The internet has levelled the playing pitch quite significantly for small firms in terms of advertising their products and services.
It is now relatively cheap to put up a very professional e-commerce enabled website and to drive traffic to it through services such as Google AdWords.
But the big players have still enjoyed a decided advantage when it came to professional video ads. Small firms were locked out of this area because of the costs involved.
Until now that is.
Irish firm Viddyad has developed a new service which allows SMEs to create and produce their own professional standard video advertisements for the web for as little as $99 (€72) for a 10-second ad.
The Viddyad price includes video content, music, transitions and the ability to upload your own text and images.
“Online video advertising is the fastest growing medium in the world and we are democratising the ad creation element for small and medium sized businesses around the world,” says Viddyad founder and chief executive Grainne Barron.
Barron is an experienced film, TV and video producer and the idea for the Viddyad service came about through a chance conversation she had with a friend who owns a florist business.
“She told me she would like to put video ads up on the net but she couldn’t afford it. I looked into it and told her I could get her a really good deal for around €10,000 for an ad. That was when the cheapest ads you could get were around €40,000.
“By the time you had paid for camera operators, sound engineers, technicians, editors and so on that’s what it cost. My friend nearly had a heart attack when she heard the price and that’s when I started to look around for a more affordable way of doing it.”
She came up with the idea of using stock videos from companies such as Getty Images who are better known for supplying still images.
“These companies don’t just do still images and that they could supply video to SMEs for use in ads. I went to them with the concept and they were interested.”
The result is the world’s first fully-automated cloud-based video ad creation platform with access to creation, content, distribution and publishing tools all in one place.
“Our customers have access to 10 million videos and images and we de-risk the process completely from the SME’s point of view,” Barron explains.
“In traditional ad production clients have to pay around 50 per cent upfront and keep paying throughout the process.
“At the end of it all they may not like the ad. With our service they go onto the site and make their ad using the tools on it. They can then view it in a watermarked version and if they don’t like it they don’t pay a penny. They only pay when they are happy with it.”
Barron believes the future of the service will be in partnering with companies such as cable TV operators and the Yellow Pages in the US who cater for large numbers of SMEs who would like to promote themselves through video advertising.
“This is a really disruptive technology. No one else is doing this. We already have thousands of clients around the world and we haven’t spent a penny on sales and marketing yet. The big growth area for us in future will probably be white label, where we partner with other firms such as Yellow Pages which has 18 million customers in the US alone. Just 5 per cent of that would be 900,000 ads.”