Drive Click-Through Rates with Video

The numbers are almost meaningless… ≈ 170M unique web viewers/month, 14B streams/month, time per viewer up nearly 60%.  The bottom line is that the growth of online video has exploded and will continue to grow ‑ becoming as ubiquitous as text on the web.  Don’t believe this?  Ask any IT manager responsible for data storage and content delivery.

The explosion of video has been driven by user generated content; commercial content distribution; and web-based video/multimedia, much of it supporting promotional campaigns.  The naysayers point out that for promotional campaigns, overall advertising click-through rates are disappointingly low.  Point taken.  But, those websites and marketing campaigns that customize ads and multimedia content to fit individual customer interests have demonstrated markedly higher click-through rates.  Two of the most well know examples of successfully tailoring content to the interest of their users are Apple, with the iTunes Store, and

 As video has become an accepted part of the web experience, marketers are looking for ways to exploit the engaging qualities of video.  Video has the unique ability to convey a story through sound and motion – creating a more powerful emotional response among users.  Results of recent studies by DoubleClick show that when used for direct-response online advertising –the click-through rate– online video ads perform extremely well.  The data shows online video ads deliver click-through rates ranging from 0.4 to 0.74 percent depending on the online video format.  By comparison, click-through rates for plain GIF or JPG image ads ranges between 0.1 and 0.2 percent.  Given these data, it’s no wonder that in the troubled economic climate of the past year, marketers have rushed headlong to enrich their websites, direct mail campaigns, press releases, and corporate communications with various forms of digital multimedia.

 A recent industry report from StrongMail Systems highlights the trend.  As reported in BtoB Online, Kristin Hersant, StrongMail’s director of corporate marketing, the “2010 Marketing Trends” survey finds that online marketing spending will be up in the coming year, with video a key driver.  “We also think that marketers will be able to increase relevancy by using video in e-mail,” Hersant said.  “Video is going to make it a lot easier to promote the things that their customers are interested in, such as webinars, training, and product education.”

A report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC released US results for the first half of 2009, showing that online ad spending continues to experience robust growth, increasing 38% from the same period a year ago.  As online advertising continues to draw spending away from other forms of traditional advertising, spending for online video is projected to reach nearly $500M in the US during the first half of 2010.  In a similar report from Forrester Research, video advertising will grow to account for one-fifth of European online display ad spending – nearly €1 billion in 2012.  Forrester Research also issued their US Interactive Marketing Forecast 2009 – 2014, showing 60% of marketers plan to shift marketing dollars away from traditional channels in favor of interactive marketing initiatives.

This move to interactive multimedia-supported marketing is not the sole province of big companies.  In Chapel Hill, NC a local wine, coffee, and tea merchant is taking advantage of the click-through promotional power of video.  3CUPS is a business dedicated to bringing high quality products to their customers while stimulating them to learn more about what they sell… the really good stuff.  They recently began adding video promotions as an element to their email marketing and on their website home page.  “Using video allows us to show what it’s like to come into our store and learn about our business,” says Badi Bradley a partner at 3CUPS.  The first promotion to include a video element delivered 600 views in the first several days.  Following the success of the first video, 3CUPS has released three more videos and has five projects underway.  Lex Alexander, owner of 3CUPS, believes video offers a unique way to differentiate the business.  “Video allows us to entice customers with a story that demonstrates we are very knowledgeable about the items we sell.  People don’t read as much these days; they’ve become accustomed to TV.  It helps us personalize the business.”  The video was produced in HD by Jim Fink of New Century Digital Media and shot and directed by Ken Peterson, SilverLight Productions.  The HD Flash video is hosted by NCDM.  According to Fink, “We support the concept of a full television experience that people have become used to in their home.”  Fink provides clients with more than just production and hosting, he also provides access to stats on the performance of each video.  “Clients have direct access to a lot of data about their videos.  It allows them to better manage the use of video as part of their overall marketing activities.

 For a business like 3CUPS, customizing the content of promotional video as part of their direct mail advertising has proven effective.  The high engagement factor of video, combined with better customer targeting and improved Internet tracking capabilities, offers advertisers a highly accountable way to improve response rates and deliver bottom line results. 


3 comments so far

  1. Jim Fink on

    Thanks for this article Tom. Great statistics to point out. The percentage of folks who Stream the 3CUPS clips in HD, is much higher than I originally thought would be the case. More than 2:1 are viewing the 2500Kbps clip over the lower rate clips.

    Looks like this medium is doing well. As is the Cable Modem..!


  2. Lana | Video Ads on

    Thank you for the informative post. Yes, we definitely see a constant increase in online online advertising, and it gets more varied as well.

  3. Karen the Classifieds girl on

    Thanks for this post very useful information, especially 78% of internet users watched web videos averaging 5.5 hours a mouth never knew that thanks for the share.

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