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Why Brands Can’t Ignore the Native Video Advertising Option

Natalia Solodukhova

Natalia Solodukhova

In today’s digitally connected world, online videos have added a new dimension to the evolving advertising business. Although they don’t pose any immediate threat to the traditional TV advertising, brands can’t afford to ignore the ubiquity of native video ads that blend seamlessly with the digital editorial content to engage with the consumers.

As online video-based advertising business is poised to take off, Buzzoola has emerged as an effective native video advertising platform, which is creating a powerful ecosystem connecting online advertisers, publishers, and consumers.

RMN Digital invited Natalia Solodukhova, co-founder & CEO of Buzzoola, to understand the relevance and impact of native video advertising for brands. Here she sheds light on different aspects of this emerging business domain in an exclusive interview with Rakesh Raman, managing editor of RMN Digital.

Here’s what she says.

1. What is the significance of video advertising for brands in today’s always-on business world?

Video is by far the most powerful way to visualize information, which otherwise would most likely go unnoticed or fail to convey the key message. It is the most consumed type of online content – 95% of all Internet traffic today is video.

For some brands video ads are the only efficient way to communicate with their customers. Take, for instance, one of our clients, one of the largest egg producers in Europe. In order to capture the attention of their audience, educate and entertain it on a topic as mundane as eggs, they had to come up with new, creative, fun and informative (or as we call it, rich) content about the use and benefits of eggs, which was only possible with video. Otherwise it would just look like another boring banner of a food product that very few people would want to engage (click on).

It is true for a number of other seemingly boring household consumer products that can reinvent their identity through online video advertising and novel promotion strategies. The ultimate result is a wider appeal across an entire spectrum of social and age groups of consumers, which is particularly important if a brand is aiming towards younger audiences, which most of them are – particularly in the fast growing market environments, such as India.

2. Will the native video advertising ring the death knell for traditional TV advertising?

Not in the next 15 years. However, native video ads are definitely growing faster than most other online advertising formats. The main attribute that makes native video ads so attractive is its engaging and interactive nature, which plays well into people’s expectations about the modern day Internet in which interaction is choice-based, not enforced.

Banners, pre-rolls, various “pop-up” formats that flooded the web are in reality no different from a conventional TV spot, during which viewers are held hostage by advertisers and networks.

No surprise that TV consumption is declining in most territories and people turn to the Internet for freedom of action and choice. However, the same fate befalls online users where most ads are also being served in a very invasive fashion.

That’s the problem that native video ads are designed to fix. We serve our clients’ videos in a manner that doesn’t disrupt the user experience on a particular web site, social network or mobile device. Our video player is seemingly integrated into the user’s feed, as part of native content.

Each ad campaign is targeted towards a relevant audience, but what’s even more important is that there are no pop ups – the choice to view the ad or not is completely in the user’s hands.

Our advertisers understand the benefits of native approach and they know exactly what they are paying for. No more vague CPM pricing (cost per thousand impressions, a metric commonly used in online advertising) – they only pay for 100% user initiated event (view, click, conversion).

Nothing can be better for an advertiser than when a potential customer chooses to interact with branded content because they are genuinely interested.

Of course, it is hard to compete with TV since it brings enormous scale, which services like ours cannot deliver yet. One should consider native ads as an alternative for brands that want to start and maintain a more intimate, deeper relationship with their costumer. Start a dialogue and find out what people really think and want. As the most engaging and “social” type of advertising, native video ads grant them this opportunity.

3. What should be the main features of a brand video for it to stand out in the multitude of online videos available on the Web?

Relevance. The main reason why people hate advertising is because it is rarely shown to those who really care about the product that is being advertised. There are multiple ways to shoot your video ad. It can be a short creative film designed to play with people’s imaginations or an educational video targeted at mothers showing them how to take better care of their kids. At the end of the day there is no universal recipe – as long as it is relevant, of the right length and decent quality, it should be well taken.

4. Why should an advertiser opt for a video promotion platform such as Buzzoola as opposed to social video-sharing properties such as YouTube?

YouTube is a single video platform with a large audience, but it still has its limitations. There are thousands of other web properties (or publishers, as we refer to them internally) such as news sites, entertainment blogs, Facebook groups and gaming platforms that people use and trust.

These are exactly the kinds of publishers that Buzzoola works with to share and promote video ads through. We have thousands of such publishers registered on our network with over 100 million of active users.

Buzzoola has a sophisticated system to classify all of our publishing partners by age, gender, geography, area of interest and a number of other categories, which is what enables us to offer our advertisers a very precise level of targeting to a relevant audience.

We are already seeing major international brands that have historically been investing hundreds of millions into TV and banner advertising re-allocating their media budgets into new online formats, including native video ads, the opportunity for companies like ours is truly immense.

5. How does Buzzoola help online publishers monetize their content?

Publishers earn money for every unique video view (event) that takes place on their property. We help them earn incremental revenue, without further cluttering their sites with extra ad units. Our integration with their content is seamless and painless for their visitors.

Most of the branded content in native is specifically targeted at the Internet audience and is much more creative and engaging than usual TV spots or pre-rolls. This means that publishers make money on content their audiences actually enjoy watching.

6. Is it possible to measure the impact of video advertising? If yes, how?

Yes, there is a wide range of metrics that we can derive from native video advertising – from engagement depths (or how much of the video has been viewed), rate, quality, to CTR (click-through-ratio), number of unique views versus repeated, geography, age, gender, interests, in-view rates, all sorts of conversions inside the player etc. We also track shareability rates, sharebility patterns – everything that happens to the video once it’s been set free.

7. Which factors will spur the growth of native video advertising?

New technology is the most significant factor. Emergence of programmatic algorithms in native advertising, which is currently very limited in terms of scale, is definitely something that will take the industry to an entirely new scale. People are saying that Madison Avenue (famous for American advertising industry) is becoming more and more like Wall Street in a way that it utilizes quantitative methods to optimize advertising business.

Natalia Solodukhova (pictured above) is the co-founder & CEO of Buzzoola. She has over 9 years of international experience in digital marketing, sales and asset management with companies like Richemont SA, L’Oreal, LS Mobili and Private Equity arm of Corporate Finance Bank. She is a serial entrepreneur and seed investor in IT startups such as GetGoing, Prizeo, ElaCarte, Service Titan and others.

This interview is published under the RMN Digital’s “Thought Leaders” series in which top tech market leaders of the world express their views on different burning issues and market trends.

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