Video can be a difference-maker

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Because many dealerships will close from Christmas through New Year’s Day, it will be a good time to look ahead to 2018. One question worth contemplating is how a dealership will use video next year.

It’s an important question because according to Venture Beat, a leading source for news and perspective on technology innovation, the Internet should no longer be viewed as a text-based medium. It has become the new TV.

According to James G. Brooks, CEO of GlassView, a leading social video distribution platform, “Cisco estimates that video accounts for 69 percent of all Internet traffic in 2017.”

Writing on Venture Beat, Brooks asserted, “When the next-generation wireless network, 5G, hits in 2019 and 2020, we can expect that number to grow as more consumers are able to enjoy high-bandwidth video on their mobile devices.”

Exciting? Maybe. But for dealers (all businesses for that matter) the growth will breed complexity. Variables such as production considerations, content, frequency, length and placement strategies come into play. Looking ahead, if we accept that video is the future, here are six trends that Brooks believes will impact social video in 2018:

1. Six-second ads: Advertisers have experimented with these short-form ads. It is a challenge to tell a story in 6 seconds, but Brooks contends a quick reminder ad can be all that’s needed to get a consumer to take action. From a marine dealer’s perspective, however, 6-second ads aren’t the point. Rather, it’s creating video for your social media program that is becoming mandatory to reach customers and prospects.

2. More advertising on Netflix: Yes, you can buy ads on Netflix. It began last summer. In addition, Accenture has spoken about how it would like to use its digital product placement technology to infiltrate Netflix shows. (Example: A Coke can be superimposed into a movie!) With around 52 million subscribers, Netflix will lure a lot of advertisers in 2018. Notably, Brooks even predicts there will eventually be two versions of Netflix: premium ad-free and a cheaper iteration with ads.

3. Watch for the midroll: While Google has gone with six-second ads, Facebook put its weight behind midroll, i.e., ads run in the middle of a video, just like TV. With midroll, an advertiser can reach a viewer already engaged in the content. The reason we’ll see more midroll advertising in 2018 is because of consumers’ increasing resistance to ad messages — consumers are turning to ad blockers that reject the usual pre-roll promos.

4. Third-party verification: With so much ad fraud, Brooks says marketers are right to be skeptical and look for third-party verification of the metrics. He believes marketers will continue to be skeptical of their digital ad partners and points to consolidation of third-party verifiers that will be beneficial in winning back marketers’ trust. Bottom line is a marine dealer who buys ads should demand reputable verification of results.

5. Personalization. When it comes to personalization in ads, Brooks holds there’s lots of talk, but not so much action. But that will change. Although video is tough to personalize since it isn’t customizable the way a banner ad is, technology continues to improve. So, Brooks expects to see more efforts at personalizing content in 2018. That could even mean videos addressed personally, such as an ad for “Alien: Covenant” that ran in England on Channel 4 that addressed consumers by name!

6. 5G is coming: The next-generation wireless network will debut during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, in February. After that, Brooks predicts we’ll see sporadic 5G implementations throughout the year. The high-speed 5G will be a catalyst for everything from mobile virtual reality to even greater consumption of mobile video.

Overall, video will be a very important and useful tool for dealers, if it isn’t already. It has become the preferred way customers and prospects want to be reached. And whether, as a dealer, you buy ads on Facebook or Netflix or simply maintain a good social media program with video content customers want, video will be a key communication tool.

It behooves dealers to get acquainted with the ways they can create and use videos now.

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