AOL Buys Adap.tvOn August 7th, Inc.com, the site of the business magazine Inc, reported on AOL’s acquisition of Adap.tv, and more specifically what would cause AOL to spend more than $400 million to acquire the company. The author of the article surmised that acquiring the ad company might be AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s “savviest [purchase] yet.” Inc. also explained how AOL was essentially betting on the video ad company whose growth had risen at triple digits for the past two years. On October 17th, that bet paid off when it was officially announced that AOL had surpassed industry giant Google to serve the most video ads to consumers, thanks completely to Adap.tv which accounted for 84% of AOL’s ads. By October 18th, the news was coming from several hundred sources: AOL’s gamble led to a huge payoff. So what lesson can video marketers take from Adap.tv and AOL’s big win?

Don’t rely too much on one medium
It’s arguable that Google put many of their eggs in one basket, by relying on YouTube and the Google search engine as their ad delivery systems. While that may have worked in the past, the landscape is changing. Many advertisers may avoid YouTube if they don’t feel it reaches their target audience, and Google’s search no longer has complete market saturation. In August, Yahoo beat Google in traffic, including visits to sites like Gmail. When dealing with your clients, you don’t want to give them just one way to view your video. If you put one YouTube link on Facebook, they’ll either view or they won’t, and you’ve set up a pretty high stakes pass-fail rate. However, let’s say that you provide three different ways to view, such as embed it in a newsletter, embed it on Facebook, and tweet out a link, and then you have three times as many opportunities to gain a successful viewing.

Harness the power of personalization
Adap.tv was extremely desirable to AOL because they’d figured out the best way to encourage buying: by gently nudging people who were already considering purchasing. The company uses an individual’s cookies as well as other Internet behavior or buying histories to tailor an advertising experience that is more likely to appeal to them. You may or may not approve of tracking someone’s Internet history, but tracking your customer’s actual purchase history is just good customer service. When you send out a new video, you should be able to appeal to an individual by knowing exactly what they’ve bought from you in the past, whether it was a software package or an evening of holiday catering. Customers who feel personally valued are more likely to give up some of their time for you and your video.

AOL made a business decision that could drastically change the direction of their future by realizing the importance of investing in video marketing. Used efficiently with a few tips, the power of targeted ads can build your business to new levels of success.

About Ryan Perry

Ryan Perry has taken his 10+ years of business ownership and hands-on marketing skills and focused them on online marketing. In April of 2009, he started Simple Biz Support with an emphasis on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ryan is propelling local business websites to the top of Google, Yahoo and Bing resulting in increased market exposure and revenue for his clients using a variety of internet marketing tools including blogs, article submissions and video. Additionally, Ryan speaks and vlogs (video blogs) about internet marketing, educating business owners how to effectively use various SEO tools and techniques to promote their business on the internet. Ryan currently resides in Santa Rosa, CA. Connect with Ryan on Google+