Nick Erskine-Shaw
Nov 23, 2017

Get a bigger bang for your video buck

The rapid rise of online video and the growth of new digital marketing technologies has made budgeting more complicated, writes Nick Erskine-Shaw of 90 Seconds.

Nick Erskine-Shaw
Nick Erskine-Shaw

The growth of online video is well documented. But ICYMI: global online video viewing is expected to rise 20% in 2017, according to media agency Zenith’s latest forecast. What’s more, the agency estimates that consumers are spending upwards of 47.4 minutes a day watching videos online. This is almost eight minutes more viewing time than 2016.

As a region, Southeast Asians are amongst the most fervent video consumers. An AOL report in 2017 found that 83% of online consumers in the region watch online video every day, and for 71% it’s their medium of choice. In Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, consumers have skipped desktop computers entirely in favour of smartphones.

All this is having a profound impact on advertising budgets, with 48% of advertisers in Asia-Pacific increasing video budgets by more than 25%. Over the course of the next few weeks, agencies, ad tech companies and vendors are going to try and coax brands to spend their ad dollars with them—video and otherwise. Given that overall ad budgets aren’t expanding, this increased spending must be pulled from existing sources. For that reason, agencies need to make marketing dollars work harder.

Here are some ways for brands to get a bigger bang for their video buck.

Take a transactional approach

Increasingly, companies are adopting a project-by-project strategy to allocate campaign budgets. Simply put, this means agencies are getting picked depending on the job that needs to be done and for their expertise in a particular niche. At 90 Seconds, for instance, we regularly pitch for specific content-related RFPs.

This model not only gives advertisers visibility over the performance of their spend, but also allows access to dynamic market rates—in a way that ratecards and retainers don’t. For example, we recently worked with a large airline company to create massive suites of stock footage in more than 50 countries. This approach increased the company’s visibility over spend, as well as the actual value of what is produced. Finally, for players in the space, it means they are only as good as their last piece of work—so they’ve got to keep producing high quality content.

Centralise your content hubs

We’re knee-deep in content, which means content creation budgets are going through the roof. In many companies, local market teams still create content, rather than adapting global content for local markets. This makes it more expensive and labour intensive.

The launch of centralised regional content hubs, as Unilever, Uber and Huawei are discovering, is one way to rein in costs. These content hubs maintain operational functions but work with curated marketplaces (full disclaimer here: I’m the founder of one) to leverage local market capabilities. This is especially critical in APAC where brands are reliant on local knowledge to manoeuvre culture, channels and nuances, market to market.

By doing this, brands are not only able to control spending and efficiencies of staff, they’re also able to maintain brand guidelines and decision rights.

Marry TV with digital

You’ve heard this before. TV still dominates in the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific, but less and less so. In Singapore, for instance, 88% of people own smartphones while 87% own TVs, according to data from Google. The gap between TV and smartphone ownership in Malaysia and Philippines is reducing too.

The time people spend on mobile has transformed the way they respond to content and advertising. Phone in hand, people are exercising full control over what, where and when they consume content. Brands need to tackle this complex reality by moving TV budgets to digital video, and social. This also means you’ve got to reward people’s attention with great content using mobile optimised tools and techniques.

Test, test, test

Although it sounds counterproductive, A/B test multiple versions of your ads against each other. Some things to test for include headlines, captions, footage and the ad description.

At 90 seconds, we have the ability to test multiple versions of a campaign on a variety of platforms to gain insights before determining which version to produce. The price difference between an ad that gets a CTR of 0.5% versus one that gets 0.6% can be as much as 25%.

While it is critical for advertisers to take advantage of the opportunities online video offers, it is equally important to rationalise and be strategic to reap greater returns.

Nick Erskine-Shaw is co-founder and VP of strategic growth at 90 Seconds.

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