The Key to Video Marketing Isn’t Sizzle, it’s Psychology

How do you reach the huge — and growing — number of online video viewers, without annoying them? It's all a matter of timing…

The future of TV isn’t TV. But you already knew that. What’s fascinating is just how different streaming video is becoming. It seems we simply can’t get enough digital video — literally. Reaching these online viewers is all a matter of psychology.

Audiences will consume more video content online than via TV by 2020, which is why brands and agencies are set to double their video promotion budgets by next year. But despite ample demand and dollars available, traditional supply chains aren’t getting the job done.

Until recently, media buyers allocated most of their digital video budgets toward traditional pre-roll advertisements, which essentially mimic a 30-second TV spot. These in-stream formats have always been limited by the supply of online video content to play alongside.

What’s more, while audiences hunger for video content, they have little to no appetite for disruptive ad units, such as in-stream spots that get in the way of a user and their intended content. That leaves marketers struggling to bring branded video to publisher audiences in an effective, respectful, and cost-efficient manner.

What’s needed is an approach that goes beyond in-stream inventory and takes digital psychology into account.

Digital psychology: tap into the explorer mindset.

For video consumers to be open to branded video content, they must be in the mood to discover something new. We differentiate between consumers who are goal-oriented (i.e., I know what I want to do now) and those in exploration mode (i.e., what should I do next).

  • A goal-oriented consumer is generally looking for something specific. Those users are on a mission for information or goods, and thus, are less likely to branch off into an unplanned topic or experience.
  • Explorers, however, are more likely to be simply killing time. They are browsing for something interesting to watch or read and are far more open to distraction and digital discovery.

What’s more, research suggests explorers are more responsive to visual stimuli and bright colors than goal-oriented consumers. Most important and unlike goal seekers, they are 23% more likely to choose video over text.

Finding and engaging these exploration-minded consumers is the key to making branded video pay off, but it takes a combination of smart timing, context, and content.

Finding explorers on the open web is all about timing

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

Environment has significant impact on whether your video marketing will capture the imagination of a user in exploration mode. The open web has advantages over platform-based channels such as in-stream and walled garden because it is where explorers roam most freely.

Marketers must also connect with an exploring consumer at the right moment. Once a consumer has clicked on a video of interest, it’s too late—she’s already converted to goal mode, and that in-stream ad will only serve as an exasperating barrier standing in the way of content she has chosen to view now.

That’s where native advertising and content discovery come in. These models reach consumers on the open web and right in the exploration sweet spot, just as users are scrolling through headlines and images or coming up for air after reading an article.

These formats are designed to supplement the user experience rather than disrupt it, and they give the user control to opt in or opt out of viewing.

In addition, when these units present relevant content in a video format, they appeal directly to the visually-motivated explorer.

Impact without intrusion

Content discovery approach incentivises brands to create content that is valuable for the reader—telling a story rather than shouting a message—which is a good thing for consumers.

There is still plenty of room for performance measurement. eMarketer has reported that overlays and calls-to-action, which can be dynamically tailored to entice specific audiences and provide metrics for optimisation, significantly improve campaign performance in a content discovery context.

Video is the medium of the moment. But for marketers to create effective video opportunities, they must take into account how online audiences consume content, relinquish more control to the consumer, and respect the new rules of the video realm.

Tatjana Biallas is Director Media Sales at Taboola. She contributes to this blog as a guest author, reflecting her personal views and perspective. Taboola has been an Event Partner at NEXT17.

Lead Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash