Conducted by Forbes Insights and Sharethrough, one of the first studies of native advertising reveals more than half of brands now use custom videos in their online marketing; most brands favor native advertising attributes such as visual integration and native content placement on publisher sites
NEW YORK – Forbes Insights and Sharethrough today announced the results of a brand study to assess adoption trends related to native video advertising that included senior executives from leading brands such as Intel, JetBlue, Heineken and Honda. The study shows that more than half of large brands are now using custom brand videos in their marketing, and when it comes to distribution, most favor “native advertising” approaches where content is visually integrated into the organic site experience, as opposed to running in standard display ad formats. The study also shows that the majority of marketers now prefer choice-based formats over interruptive formats.
“More than half of brands are now investing in brand video, and as they increasingly invest in creating original, entertaining content, they’re eager to distribute this content through integrated, choice-based formats that allow viewers to experience these videos as content rather than ads,” said Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer at Forbes Media. “This study points to a groundswell of demand for native distribution strategies as brands look to better integrate their videos into the organic site experience where people are discovering the content.”
Key findings include:
1. Brands are investing in custom and long-form video content rather than repurposing TV commercials.
The study shows that online video is a mainstream part of the marketing mix, with most brands creating original content. More than half of large brands (54 percent) are already using brand video in their marketing efforts. Almost one-quarter (23 percent) say that they plan to do so, and more than two-thirds of these say they plan to do so in the coming year.
While in the early days of online video advertising, many brands used standard 30-second television spots for online campaigns, 61 percent of brands are now creating custom digital video assets for their campaigns, and 41 percent are producing long-form branded video content. Just 28 percent say that they are using repurposed TV commercials for digital video advertising purposes.
2. Brands favor native advertising attributes for content marketing.
While native advertising is still in its early days, one-third (33 percent) of respondents said they have either already begun distributing their videos through native ad placements or plan to do so in the future.
The data points to further adoption as companies become more familiar with native advertising. When asked which features were most important for distributing these videos, marketers overwhelmingly preferred ad formats that match the native experience and content of publishers’ sites. More than six in 10 (61 percent) of the respondents say that they prefer that the video player have the same look and feel as the publisher’s site as opposed to running on a standard video player. Approximately the same number (61 percent) said that it’s important to embed the video in a site instead of relying on traditional banner ads that require clicks to access.
There’s also evidence that marketers are moving away from interruptive ad formats such as commercial breaks on television and pre-roll ads in favor of choice. More than half (53 percent) favor choice-based (click-to-play) formats over interruptive (autoplay) formats.
3. Brands care most about brand lift, reach and frequency, and earned media generation.
The data shows that building awareness is the top objective for brand video (69 percent), while branding (56 percent) and customer retention and loyalty (43 percent) are also cited as top objectives for using brand video.
When it comes to measuring the impact of paid brand video syndication, most marketers still put a high value on traditional metrics: 75 percent of respondents say they look to brand lift metrics, while 54 percent assess reach and frequency. However, new metrics such as earned media generation are growing in importance: according to the study, sharing is third-most important media objective for measuring paid brand video syndication, at 33 percent.
To download the full report, please visit http://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights
The Forbes Insights/Sharethrough survey tapped 136 marketing executives during September 2012. Forty-six respondents came from companies with revenues between $500 million and $1 billion, and the rest from companies with revenues of $1 billion-plus. Fifty-nine survey respondents had titles of director and up. Roughly half described their business outlook in positive terms, and about two in three said that their media budgets were at least $1 million. The vast majority (99 percent) are located in the United States.
About Forbes Insights
Forbes Insights (www.forbes.com/insights) is the strategic research practice of Forbes Media, publisher of Forbes magazine and Forbes.com. Taking advantage of a proprietary database of senior-level executives and high net worth individuals in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights’ research covers a wide range of vital business issues, including: talent management; marketing; financial benchmarking; risk and regulation; small/midsize business; wealth creation and management and more.
Sharethrough is the leading provider of native video advertising technology solutions for brands and publishers. Fortune 1000 brands and their agencies work with Sharethrough to guarantee audiences and maximize social engagement for their original video content, and social web publishers partner with Sharethrough to create native, non-interruptive brand video placements via the Sharethrough Sponsored Video platform. Founded in 2008, Sharethrough is a privately held company based in San Francisco, Calif. For more information about Sharethrough, please visit www.sharethrough.com.