The SMB Video Opportunity: A Conversation With Adfare

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Adfare has joined the growing list of companies looking to work with Internet Yellow Pages in order to tap the sizable opportunity of video-enabling their advertisers (3.2 million small and medium-sized businesses).

But as Director of Business Development Frank Rocco reminded me this morning, the company isn’t new to SMB advertising. It primarily works with newspapers and is seeing good reception among auto dealers and classified advertisers that want to take advantage of the falling barriers to online video. Partners include The Washington Post, L.A. Times and other top U.S. newspapers.

“Adfare is well established in the newspaper community,” he says. “That’s our biggest market at the moment, and that’s growing with demand from classifieds and auto dealers. It’s the same local market essentially, but different purposes, so it’s a natural progression for us to take the same skills and just open it to Yellow Pages.”

Video could indeed be complementary as it’s a medium that applies across local SMB verticals, compared with other forms of print and online advertising where certain categories have more or less gravitated toward newspapers (i.e., autos) or Yellow Pages (service industries).

Rocco, formerly of EZ Show, was brought on board to build relationships with the Yellow Pages channel, and has already formed overseas Yellow Pages connections (via EADP show) that will bear fruit in a few upcoming announcements.

It also continues to work on the U.S. market, which is quickly scaling up its video efforts. As this happens, it will be an opportune time for video vendors to supply the local video campaign fulfillment. One of the issues will be growing pains, as IYPs hammer out the kinks in working with advertisers and vendors.

“There are lots of vendors in the space right now, and they’re going through some learning experiences working with IYPs,” says Superpages VP of Marketing Robyn Rose. “They all need the ability to scale fast to support all of us [IYPs].”

Creative Diversity

Adfare’s platform itself includes montage-style video (using photos of a business), stock footage and a hybrid style that involves both. These all come at a range of price points under $300, which include 12 months of hosting by Adfare. It can also do on-site documentary-style videos (a la TurnHere), which it outsources.

IYPs currently work mostly with the higher end documentary-style videos for SMBs (read: TurnHere), but as they evolve, they’ll fill out the product set with a variety of price points and styles. Not only will this appeal to a wide range of SMB budgets, but it will also allow for more creative diversity so all SMB videos don’t end up looking the same.

With this, each individual vendor’s product line will also expand. We’ve seen this from Spot Runner and TurnHere, while Pixelfish probably gets the award for the most varied product line so far. Adfare will likewise look to expand its capabilities for wider appeal, including more direct (in-house) documentary capability.

It’s also working on features such as the calls to action that are gaining popularity among vendors — led by Mixpo and, earlier this week, AgendiZe.

“As this space develops, it’s going to be about separating yourself from the next guy on the block,” says Rocco, “so this is going to include lots of bells and whistles, such as having a Web address in the video that you can go in and click as the video plays.”

This Post Has One Comment

  1. BestPlans

    Canned ads and wedding-video-quality montage ads are a fad. Stand out custom-made videos for TV, IVPs and mobile are already being produced by Cheap TV Spots in as little as 24 hours. CheapTVSpots produces ads in 7 languages and have over 125 international awards. It’s the only agency that schedules discount air time is placed without tacking on additional commissions. Even Spotzer can’t compete directly with Cheap TV Spots custom ads when comparing price and performance. The SMBs are getting wise to seeing the same canned ads over and over with different company names. One size does not fit all. The proof of this is the mass exodus at Spotrunner.

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