Online Video Advertising: To Jump or Not to Jump

Recent forecasts and projections from companies including Cisco, eMarketer, and Forrester have emphasized the inevitable, rapid growth of online advertising in the coming years. Is it any wonder that advertisers and agencies have been jumping onto the digital media bandwagon?

Yet advertisers’ need to capitalize on mobile and internet marketing opportunities opened a door for ghost publishers and other fraudulent sites that promise high traffic starting at half a penny a click. Eventually, marketers began to question the validity of the “human traffic” their ads were receiving. Controversy now surrounds six companies that Adweek has identified as publishers who sell low-quality, potentially bot-generated traffic: AdOn, Adknowledge, eZanga, Jema Media, MGID and BlueLink Marketing.

Some of these sites generate fake impressions, offer faulty links, and sell pure bot traffic making it impossible for advertisers to even reach their targeted consumers. The lure of cheap traffic, regardless of where it came from, attracted advertisers to the aforementioned sites and ultimately left them pointing fingers.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, many advertisers and sales teams are sticking to marketing outlets within their comfort zones. As marketers continue to pour advertising dollars into traditional media (specifically television ads), online investors have grown impatient and wary. Their messages now highlight how online ads reinforce and complement TV.

Though investors shouldn’t have to do much persuading—consumers’ habits speak for themselves. Americans watched 38.8 billion online videos last month and spend an average of 40 minutes a day doing it. It seems that most viewers have made the jump— spending more time interacting with digital media over traditional outlets. In fact, a Nielsen study reports that 76% of 18-49 year-olds are actively using mobile phones and 54% are spending time on the internet compared to only 40% who watch traditional TV.

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Additionally, Cisco’s Visual Networking Index forecast predicts that online video will be more popular than social networking and that internet video users will double from 1 billion in 2012 to 2 billion in 2017.

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Obviously, there are more than enough reasons and facts for advertisers to jump into online advertising. However, this plunge requires a detailed plan and knowledgeable management team. In order to avoid publishing scams and faulty traffic, advertisers must use time and resources to create an effective market penetration strategy. Marketers will then be able to take advantage of digital media outlets and it’s expected, exponential growth.

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