What is Omnichannel Video? And Why Is Now the Time to Tackle It?

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Marketers have become familiar with omnichannel commerce, which brings mobile, desktop, and physical commerce experiences together so that the consumer can hop from one to the other without logistical setbacks. Omnichannel video means aligning an advertiser’s video strategy so that messages take advantage of the device they’re on and complement each other across channels.

“For example,” said Jim Johnson, VP of account planning at video advertising partner VDX.tv, “streaming video displayed on a Connected TV might deliver inspiration through an emotional connection with the viewer, while desktop video provides more information about the product or service featured in the video so viewers can learn more. The mobile device can be used to connect the inspirational/informational appeal to a local store where a purchase or experience can be fulfilled.”

The key here is that the medium helps shape the message (to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan’s adage). Television video marketing does not prompt the user to fulfill an order because that message is better saved for mobile, where the user can directly navigate to a site and place that order. Along the same vein, desktop video is ideal for information processing.

“What we want to accomplish through omnichannel experiences is a deeper connection between brands and consumers, utilizing video and device context as the facilitators,” Johnson said. 

The challenges for omnichannel video

As one might expect, omnichannel video strategies are hard to execute because they require different campaign iterations and creative for each channel or device. 

“It’s not easy to develop multiple creative concepts to fit different formats, devices, or user contexts, not to mention driving brand preference or purchase intent during a time of intense competition for user attention,” Johnson said.

Of course, this is where marketing tech providers come in handy, using tech to simplify the process for advertisers.

The summer 2021 omnichannel video opportunity

This summer’s Olympics, which appear likely to take place despite Covid concerns, offer a prime opportunity to capitalize on an omnichannel video strategy, Johnson said.

“As media consumption habits continue to shift away from broadcast television toward streaming video across multiple devices, omnichannel video ensures maximum reach to viewers who want to engage with Olympics content on their own terms,” Johnson said. “While broadcast television is a great vehicle for distributing the same content to many viewers, omnichannel video also allows for marketing personalization either on the household or individual level, affording brands more relevant opportunities to connect with their current or prospective customers.”

This Olympics will be the most diversified ever in terms of viewership devices. With the fragmented device environment come measurement challenges that TV advertisers loathe but also more precise targeting opportunities. An omnichannel video strategy is the name of the game for capitalizing on those opportunities, reaching different household members with the content best suited to their interests and their device.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018 and compiled the daily newsletter since 2016. Joe is a journalist who has written widely about technology, business, and politics. You can contact him at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.