Online Video Advertising

Both online video advertising and Internet radio advertising are likely to continue to expand their influence in the coming years. Each is able to accommodate itself to a variety of audiences and react with a flexibility which formerly had seemed out of the reach of traditional marketing processes used for radio and television advertisements. Lower costs and the global reach of these venues position them for the possibility of enjoying increased profitability and relevance to today's audiences. Entertaining, interactive messages also do their part in assuring that an advertiser's message will be heard and hopefully even enjoyed by people seeking an interesting, personalized experience.

Video has assumed a popularity on the web which has not yet reached its full potential. Over a quarter of consumers have revealed that they regularly watch online videos. Millions of streams of online videos are watched, and over a quarter of advertising marketers now use video to sell their products or services. This is effective for marketers and also lucrative for the creators of such materials. Besides all this there is an element of entertainment involved: videos (especially those which are well done) are just plain fun to watch.

An increasing number of households have access to broadband capabilities, which allows them to access a greater range of content. Visitors are quite willing to explore more of an interesting website, especially if there is an interactive element. Audiences are seeking entertainment as well as information. Rather than search through pages of text, consumers are far more willing to watch a video. This online video advertising can include information, product demonstration, testimonials from satisfied customers, and a level of interaction which is still not available through television advertisements. Video content is found not only in advertising, but also on gaming devices, personal video recorders, phones and other items.

Marketers who utilize online video advertising are especially concerned with reaching the youth culture, which has grown up in a video-saturated world. The familiarity with certain popular video sites is undisputed. Characters from these videos become topics of conversation at schools and students often chuckle together at references to well known videos which are unfamiliar to their parents. Music, graphics, cartoons, and excerpts from popular video games are intertwined into video advertising for this audience. Even the length of time for these offerings has changed as advertisers compete for the shorter attention spans of these sophisticated viewers. In many ad agencies, half of the clients are utilizing online videos, and this is likely to increase. Many are bypassing television advertising to cater directly to audiences who spend more time online than watching television.

However, older audiences are not being neglected by any means. Targeted information is available for these consumers as well, in areas which are appropriate. One interesting aspect of online video advertising involves using increasingly interactive websites for dispensing information about a great variety of medical issues and conditions. Consumers are able to choose from a selection of several personal guides to steer them through the site. Information is obtained in a private, non-threatening way while simultaneously, relevant products and services are offered. Especially in matters of personal health, be sure to check with a doctor before embarking upon a course of treatment. Remember, "He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him." (Proverbs 18:17) In other words, get a second opinion!

It seems that Internet radio advertising also has great potential, although compared to video ads, it may seem to lag behind. This may be due to many factors, but one of these is that there has not been enough of a focus upon the difference between traditional and Internet radio advertisement. They may seem similar, and in many ways perhaps they are, yet in terms of being able to deliver an audience to a sponsor, there are significant differences. Internet radio advertising reaches a large part of the global market, yet audiences can be broken down into an endless range of niche groups. Buying local ads does not make sense for these global advertisers, since many listeners could not take advantage of far-away offers or services. However, sometimes when people register for players which enable them to receive Internet radio, they are required to register certain information. This may help place them in a demographic group. Later, offers can be tailored for individuals, and a level of response and interaction can be offered through the computer screen. Thus, products or services may be purchased and advertisements can be tailored for individual listeners. Internet radio stations (and radio advertising) are extremely customizable. Buttons on the screen can also lead listeners directly to the product's website for further information and the opportunity to purchase products.

There are two main types of radio ads. A gateway ad runs as soon as the Internet radio station is loaded, but before the real content of the station begins to stream. An instream ad, on the other hand, occurs in breaks between songs, much like in traditional radio stations. The success of advertising campaigns can be analyzed and changes made to accommodate the listener. Global manufacturers can select not only a demographic, but also the time when such individuals may be most likely to be listening and the conditions under which he or she is most likely to make a purchase (like near dinnertime, or after a certain type of song). The great flexibility behind both online video advertising and Internet radio advertising and their ability to address the needs and interests of niche groups make these powerful marketing tools.

Contextual Advertising Networks

Like unending waves crashing on a seashore, total content targeting in online marketing seeks to create an endless stream of visitors to business websites. This marketing strategy seeks to provide links from one website to another, not sending customers to other competitors, but to other companies providing services or products related generally to the original company's area of service or expertise. This whole unending cycle of moving potential customers through a labyrinth of interrelated information means that a website creator must understand the target audience's full and complete set of needs and interests. In simplistic terms, this marketing strategy strives to create an "A-Ha" experience for the Internet customer. At the moment a customer enters a well-crafted website using this particular marketing strategy, the realization that all needed information is within a few clicks makes the epiphany experience happen for the potential customer.

These planned labyrinthine experiences are called contextual advertising networks by marketing gurus. They exist for one purpose: to provide link building from one site to another, carefully leading potential customers to other related subjects, but not necessarily to other competitors. These link to link diversions are powered by search engines that look for the words in other websites that are common to a theme or subject. Careful construction of these networks means that links will hopefully not be provided to other competitors. Research has provided keen insight into the surfing habits of Internet users, with the this fact gleaned from years of experience: websites have less than 30 seconds to hold their readers' interest, or surfers will move on in a hunt for something more useful. Here is how contextual advertising networks and total content targeting works:

Take the imaginary and dubious company, Skunk Traps LTD. This austere company manufactures specially designed traps to humanely ensnare skunks, and then transports them by laser beam to the Skunk Forest. When Skunk Traps LTD builds the company website, the marketers creatively incorporate a large number of key words related to skunks and lasers into the website. While there are hundreds of possible words related to these two subjects, here are a few used by Skunk Works LTD. It's all part of its total content marketing plan. Words such as like, polecat, foul-smell, tomato juice, squirt, spectroscopy, spectrum and wavelength and many more related words so that any search about anything related to a skunk or lasers would bring the user to the Skunk Trap LTD site. Thanks to a contextual advertising network, the ability to keep searchers closely tied to the Skunk Traps LTD website is possible.

The other side of this total content targeting approach is also a boon for our legendary and very mythical company known as Skunk Trap LTD. Because the company has embedded so many key words in its own website as part of its contextual advertising network strategy, the company has also paid for advertising to pop up on other websites as people look for related subjects. "Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:38) Contextual advertising networks rely on the research that shows that sharing related information is good for business.

Search engines use everything from demographic and geographic information, interest information, and sometimes income and age information to choose which websites Skunk Trap LTD should enter. The Skunk Trap LTD will pay an advertising fee that may be dependent on just a mouse click on their advertisement, or maybe only after a customer enters its own website, or perhaps only after a customer buys a Skunk Trap online.

In today's highly competitive online market, it is imperative that businesses use a marketing strategy such as total content targeting to be competitive. This strategy embraces the truth that a business that allows the potential customer to find a helpful link on its own website increases the possibility that it will generate more sales opportunities from the extra time spent on its site. The new wisdom in today's marketing arena says that online buyers are primed for "cross selling." Consumers want as much information on the products they are interested in as possible. But not only do customers get a lot of information using this marketing plan, but so do the companies employing the tactics.

As users click on various websites, they are often asked to give such information as age, job title, sport and hobby interests, and geographic information and sometimes even income levels. If our mythical Skunk Trap LTD finds that only farmers and hobos are using their product, the company will redirect its online marketing plan and build a new contextual advertising network using keywords like tractor, silo and old stogies in the website. How would that work with skunks? However, if they found through market research that their products had suddenly become popular with millionaires, they might gold plate their traps and put keywords into their website such as bullion, stocks and bonds and the name of that elegant mustard that used to be advertised on television.

As the world become more and more interconnected, so all business follows suit. And since the adage "dog eat dog" world has been around for a long time, the truth of those words is more realistic today than ever. Each day rivals are attempting to get some kind of a razor-thin edge on one another. Yet because of the connectedness all business has, industry has learned that sharing information is a profitable thing to do. Innovative marketing strategies such as total content targeting and contextual advertising networks will continue to shape the way world-wide customers do business.

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