Data_Video_body.jpgBy Jennifer Shaheen.

 

Programmatic advertising, which uses customers’ online behaviors, as well as factors such as their geographic location, the time of day, and even the weather, to serve them targeted ads they’ll likely find relevant, will play a prominent role in the coming year. In fact, Joshua Spanner, head of Google’s Media Labs, says programmatic advertising is a big focus for the search engine company in 2016 and beyond. Here are a few of the reasons why you should consider this form of marketing for your small business:

 

There is a huge hunger for video

Video is far and away the most popular type of content on both desktop and mobile devices. Cisco Systems recently reported that video content will account for 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2017. In fact, one in three mobile device users report watching video regularly, giving the clips they see on their small screens much more attention than anything they view on television. Creating video ads to appear in this highly focused environment for strategically targeted customers gives small business owners a unique opportunity to raise brand awareness and generate sales.

 

Video advertising opportunities abound on familiar platforms

The most robust data-driven video marketing opportunities for small business owners exist on the most familiar, well-established platforms: Google’s YouTube, as well as Facebook and Twitter. Each of these platforms offers an easy-to-use back-end, allowing business owners to target their ads upon very specific criteria.

 

Data_Video_PQ.jpgEA Sports, a video game company, recently ran a successful campaign targeting fans of particular NFL football teams. L’Oreal Cosmetics targeted women between the ages of 25 and 30 who had previously purchased luxury beauty products online, when attempting to relaunch its Shu Uemura cosmetic line to the U.S. marketplace. The campaign was a huge success, resulting in a 2,000-plus percent return on the advertising investment.

 

Be strategic about content type, timing, and distribution

Context targeting is the practice of matching your video ad with video content that makes sense. For example, if you’re promoting a jazz or music festival, it makes sense to have your video ads appear on popular videos in the same genre being watched by your target audience—say, young adults in your geographic region.

 

Timing of video ads is both an art and a science. Take advantage of the metrics provided by your advertising platform to determine what time of day results in the greatest levels of ad engagement. The number of views is important, but knowing how many ad viewers clicked through to your website, downloaded an informative guide, or otherwise responded to your call to action, is more vital. This requires testing ads at different times, but the investment can be well worth it. More than one business owner has been surprised to discover that they have avid customers who like to shop or do research in the middle of the night.

 

Finally, be strategic about which platform you’ll be advertising on. YouTube will probably continue to be the dominant player in the video marketplace, but Facebook and other social media sites have been taking aggressive steps to incorporate video marketing directly onto their platforms, ensuring that users stay on the site for an extended period of time. Test ads on different platforms to discover what works best for you.

 

 

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