than what we had when Bill Clinton was president.

How do small to medium-sized local advertisers use video to market themselves?

We all agree that television advertising is changing rapidly. We also agree that OTT affords advertisers a much different but still viable way to purchase television for businesses of all sizes. But let’s be honest, there’s a difference between buying television advertising and executing a video strategy properly. I don’t see the OTT space in its current form as a singularly viable option for clients with smaller budgets.

And not to be contentious but don’t try to sell me on your consumer search intent data that tries to tell me otherwise.

It’s certainly not groundbreaking for someone to state that all forms of advertising are growing in a manner that is progressively challenging for clients with smaller budgets. Efficient (and effective) use of video for clients with smaller budgets can be accomplished through other means. Here are just a few for you to consider, but remember, caveat emptor… just because you can buy and serve ads, doesn’t mean you are doing it efficiently.

Video platforms that local advertisers can use as their options change

YouTube – roughly 10% of all video streaming consumption is happening here and you can achieve great relevance and scale with this platform. You must understand the “how” here… there are options (pre-roll, mid-roll, non-skippable, skippable, short ads, etc.) and these options require a strategy for your creative efforts.

YouTube video strategies are oftentimes driven by search intent making them a preferred platform for advertising agencies with guys named Andrew at the helm who by the way didn’t write this blog but is heavily quoted (as usual).

Social Media – this is a blog in and of itself. The good news is that social platforms are engaging video in a big way. A paid social campaign using video can take on lots of forms including straight solicitation to something more informative in nature. Privacy issues make social platforms a little more difficult to navigate than they used to be and create the inefficiencies that drive profit for the platforms.

Choosing the right social media platform for your brand isn’t rocket science. Who’s your best customer? How old are they? You can take other things into account based on the specificity of your company. I personally, would rather see you do one or two platforms really well as opposed to trying to be great at a bunch of them. That being said, if your bandwidth, your strategy, and your execution are on point, social platforms can be a great way to serve video ads to your potential customers.

It’s notable to mention here that social platforms tend to be ‘walled gardens’ which in the world of advertising means they utilize the data within their own ecosystem that forces you to spend money directly through their platform. This allows them to share specific insights that can’t be individualized. Platforms with scale manage their ad tech according to their own rules precluding them from using aggregating data from outside sources.

Google – ah, blessed search intent. Google itself can be the driving force behind your YouTube video strategy. (I search for hunting gear and get served a First Lite ad before my next police chase video.) So as not to go full circle on you there are ways to utilize Google through your search efforts to serve video ads. For the most part, Google search is primarily text-based and looks to send users to your website which could have video assets on it. All that being said we regularly use Google to show display, video, app, and other ad types back to potential customers of your brand.

In an effort to save the best for last, I’ll mention here that all these forms of video advertising can be targeted to your specific PMA (primary marketing area). That creates efficiency for brands with smaller budgets but again, this doesn’t guarantee success. A successful ad strategy that incorporates video needs to be well thought out and executed. As we covered today, there are viable options for advertisers but these options are not as simple as it was back in the day when zoned cable and affordable broadcast options delivered both relevance and scale to local advertisers.

If your business is looking to implement video as a component of your overall marketing strategy and you don’t know what’s best, send me an email at or give me a call at 602.284.6722.

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