Quick – how many website are there these days? What is your guess? Well, as of December 2011 there were approximately 366,848,493 internet sites; with 150,000 new URLs being added every day. And most of them will include advertising. So many eyeballs – so little time.
That's a lot of places for advertising. Yet, advertisers still only spend (on average) 2% of their budget online even though consumers spend 34% of their media hours online. So why is more money still being spent in TV advertising than online? Because of the much broader creative options available to an advertiser on television. A television commercial can be so much cooler than a display ‘banner’ ad and it's much easier for a marketer to say, "Check out our commercial on XYZ show/network/etc" than to show a data report with little dots and percentages that represents how many people saw the ad online and did or didn’t click on it. But the tide is turning and money is shifting to online advertising.
Over the past 10 years, as with each evolutionary cycle of digital media,
things are changing. With a constant stream of online video available to more people across multiple properties and platforms, digital media is cool again. It's also much more immediately engaging than broadcast. Broadcast is no longer the holy grail. Narrowcast, or better yet, the ‘personalcast’ delivered via social media is a well of opportunity. A produced video (perhaps one of many variations of the same message) can now be served up to an individual visitor, based on specific targeting criteria, with full tracking embedded and direct links to purchase funnel, information or retail partner.
With 70% of global Internet users watching online video (and its not all pets, kids or the ‘best wedding proposal ever’) the market is massive. Online video today is original or rebroadcast/syndicated programming, high quality original programming developed for the web, it is brand messaging woven into original content, and it is quality programming tailored to your individual interests and ON DEMAND. Forget time shifted viewing. This is programming curated by and for you, available whenever and wherever you want it at the click of a mouse or swipe of a finger.
As time spent watching video on the Internet increases (up 7.1% in 2011) this marketplace is a rushing river of marketing opportunity. Though all ad impressions are not created equal, I still like my odds of reaching a qualified and engaged prospect online. What about you?