30 September 2013, by A. Cedilla
You know what broadcasting is, right? It uses TV and radio to get the messages out. Broadcasting is to radio-waves as webcasting is to the internet. The internet and radio-waves are the mediums of transmission, and the content is delivered differently.
Now, surfing aimlessly on the ‘Web is different from targeted work; you generally look for the information you need using a search engine, and usually the various groups with the information you need make it so you’re most likely to find them first (using SEO techniques, for example).
Basically, SEO acts to pull you into visiting websites — it doesn’t seem like it on the surface, but you visit a site and you read its content because your searches lead you to it. Webcasting, on the other hand, is a push technology. Webcasts pushes information onto you and into your field of attention.
Like TV and unlike radio, webcasting uses video and audio elements, things used in what is called rich media. Rich media includes ads which use technologies like streaming media, interactive applets and reactive ads that respond to user mouse-overs.
Streaming media has more potential for advertising success that non-streaming content. Streaming media is relayed in real-time, regular content needs to download fully before in can be viewed. Some examples of files that don’t stream are those that end in the following extensions: .avi, .mp3 and .mov. Streaming formats include .flv, .wma, .wmv, .mp4 and .asf.
In real-time applications, video examples of streaming media cover things like online movies, news broadcasts and movie clips, while audio can include internet radio and music services.
Historically, email was the first push technology using the internet –in the form of SPAM. People’s reactions then, and the subsequent laws drawn up to protect users from spam and punish spammers, have somewhat helped tame the influx of unwanted emails, although we still get them filtered strain into our trash and spam folders. Legitimate internet marketers know better than to spam, and it is also along these lines that webcasters operate. They can have opt-in choices as well.
We see evidence of rich media advertising when we watch YouTube videos with the ads that play just before the actual video, or visit websites with interactive pages.
Rich media has many good points for it in advertising: such ads leave more memorable impressions and higher rates of recall among viewers, which leads to better branding, as these sorts of ads leave a better impression than most, especially among internet users with high-speed connections.
Such users use their speeds to watch more streaming media. The more media they’re exposed to, the higher the chances they have of also seeing streaming media ads. It’s a question of putting these ads to work where they will be the most viewed.
Branding means being remembered. It means better recall. Interactive ads that get attention and action are much more likely to stick to the brain than simpler scrolling ads or even animated banners. Interactive is the key action — it leads to more click-throughs that can lead to more sales. Pop-ups can be dismissed at the click of a button, but streaming media asks for engagement by its very nature. Using both streaming and non-streaming media helps use both currently available methods of online advertising strategy.
Rich media advertising gets through the most immediate senses, through our eyes and ears. The message registers immediately, can be recalled faster, asks the customer to tune in more. Unlike TV commercials, which are hideously expensive and can be shunted away by changing changing the channel, and are generally restricted to their respective countries of origin.
Some issues with webcasting that you need to think about are cost, bandwidth and reach.
- There is still some significant financial outlay expected when you develop streaming media. In trying to reach the most viewers for the buck, you need to factor in that most sites that let businesses advertise with them are high-traffic, high volume sites that can support high bandwidth demands, and they can charge accordingly. Factoring in the high click-through and recall rates of streaming media ads, however, can help you calculate your ROI and decide how to go about things and move forward towards more sales and greater branding.
Precision targeting is key to not wasting labor, time and money when it comes to using this kind of technology to your market. Think a little bit about television and go back to the concept of broadcasting. Where can you best put your ads? Companies who specialize in streaming media use it for things like live broadcasts (for news, cable, television networks and radio stations) coverage of important and popular events (especially sports and breaking news), and also evens like shows, concerts, etc.
On a smaller scale, streaming media can be applied to any business that relies on showing customers products to get their attention and clinch the sale. Think of video ‘brochures’. Think of online classes.
- Think of the tourism and travel industry and all the businesses involved: bed and breakfasts, car rentals, hotels and resorts, special tours, retreats, etc.
- Think of the education and training industry: certification authorities, seminars, conferences (Ex. TED talk), DIY and maker teams, solo-preneurs who teach lessons online, as well as industry gurus and leaders…
The possibilities are many, and the leverage they can provide you are immense. It’s up to you to assess the impact of using rich media and streaming technology in furthering your business interests.
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