Advertising pundits tend to talk about television and online video as an either-or choice. In fact, it’s much more productive to discuss them from a “both” perspective.
Unfortunately, people often overreact when they see stories like a recent one that appeared in Forbes, headlined, “Brands Moving Budgets from TV to Online Video”. A closer reading reveals that this movement is much slower and less significant than the headline suggests. But the damage has been done. It seems like if you don’t cast your lot with digital, you’ll be hopelessly behind the times.
In fact, savvy advertisers recognize the rise of digital combined with television’s growing efficacy represents a tremendous opportunity. The ability to find the right balance between advertising on various screens—television, mobile, tablets, laptops--can create synergies. Cross-platform advertising is the next great wave—a wave that some early adopters are already surfing.
What are they doing exactly? Three things:
- Adopting a “video” campaign and budget mindset. This means incorporating TV, online, mobile and connected TV. While each screen requires a different approach, everything should roll up to a total video campaign that is planned to get the most out of the budget.
- Creating better measures. A traditional television spot is measured by Nielsen metrics. A digital ad’s success rests on impressions, click-through and other response metrics. What we really need to know is what happens when you switch $3 million from the television budget to online advertising. What happens to overall reach, frequency and response metrics? Nielsen’s relatively new XCR product provides that measure and invariably, other emerging products will as well. Forward-thinking advertisers are constantly monitoring the results generated through television and digital and using the latest analytics to find the right balance between the two.
- Knowing when to get interactive. For television, this may mean inserting an overlay that viewers can click on and bypass the more time-consuming response vehicles. In digital, there’s a wide variety of interactive options including ad-selectors, expandable units and overlays. This interactive tool can pay dividends, but it’s also something that should be used strategically rather than reflexively.
Cross-screen video advertising is in its infancy, so there’s still a steep hill to climb. To climb it with speed and strong results, though, every advertiser needs to test…and then test some more. Most initial studies show spending 5-10% of the “total video” budget in digital video will yield the strongest overall campaign. Those figures vary by client and objective but are a good starting point for most.
The more you test and measure various combinations of television and online video, the more likely you’ll discover the right cross-platform approach for your specific offer.
Matt Cote is VP of Video Innovation at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America's largest DRTV agencies.