Online Video for Business…Beyond Diet Coke & Mentos

As online video becomes more commonplace for entertainment, with both original content and ‘traditional’ television shows being aired online, there is more opportunity for online video advertising as well. However, just as traditional printed content and print ads often don’t translate as-is to an online audience, there are special considerations for online video ads. (If you watch an episode of one of your regular TV shows online, you might have noticed all the commercials are different, and not the usual 30 or 60 second segment.) Viewers watching television and viewers surfing online don’t necessarily have the same mindset at the moment you’re trying to capture their attention. The TV viewer is passively waiting to be entertained and the online viewer is often actively searching for information.
We talked with Keith Wiley, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at Spot Runner to learn more about online video and the types of companies that are finding success with it.
Who is using online video? What types of business?
We’re seeing a big demand for online video services across the board, a trend that is supported by industry data. Leading market research firm, The Kelsey Group, recently released a study indicating that the local online video market will see an increase in growth from $10.9 million in 2007 to $1.5 billion in 2012, a compound annual growth rate of 167.8 percent.
At Spot Runner, we’re seeing particularly strong growth among restaurants, jewelers, law firms and professional services companies.

Are typical Spot Runner customers companies that have already done some other online advertising, or brand new to it?
Spot Runner serves national businesses as well as local businesses, including local affiliates of large national brands. The majority of national businesses we work with are extremely savvy in the online marketing space (many are Internet companies themselves) and have extensive experience in this area.
Among our local business clients, the majority are new to online advertising, including SEO, SEM and online video. We encourage businesses that are running SEM campaigns to also incorporate video into their online strategy. In addition to the power of video to deliver a compelling message the way other mediums cannot, videos are indexed more highly in natural Search results than text, and improve a company’s chances of showing up on the first few pages organically, when a consumer is searching for those products or services on the major search engines.

Have they typically already tried TV advertising?

Again, we’re seeing a mix here. Among our national clients, many of them are coming to Spot Runner because they’ve exhausted the online channel for customer acquisition, and TV is an extremely powerful way for them to reach new prospects and grow their business. On the local side, we’re seeing many businesses that are shifting budgets from more traditional types of advertising (Yellow Pages, print, direct mail) to online, as well as recurring Spot Runner customers that want to integrate and complement online advertising with the TV campaigns that we’re already running with them.

What are some expected costs of using this service?

Typical costs for online video include the production of the video, and hosting and distribution fees. For clients running a Search campaign, Spot Runner will produce a basic video free of charge that incorporates assets from the client (photos, logos, images). For custom videos that involve a documentary style shoot showcasing for example, the owners, customers and their location, costs start from $999 with an SEM campaign and $1999 if the client isn’t running an SEM campaign. At Spot Runner, distribution across all of the major sharing sites and hosting fees are also covered during the length of service.
What’s the relationship (if any) between Youtube type video and video for advertisement?
The overwhelming majority of videos on YouTube are consumer generated and intended for entertainment purposes, however, YouTube and other video sharing sites can be a great place for local businesses to place content, such as viral videos that aren’t explicitly advertisements but that include subtle branding or an entertaining tone. One of the best known examples is the Diet Coke/Mentos experiment ( Although it wasn’t produced by either company, it was a huge boost in awareness for both brands.
Laura Leites, Assistant Editor,