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Video: Now &
In the Future
Q You are a featured speaker at the upcoming Fast Forward:
Video Summit and I want to probe your expertise in this
arena but first, can you give us a thumbnail of your career path to
date? And, can you tell us a bit about your work with Local Search
A I’m helping LSA in its effort to educate the market about the
value and importance of location-based media and
advertising as well as supporting its ongoing initiative to diversify
membership and align the activities of the organization with the
needs of its expanding member base.
I was originally a lawyer and then worked at several startups and
tech firms after quitting law. Among them were Allbusiness.com and
TechTV in the late 1990s. I became an analyst for market research
firm The Kelsey Group (now BIA/Kelsey) in 2000 and left in 2006 to
pursue my own consulting. After doing that for eight years I joined
LSA in August of 2014.
LSA has some unique assets and the opportunity presented was
very interesting. It was both a creative and growth opportunity for
me in many ways.
Q Let’s jump right into streaming video for branded content
and advertising. What’s different about the current and
emerging strategies than the 15-second pre rolls we’re all accus-
A Marketers are getting a lot more sophisticated about video
and more publishers and sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) are
utilizing it, recognizing its impact and promotional power. In
addition video has emerged as a format that can be effective in
mobile contexts, making it a powerful “cross-platform” marketing
solution, with a few context-specific caveats.
Programmatic buying and exchanges have also changed the
market, giving video the ability to reach both broader and more
precise audiences. Those mechanisms combined with video’s emo-
tional appeal and “simplicity” make it appealing to many brands
and marketers over many other digital ad formats. Publishers like it
because it can command premiums over other ad formats.
Q Tell us about the trends you are seeing in this space.
Thoughts on where it’s headed? What are some tips to your
members, and media companies in general, about developing this
A It really depends on the advertiser segment you’re talking about.
However I think a missed opportunity for those channels serving
local or small business advertisers is the “how-to” video on YouTube.
There are literally millions of “how-to” lookups on YouTube, an increasing
number of them are mobile. These are search queries: people looking for
help, answers and even service providers. SMBs and others can anticipate
these issues (“top questions”) and create content that can be used across
social sites. This represents both a branding opportunity and one that can
translate into real and often immediate leads.
As I suggested above, if using video across platforms one must be
mindful of the user experience and not simply “edit down” TV spots for
other channels. Mobile in particular requires thinking carefully about
context and the user experience.
Q Your topic at this month’s Video Summit has to do with opportu-
nities with Facebook video. For the benefit of those who are not
able to hear you in person, can you share some insights about these
A Facebook video has grown in a very short time to rival YouTube
in volume and engagement. Yet marketers also get the benefit of
Facebook’s very powerful audience targeting capabilities. This combina-
tion of the traditional benefits of video and precise targeting make
Facebook video a potentially very effective marketing tool for both
enterprises and even small businesses.
Q Facebook was recently sued in Belgium for social plug-in
tracking, relating to privacy issues. What implications, if any, does
this have in North America?
A Privacy rules and regulations are stricter in Europe than the US.
There are many more rules around disclosure and transparency
there. Data usage must be more narrowly tailored. Europeans tend to
reject the American tech rationale: we need all your data to make the
user experience better.
Over time the FTC or States Attorneys General may get more in-
volved – assume Congress will do nothing regarding consumer privacy
legislation – and we may see new rules in the US that require more
disclosures and/or consumer control over data usage. For now it’s a
relatively lax environment here, with “self-regulation” the prevailing and
Q Switching gears a bit. Like many legacy media companies, your
organization and members are no strangers to the disruption
brought about by the digital revolution. Tell us about some of the innova-
tive practices being used by directory publishers to overcome the shift
away from print.
A Directory publishers are now one of many constituencies within
CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
Products and tools can become
commoditized. Service cannot.
Vice President of Strategy & Insights,
Local Search Association
Greg Sterling is a featured speaker at this month’s Fast Forward: Video Summit on the topic of
‘Opportunities with Facebook Video’. His work with LSA covers a lot of territory, well beyond
video, and in this interview you’ll hear his views on trends in this space and much, much more.
More about the Video Summit, held August 18-19 in Chicago, on page 7.
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