Is digital video the future of retail advertising?
A new report by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) states that 75% of advertisers expect digital video to be as important as TV within five years. That’s a huge statement, but we know that in the UK money is pouring into digital and video in particular – the statistics speak for themselves with digital ad-spend up 15% and video spend up 68% in 2013 (IAB).
Much of this money is migrating from TV to digital video as pre-roll and FMCG is the biggest-spending and the fastest-growing sector using pre-roll in the UK, up 18% year-on-year (IAB).
This seems a logical change to the way advertising is being planned, as online advertising is more accountable and targeted. Video is now seen as mainstream by consumers and is one of the most compelling mediums, as shown in recent research by content agency Seven, which showed that over 40% of consumers were able to recall, on prompting, seeing a specific original branded video online.
Content has always been key to real engagement with consumers. With the migration to online, brands and retailers are no longer restricted to placing ads through paid-for channels and instead are able to engage and convert consumers to purchase using their owned and earned channels.
For e-commerce to work and ensure a great retail experience for the consumer, content is essential to bring websites to life, especially when those websites are acting as “catalogues”. Waitrose is leading the way in this space with their online video channel Waitrose TV and they have also recently announced their new ad-funded programme Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose, in partnership with Channel 4. Waitrose’ latest online sales numbers show growth of 79% on the quarter and I would argue that this in part at least gives testament to the benefits of using video correctly.
One thing is now clear: the opportunities for brands and retailers to work together to inspire and inform their own audiences are enormous. The growth in spend in both video and owned media channels shows this is beginning to be understood but the access to audiences now available represents an open goal for them if they can utilise the channels in the right way.
So what’s next? I believe retailers in particular will go further, learning the craft of communicating in video and adopting the trade of the media owner. Video can benefit every online product and category page, guiding buyers and helping convert engagement to purchase. ASOS have done this well for some time while Marks & Spencer’s newly designed website, with content and video at its heart, is another example of the investment that retailers are making.
It’s also important to remember that it’s not just about online usage; video content can also drive engagement and purchase in-store or in outdoor spaces via digital screens. So the opportunities are huge for both retailers and brands. Video advertising and content creation done in the right way can create a new position from which to advise and engage the consumer with real impact through existing and new channels, delivering in a big way for both the bottom line and brand perception.