Permission Marketing in a Video World

When marketing is done well, we are often entertained and educated, but more importantly, we are motivated toward taking an action. Unfortunately, most marketing is not done well. Within video especially, advertising is often annoying and it interrupts us, and yet it is viewed as a “necessary evil” that we tolerate in order to get what we want — the content.

Video as the leading marketing method

Video continues to grow as a marketing tool. As revealit CEO Garry Smith pointed out in his recent article “Shoppable Ad Formats on the Rise as Digital Video Ad Spend Booms,” digital video advertising spend is up, with budgets growing 25% year over year.

According to HubSpot, 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool — up from 63% over the last year, but brands are struggling to measure attribution (MeetEdgar). While 52% of marketers claim video provides the strongest marketing ROI when incorporated into existing content marketing strategies, most recognize that measurement of the effectiveness of video can be difficult (HubSpot). When the leading consumer video platforms (YouTube and Facebook) are manipulating the metrics to maximize their profits (MeetEdgar), marketers need to continually review and adjust their KPIs to ensure their metrics are sound and value is being achieved.

HubSpot data on preferred content types

Measurement deficiencies aside, companies and brands are pushing forward because that is where consumers are headed. By 2022, online videos will comprise more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic (Cisco), with current viewers watching more than 1 billion hours of video each day on YouTube alone (YouTube).

Video is the fastest-growing category of marketing, companies and brands intuitively understand that they need to be marketing through video, and yet measurement and attribution are major concerns.

Leveraging video marketing

The problem with video marketing today is that most methods interrupt the viewing experience, because companies and brands lack the tools and measurements to properly leverage their video assets. Your primary video marketing options today include:

  1. Pre-roll. When an advertisement is shown before the video begins, often requiring a viewer to watch the entire ad rather than skip forward.
  2. Mid-roll. When an advertisement is shown mid-way through the video, pausing the viewing experience.
  3. Post-roll. When an advertisement is shown at the end of a video, before allowing the viewer to continue to another video.
  4. Active product placement. When a product or service is mentioned within the video content, and plays a role within the story or narrative.
  5. Passive product placement. When a product or service is seen or used by characters within the video content, but not explicitly mentioned.
  6. Sponsored. When the advertiser is mentioned in the description or notes of a video, but not mentioned within the video itself.

While the first three options are the most prevalent in modern video marketing, they are the most disruptive to the viewer experience — and arguably the least effective, with 65% of viewers skipping an online video ad as soon as possible (CNBC). However, marketers prefer these methods because they are easier to leverage within established marketing automation methods and measurements.

The last three options are less disruptive to the viewer experience, with active and passive product placement often referred to as “native” video advertising. While 64% of viewers may prefer these methods (Tubular Insights), producing product placement video content increases production costs.

Halting interruption marketing

When Seth Godin released his award-winning book Permission Marketing back in 1999, it was a transformative moment in marketing. His book helped explain the ideas of building brand trust, and of marketing to individuals and businesses through personal relationships, incentives, and the exchange of free services or information. When advertising methods break this trust, your ROI is directly impacted.

The expansion of the internet and the move toward video content is changing the way that marketing has been conducted, deconstructing the accepted model – to the confusion of most corporations and the chagrin of the ad agencies and brokers that rely on this outdated model. The problem with interruption marketing in video is that these methods ignore any permissions, trust, and relationships with viewers that have been built by forcing the viewer to watch advertisement that they didn’t ask for, and most likely do not want.

As Godin points out, the new world of marketing is about loyalty and retention, not mass marketing. There is very little visibility into what people are doing, and much less data on why they are doing it. Organizations track basic measurements: number of posts, comments, downloads, and number of “Likes,” but few understand the more nuanced measurements of permission marketing when it comes to digital video.

Video marketing attribution and accurate measurement is the next great marketing divide. At revealit, we’re excited to help close this gap.

This post originally appeared on the blog

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.