I have heard more than once in the last couple of months from marketers in the outdoor industry that they are shifting sponsorship and marketing dollars away from traditional outdoor themed TV shows and into other marketing solutions. Here are some of the major factors:
Diminishing Impact: Television has long been a factor in the outdoor industry. Starting in the early '70's you could watch pro anglers like Roland Martin, Al & Ron Lindner, and Babe Winkelman teach new techniques and catch huge fish from exotic locales. Similar personalities took you along while they harvested a trophy buck, bear or turkey. Since those days, however, thousands of new hunting and fishing programs have launched and have tried to gain market share in an increasingly congested arena. There are now hundreds of shows on a multitude of networks making it increasingly challenging to make an impact as a sponsor on any of the shows or networks.
Cord Cutting: On top of the glut of hunting and fishing shows, the traditional TV audience is quickly shrinking. According to EMarketer, nearly 25% of all US Households will be “cord cutters” by 2022. By the end of this year (2019), nearly 21.9 million US households are expected to have given up the traditional pay TV services they previously had. That number is expected to climb steadily in the coming years and reach 34.9 million households by 2023, accounting for about 27% of all US households.
Format: Along with a crowded marketplace of TV shows combined with a shrinking audience of traditional TV viewers, how consumers watch outdoor programming is swiftly changing. According to Google, 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. The days of sitting down to catch a half-hour or hour-long hunting or fishing show are rapidly vanishing. Consumers have shorter attention spans, with videos under 2 minutes getting the most engagement according to Wistia. Viewers want to dial up content (usually on their smartphone) based on their interests, view it when it’s convenient to them, and pay the most attention for only two minutes.
Accountability: In the age of analytics and calculated ROI today’s marketers want to, and are expected to know how their marketing budgets are performing. While it is smart to cover all the bases of the consumer path to purchase (Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, and Advocacy) with your marketing dollars, video-based ad vehicles that offer reporting and analytics give marketers the data needed to justify their buying strategies.
All of this being said, marketers are not abandoning the concept of sponsoring or promoting their brands in video format, in fact video is being used more today than ever. They are, however, taking control of the process in a number of new ways to avoid the pitfalls of traditional outdoor TV shows.
Some of the tactics we are seeing clients utilize when it comes to video marketing:
Owning the creative video content process: instead of attaching their brand to a pre-existing TV show marketers are looking to own the process of creating their own outdoor content. Some are investing considerable money to purchase video equipment and build their own studios to produce branded videos. Others are partnering with companies like Outdoor News to help create videos for them. By taking control of the process, marketers are able to create as much or as little video content as needed.
Creating video for all channels: Once a video is produced, depending on the format, it can be used for many marketing solutions. Growing web traffic is a primary need for all marketers. According to Video Explainers a website is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google if it includes video. Explainer videos, presentations, product reviews, tutorials, customer testimonials are just a few of the varieties of videos that can help a website's visibility. Marketers are also using videos for social media, live streaming, or even creating their own video series from the field.
Strategically distributing marketing videos: By taking charge in the production process a marketer has the ability to push out promotional videos through a wide variety of channels. YouTube and Facebook videos are the two big dogs on the block when it comes to online platforms. YouTube has over 23 million subscribers and 75 million people visit Facebook's video platform every day. Utilizing video content to engage viewers or serving targeted video commercials on the platform are both strategies being used to leverage the strengths of these platforms. Both solutions have very large audiences with high engagement levels which gives a marketer the ability to target a very specific audience in a number of ways. Another growing option for targeted video ads is Connected TV. Because of the growing number of streaming services like Hulu and Roku along with a Connected TV audience that will surpass 200 million in 2020 (AdWeek) the ability to serve your video commercial to a targeted audience is easier than ever. Unlike network or cable TV you can dial in a specific audience to make sure your marketing investment is reaching an audience most likely to do business with you.
It may sound like a lot to consider when it comes to video marketing but the investment can pay big dividends if done right. A sound multimedia marketing strategy should include, to some extent, video elements. Video builds trust, increases engagement, and drives sales. Video hosting platforms now allows outdoor brands to target their audience with even more precision than standard search engine marketing. Video marketing presents the opportunity for a company to not only effectively gain brand recognition, but establish a deeper relationship with their audience.
We are fully equipped to help you create video content for any format. We also have the ability and connections to help you navigate the intimidating landscape of video promotional options. Whether it's YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Connected TV or your own website, we can help get your message in front of the right audience, in the right format, to help meet your video marketing objectives.