DMS 09: The Local Video Discussion Continues

Kelsey Group Blogs • by Mike Boland

A panel of online video companies exhibited their wares during the closing session of DMS 09.

Spotzer President Gordon Henry stressed the need for varied products and price points including “montage”, stock video, and documentary style.  As we’ve argued, this is necessary to appeal to the wide range of tastes and budgets in the SMB segment.

Spotzer has gone many directions in the past few years including direct sales, and channel partners with European Directories (part owner) and Merchant Circle. Henry positioned the company now as a production arm for big media companies that wish to get SMB video advertising moving on their properties.

All videos are formatted for online distribution but easily formatted for mobile, out-of-home display screens, and television. This is important says Henry, in the multi-screen world we live in. Consistent with other companies we’ve talked to, Henry reports click through rates that are 2x greater than static ads.

The company is also communicating ROI through search engine visibility. It’s doing all it can to collect info from advertisers in order to tag video in ways that increase chances of surfacing in Google for related keywords (see past video SEO analysis). Henry claims the company is uploading video to 50-60 sites including YouTube and social bookmarking sites that Google favors.

This can also be a strong sales tool when advertisers see their video or thumbnail show up directly on a search results page, asserts Henry. This battles the longstanding weakness of online advertising that SMBs can’t necessarily go somewhere to see the ad. This “vanity factor” is rampant among some SMB categories (think lawyers and real estate agents).

Everyscape

Next, Everyscape CEO Jim Schoonmaker showed its virtual map/video product. Part Google street view, part TurnHere, the company maps city streets and building interiors (see past writeup). The latter can be a key decision driver for certain types of searches like hotels and restaurants. Schoonmaker argues that Google can tell restaurant credit card policies or hours of operation, but it can’t show you the lighting or ambiance.

Moving from a consumer novelty to a business, the company’s recent development is to let advertisers build and edit video playbacks of these virtual tours, interlaced with video, voice over and a short interview segments with the owners or employees.  So far it has sold “thousands” of these and reach millions of unique users.

Schoonmakers biggest proof point: Survey data show 67 percent of viewers are “more likely” or “much more likely” to visit a business after seeing one of these videos.

BizClip

Last up, BizClip VP of Sales & Marketing Tim Tevlin showed the newest iteration of its video platform which boasts embedded calls to action in a menu bar. This includes ability to save, share, map, and do other things that make videos more actionable and trackable.

As you would imagine, this comes with reporting capabilities to see video activity such as where and when videos are being viewed and what types of calls to action are being triggered. This is meant to help advertisers optimize campaigns and aid in future video distribution and campaign planning.

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