Online Video vs TV

With the success of online video advertisements on popular social platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, and LinkedIn to name a few gaining more traction everyday, digital savvy brands are starting to shift their advertising budgets away from traditional TV commercials to online video ads.

Call it the online video revolution. And it’s being felt all the way to 5th Avenue, after 75% of ad agency executives cited video ads as equally or more effective than traditional TV advertising, direct response or display ads, according to an eMarketer report. That’s compared to 17% of executives who say online ads are less effective.

Brands are making the leap to online videos with fantastic results. Overall, digital video advertising is expected to grow to $4.1 billion this year, with much of that growth coming in mobile video. That number is expected to rise to $8.04 billion in 2016. By contrast, direct response and television ads are expected to experience a sharp spending drop as more advertisers search for more effective ways to reach their customers.

Overall, TV ads are expected to reach $81.6 billion in 2017, or 37% of all ad dollars in 2017, according to PwC. To be sure, both forms of ad spending rely on a strong visual tie. And you’re seeing a number of national brands embrace YouTube and other forms of video advertising.

Buying Digital Ad Space

This is one area where both venues are a lot alike: Buying online video ads is a lot like buying TV advertising. You’ll have to still worry about reaching your target audience, brand objectives, and changing priorities when buying ad space. Those things will never change, and those same worries are going to be there with TV advertising or without it. The same things that go into buying traditional TV commercials must also be considered with online ad spending – costs, types of ads, pricing formats, as well as buying directly from video sites or from ad networks.

That doesn’t mean that TV is dead; far from it. It’s still alive, helped immensely by online advertising. It’s important to note, though, that both venues have key differences. Stay aware of these differences for a more successful campaign, no matter the venue.

The Power of TV

30 years ago, TV ruled. It drove advertising. It dominated, just like online video is now.

Today, TV has taken a backseat to online videos, as once loyal TV advertisers look for other options after prices increased for TV advertising and as advertisers’ reach diminished on TV. Today, online video advertising is taking over, and for good reason.

Still, there are some glaring similarities and differences between both mediums.

The Landscape is Changing

The internet has not only changed how ads are delivered, but it also changed how results are measured. In 2010, Nielsen stopped reporting how many channels the average household received because the data was not accessible one, singular way. TV viewers access their content a variety of ways, including live streaming and accessing content online on various devices like tablets, iPhones and live streaming.

Sure, TV reaches the masses, but online channels engage them. And it’s at a much lower price point than TV could potentially offer.  What’s clear is this: Advertisers follow eyeballs. And so does the money. A report by Forrester indicates that spending on online advertising will surpass TV spending by 2016.

We must keep in mind that what works online may not necessarily translate well on TV commercials, and vice versa.

Embracing Digital Video Ads

Arguably one of the most expensive forms of TV advertising, even premium Super Bowl advertising space isn’t always a guaranteed hit. With 30-second ads costing upwards of $4 million dollars, SodaStream, a beverage company, said that it would not use a TV ad but instead invested in online video ads.

Customers are flocking to video as well, with popular brands such as Doritos and others posting video contests to engage their users. Even smaller brands are getting in on the trend by posting Vines, Instagrams, video contests and information online.

Tracking Success

Once you’ve implemented videos, it’s important to track valuable analytics data.

TV commercials only are able to measure a part of it – such as viewer numbers or by tracking the number of calls to a tracking number.

Online videos are able to capture so much more rich data – who, when, where and how – and puts the data at your fingertips. Platforms such as YouTube and Wistia provide plenty of dashboard data about video metrics such as views, minutes watched, likes, shares, subscribers, etc. The biggest success advantage that online video holds over traditional TV is the ability to track clicks and engagement with your website. With TV, it’s impossible to track how many users watched your commercial, went to your website and bought a product. With online video ads you can clearly see how users interacted with your site after they engaged in your advertisement.

Video is still fairly new. But it’s clear that more brands and agencies are shifting to a video approach to reach a new, younger audience and more eyeballs. Videos can quickly explain longer, more complex projects in less time than a TV commercial ever could.

Have Any Thoughts To Add?