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Why Digital Video is Crucial During This Election Year

Why Digital Video is Crucial During This Election Year

Written by enCOMPASS Agency

Video marketing has become so ubiquitous, few advertisers or business owners would question its merits. Instead, a new question has emerged: Where’s the best place to put all this video content? With so many channels available, business owners naturally want to identify the best avenue for investment.

At enCOMPASS, we were hearing this question a lot before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and now we’re starting to hear it once again. A lot of the increased focus on video marketing comes down to the fact that this is an election year; so, on top of the usual questions associated with video strategy, advertisers now have to worry about competing with campaign ads.

In this post, we’ll address some of the obstacles presented by the 2020 election season and offer some general video strategy points for our clients to consider.

What the Election Means for Digital Marketing

It hardly needs to be said that we’re locked into a contentious election season, and campaigns from the presidential level down to local Congressional and Senate races will be spending big bucks to get their message out.

What this means is that a lot of the opportunities to air ads on cable and broadcast TV are going to be pre-empted, making airtime more precious than ever.

The bottom line is that, for advertisers to compete with political campaign messaging on traditional media, it may require extravagant spending, particularly if they’re looking to go out over the broadcast airwaves. Smaller businesses, in particular, may be unable to afford the competitive ad rates, yet they can’t necessarily afford to abandon video marketing, either. After all, expensive or not, video remains one of the most important ways to maintain a strong, clear, consistent presence in the marketplace.

Where’s the Best Place for Video Advertising?

This brings us back to the original conundrum: Where’s the best place for investing in a video marketing strategy?

One answer that many advertisers will offer you is to focus on OTT video. If you’re not familiar with OTT, it stands for over the top, and it basically refers to any of the little boxes you can buy, place on top or just below your TV, and use for streaming digital content. Roko and Apple TV are two common examples of OTT devices.

Proponents of OTT advertising will point to the medium’s explosive growth; more and more people are abandoning cable and broadcast in order to stream content over OTT devices. During the pandemic, with so many of us homebound, streaming services have seen astonishing growth in terms of their overall popularity.

While this argument is not without merit, it happens to be a little misleading. Yes, OTT video is growing. But most of the growth comes from two platforms in particular, Netflix and Disney+... neither of which feature any advertising! In other words, the growth in popularity for OTT doesn’t correspond with an equal level of growth in advertising opportunities.

Our Recommendation

To be clear, the enCOMPASS team sees some value in OTT, and we often recommend that our clients consider it as part of a more comprehensive strategy. With that said, OTT is best regarded as one piece of the pie, not the end-all and be-all of video advertising. Businesses need a well-crafted, strategic, and multi-faceted digital strategy in order to succeed… and that’s something we can help with.

For example, we consider there to be many merits to carefully targeted, programmatic pre-roll and midroll, as well as YouTube advertising. The reach alone is staggering: For instance, YouTube boasts more than 2 billion logged-on users each month, including about three quarters of all U.S. adults.

Beyond that, digital video provides businesses with ample opportunity to make good use of their marketing dollars. Pre-roll and midroll ads can be as long as traditional TV spots, and they can be bought as non-skippable, which makes them good options for communicating your message to a target audience. And speaking of which, digital video offers robust targeting options. On YouTube, you can serve ads based on the audience’s content preferences; if you own a plumbing company, for instance, you can have your ads served to homeowners in your area who are watching DIY videos about unclogging toilets or installing new fixtures.

Something else we’ll note is that, though YouTube isn’t always considered part of the OTT ecosystem, statistics show that hundreds of millions of YouTube hours are logged through OTT devices.

These are just a few of the reasons why we say that YouTube and other digital video outlets provide a lot of opportunity, especially in an election year when traditional airwaves are extremely expensive. We’re recommending that most of our clients take the majority of their TV ads and run them in other places, perhaps investing about 10-20 percent of your video budget into OTT and the rest into YouTube, midroll, and pre-roll.

Do you have further questions about how to get your message out, even amidst the noise of an election year? We’d love to answer them. Reach out to enCOMPASS Agency at any time.

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