Digital advertising and marketing go through phases. Remember SMS marketing? For any younger readers, yes that was actually a thing! And yes it still exists in certain forms, but what started out as quite a potent marketing tool was abused and eventually became an irritant. Who abused it? Marketers – that’s people like you and I.
Email marketing? It still has its place but is nowhere near as powerful as it used to be. 10 years ago I was getting huge email open rates. With the right audience, message and offer you could move the dial for a business. Then it was abused, (and not just by “spammers”), and now it’s nowhere near as effective as a marketing tool.
Fast-forward to 2016 and video advertising. Like the examples above everyone wants to get involved in this exciting new-ish medium and get their little piece of eMarketer’s windfall ad spend prediction.
Publishers and ad tech are lining-up to take advertisers’ money. The big problem to-date has been insufficient video inventory. The industry’s response has been to simply create some in the form of the latest bandwagon, Outstream. It’s a miracle – the creation of video inventory (or in user-speak, “hitting me with more ads”) without the need to provide any new video content whatsoever.
Once again we’re in danger of a bandwagon effect leading to short-term gains but ultimate derailment. Users visit websites for content and most, we hope, will live with ads if they get the content they want. People used email for communication and were happy to put up with a few targeted marketing messages, ditto SMS, but once the balance shifted these channels went into serious decline for marketers.
Thankfully it’s not too late for video. Not if we simply remember that users visit sites for content, and then act accordingly.
Image Credit: Nina Ruminska