June 2007 - Channel Crossing: DRTV

Video-based Advertising

By Gene Silverman

Those of us who work in DRTV advertising already know that nothing sells products and services better than long-form TV commercials. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of online marketing, the age-old adage, “The more you tell, the more you sell,” can be approached in new and innovative ways. Because of growing consumer acceptance and use of broadband, longer-formatted selling messages can be delivered-in smaller, bite-sized video segments-on your website with DRTV or even brand advertising driving the bulk of the traffic.

Thus, even 30-, 60- or 120-second short-form commercials can push traffic to video-based websites and provide a dynamic, video-centric two-step approach to closing the sale. By utilizing video elements, demonstrations, testimonials and feature segments-just like you would find in a sophisticated half-hour long-form commercial-an online sale can be more effectively completed.

The main advantage to video-based (or video-enhanced) advertising is that a short-form spot costs far less than a long-form commercial to produce and air, leaving the “hard work” to be performed by the longer, multiple video elements located on your website, thereby potentially reducing your TV media investment. Arriving at your website, the one- to five-minute online video segments empower the customer to self-select and opt in to the specific information desired. Another compelling factor is that you can have your experienced DRTV production team skillfully craft the video messages for optimal order-producing results, so that where the DRTV leaves off, the video-based websites picks up. This strategy is a killer application for integrating the powers of DRTV with the powers of video-based selling techniques through the Web environment.

A well-designed video-based website should provide multiple Internet infomercials through which the prospect/viewer can take a visually immersive trip toward making a considered purchasing decision. The video-based website is intended to draw in the inquisitive TV viewer turned Web purchaser for deeper video-based information, education and completion of the sale.

Today, more and more consumers prefer to go online to further explore any considered purchase. And research in this area makes abundantly clear that it’s what consumers see online that ultimately may make the difference between them being just a browser or a customer.

National Institutes of Health research shows that a message, which incorporates video and sound, has six times the impact and effectiveness than print alone. A study by ComScore Networks showed that 56 percent of Americans view streaming video online and many studies have shown that more and more people are searching for a visual experience online. According to CyberTech Media, more than 81 percent of visitors to pages that have a video presentation on it watch the video.

DRTV industry veterans have seen the powerful results of integrating DRTV drivers with video-based websites and many leaders in our business believe that this represents the next wave of innovative “marketing thinking.” Some developers of online sites that incorporate video tutorials, or just a pop-up replay of their DRTV spot, report up to a whopping 300 percent additional Web orders as compared with their previous non-video enhanced websites. Plus, the reported revenue per order increased up to 50 percent, as well.

Lee Swanson, president of InPulse Response Group and an ERA board member, was quoted in the March 2007 issue of Electronic Retailer: “Today, it’s not uncommon to find clients generating 50 percent to 70 percent of their revenue through the Web. It still may be primarily driven by DRTV….” And 57 percent of respondents in a survey by KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann felt that online videos impacted their purchasing decisions. A previous report indicated that 84 percent of respondents said online video enhances content related to product information and research.

So, with the dramatic growth of YouTube and other sticky, video-enhanced sites, the future of Internet marketing seems pretty obvious. It will be video-based. If you see your website as your online retail store, then making your retail store more efficient by utilizing video makes total sense.

It’s time to begin envisioning exciting creative concepts and motivating video clips that could grace your site to make it more active via video and therefore, more entertaining, informative, educational and compelling.

With a new DRTV/video-enhanced marketing model, TV advertisers-whether DRTV or image awareness-should be able to convert ever larger numbers of new, long-term customers and optimize the ROI of their video advertising dollars.

The development and cost of a video-based website are centered on three basic components:

  1. Video-based concept and design Determine what needs to be said and how it will be organized. What are the stages of the purchasing decision that you need to engage the viewer in, leading eventually to a sale? How will this “purchasing experience” be reflected in video? How many videos? And in what order? The various segments should be strategically conceived and designed, with each one treated like a ‘mini-infomercial’ of one to five minutes in length.
  2. Video production To keep production costs under control, shoot as many of your video-enhanced segments at your DRTV or brand commercial shoot as possible-saving time and production dollars.
  3. Web integration of video elements Carefully consider the video media player, design and programming modifications, navigation requirements, coding, etc.

Cost-minded marketers should note that they can begin making their video-based websites with just a few core video segments, then expand the media players to include new video segments as they are produced and integrated into the site. This strategy would yield a faster speed to market and set up an ever-evolving and compelling video-based website.

Gene Silverman is vice president of marketing services and account management at hawthorne direct inc. The full service DRTV company recently introduced Videoactive Advertising,â„¢ a new approach to market products and services by integrating DRTV with a video-enhanced website. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].


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