Video is one of the most engaging forms of online content. However, many small businesses – including dental, plastic surgery, and ophthalmology practices, as well as law firms – fail to capitalize on this potential source for generating leads and revenue.
According to eMarketer, only 9% of small businesses were marketing on YouTube in spring 2015. In some cases, this might be the result of a lack of time or resources. Virtually everybody now has a reasonable-quality video camera built right into their cell phones, but curating and distributing custom video content effectively isn’t simply a matter of pressing “Record.”
Custom video is an important part of any well-rounded Web marketing strategy, and it’s certainly one your practice should consider. However, it’s not the only means of reaching the estimated 128 million monthly YouTube users. For practices yet to call “Action!” on in-house production, pre-roll video advertising might be an excellent way to tap the substantial and growing audience on the Web’s top video platform, as well as smaller but no less important websites like online local news outlets.
Here’s a look at five key way pre-roll video ads can benefit your practice. Read on to determine how the channel could fit into your online marketing plan.
Build Your Brand
Pre-roll ads are generally considered the province of larger companies. While watching YouTube videos last night, for example, I saw pre-roll ads for U.S. Bank and Glade.
However, pre-roll services are also available to small businesses, and they are more affordable than you might think. Imagine the impact a professionally produced 15-second video can have on your Internet marketing, especially when consumers who traditionally associate these ads with multinational conglomerates instead see your practice name.
Compete – and Subvert
Some businesses invest tens of thousands of dollars in TV advertising. Despite the tantalizing reach of television, though, many practices can't afford to sink such a significant portion of their marketing dollars into these coveted spots.
But pre-roll video advertising can even the playing field.
Pre-roll video ads cost a fraction of what you would pay for a TV commercial. And although they lack the ability to reach a broad cross-section of potential consumers the way television can, this marketing channel offers your practice something much more valuable: the opportunity to target consumers according to their online behaviors and build awareness of your brand among these Web users as they get closer to a buying decision.
This is the quiet, subversive power of pre-roll video advertising. It is less expensive than TV, and creates better leads through its emphasis on custom campaigns and granular targeting.
Tap Into Audience Interests
Even if you serve a diverse clientele, valuable leads generally meet certain parameters. These could include:
- Living in a certain city, zip code, or even neighborhood
- Belonging to certain demographics such as gender, age, income level, etc.
- Interest in a specific service or case type
- Recent activity indicating self-education, awareness-building, or readiness to buy
A properly set up and maintained pre-roll video advertising campaign can target these disparate characteristics and drive additional leads to your practice. Customization is a key benefit of pre-roll video advertising, allowing you to:
- Enter specific latitude and longitude coordinates to create a small but potentially lucrative geographic area in which to target prospective users (a tactic known as geo-fencing)
- Target users who search certain keywords and phrases so they see one of your pre-roll ads before watching a video on YouTube, a news website, or another platform
- Refine your campaign further by targeting prospective leads exhibiting particular online behavior – the user intent behind a query beginning with the words “what is,” for example, is very different from a user searching for the “best” or “top” local service provider in a particular industry
Determining both the characteristics of the users you want to target and the types of questions they ask in the stages prior to making contact with your practice requires research and, in many cases, the input of an experienced online marketer. However, tailoring a pre-roll video campaign to a consumer’s location, demographics, and current level of familiarity with your industry and the local marketplace can result in increased conversions.
If you have invested in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you know how effective this marketing channel can be for lead generation. However, you are also likely aware of how expensive it can be to bid on valuable priority search terms.
Pre-roll video ads are more affordable than PPC while still maintaining a sizable reach. Furthermore, you only have to pay when a user watches your entire ad – users who click “Skip Ad” are not included in your bill.
As the online marketplace changes, more and more users are going to seek out services and make contact with providers away from the business website. This reality makes it more important than ever for your practice to generate consumer attention through means other than simply building a website and marketing it – you need to start marketing you on a variety of different channels.
That said, pre-roll video is one of several channels that allow you to market your practice off-site while providing users with a route to your practice website. A well-optimized campaign might follow users from a Google search to a video, then guide them to a specific landing page on your website.
If these visitors convert, it’s a win for your pre-roll campaign. It also marks an increase in Web traffic, which does more than simply enhance awareness of your practice among users considering your services. A rise in traffic from pre-roll video ads could also result in an increased quality signal for the target page to search engines, potentially raising your practice website’s profile in search results.
By Adam Rowan, Content Specialist, Page 1 Solutions