Things are becoming increasingly interesting at the intersection of video marketing and virtual goods. As eMarketer recently predicted, online video ad spending is expected to leap from $2.16 billion this year to over $7 billion in 2015; video has become the fastest growing ad category and will be the third-largest online ad format by 2013.
As the format grows, remarkable things are happening. More and more consumers actually enjoy both watching branded video and sharing it, leading to viral distribution. Even skippable ads have met with enthusiastic acceptance – it turns out that 70 percent of YouTube users are watching pre-roll ads instead of avoiding them.
The crucial factor, obviously, is voluntariness. Behavioral studies have repeatedly proven that rewards work better than punishment. Therefore, incentivizing video views and post-view actions with rewards – such as the virtual currency of online games – can have astounding efficacy with up to 90 percent completion rates and 3 to 5 percent post-view interaction in the form of sharing or tweeting.
The intersection of online video and virtual currency is a domain of tremendous opportunity and one that deserves its rightful place as a prominent piece of your overall strategy.