Pay-Per-View (PPV) Search Advertising for Video Content

Interview with Gez McGuire of MCG Digital Media (July 2014)


A more up-to-date interview with Gez McGuire exists on Backlight, the Video and Digital Marketing Podcast.  In which Gez discusses all the recent developments in this fast paced industry.  

Slinky caught up with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Pay-Per-View (PPV) expert Gez McGuire to get an overview of the PPC and search advertising market, and how it can benefit businesses.

Gez is owner of MCG Digital Media in Birmingham, and for the last ten years he’s primarily been involved in paid search advertising and marketing.

Before that, sales and marketing business development was his game; so it’s a natural progression for Gez moving from offline into online.


What is Pay-Per-View (PPV / PPC) or Paid Advertising, and what are the benefits of utilising paid search and PPV over relying on organic search methods?

Well, firstly I’ll explain the slight differences. With paid advertising its important to understand that 97% of Google’s wealth comes from its advertising, called AdWords. As you can tell it’s an incredibly important advertising mechanism that has allowed businesses of all sizes to have actual visibility alongside brands with much bigger budgets then them.

The beauty of this is because its based on Pay-Per-Click, no matter how small or large your budget, you are guaranteed a certain amount of visitors for whatever you spend. You are guaranteed visibility but also that these visitors are targeted for your website.


So even alongside big brands, like say Coca Cola you’ll still be visible?

Yes it’s that simple. I have clients with small budgets who are up against much bigger companies. They struggle to get the visibility big companies acquire through spend, however they are still within the same area auctioning for the same key words and search terms, being in the same space is vital and very important.

Another primary advantage of Paid Search Advertising over organic is it’s immediate. No waiting, you could set up a campaign now and it will be live within ten minutes. From an organic perspective you are limited to what you will actually be found for.

I also imagine organic results would fluctuate and not give consistent feedback?

Absolutely, Google has introduced two big updates within the last 18 months which have messed the organic rankings around. The way links and sites were built had a massive impact on how search results were displayed.

Truth is, Google is a commercial entity and they will make it more difficult to be found organically. You would have to be incredibly relevant and it’s no commercial advantage for them to make it easy.

If you do a local search, hairdresser for example with a geographical connotation. You’ll see 2/3 of the page are most likely paid results, maps Google places and then the organic ranking at the bottom. This shows organic listings on Google are getting smaller and smaller and its only going to be harder getting on there from an organic perspective.

For any business of any size Paid Adversing is a guaranteed way of being put in front of your audience, showing a distinct advantage.

Great, so in short what is re-marketing?

Re-marketing is simply the act of creating audiences of people that have already hit and shown interest in your website. You can get website hits through various methods and campaigns, once people arrive on your site you can easily cookie them through Google AdWords and set up an audience. As your audience grows you can use Google’s other side of its advertising platform called Display Network, using this you can push out banner ads to your audience.

Regardless of what your audience is doing online, whether it be shopping, booking a holiday, buying shoes, whatever they are doing, you can keep your brand visibility in front of them for as long as you want.


So effectively it plays on their conscious and keeps you in mind?

Yes, its already proven itself as Google’s Display Network reaches about 65% of the UK population every day, so it’s huge! You can choose to either advertise through a cost per thousand deliveries or just on a cost per click basis, from a re-marketing perspective you are not looking for people to be re-clicking on these banner ads; so the click through rate is normally quite low. Meaning you can have hundreds, if not thousands of banner ads displayed through your audience for virtually nothing.

Keep in mind that these people you are re-marketing too are not just strangers, they have already shown interest in your site by visiting. It’s proven that no matter how successful your site 9 out of 10 visitors will not take any action, it’s imperative to have a re-marketing campaign and keep your visibility in front of those who show interest.


Interesting, so what makes a great video advertisement or paid promo video to make your advertisement stand out?

Duration is very important, you don’t really want anything over a minute or a minute and a half max, short and snappy to keep interest levels. In terms of style; it needs to be engaging, what are the benefits, whats the message and what are the USPs (Unique selling points)?

Google’s video advertising arm is actually quite new, yes YouTube has always had advertisement through AdWords but recently Google has launched something called Video Engagement Ads. With VEA you can now embed videos within those banner ads we just spoke on, if a user now mouse-hovers over a banner ad a video pops out and plays to them. A benefit is that you only pay if a person has engaged with the video for up to 30 seconds, its a great way to get TV-level ad distribution but for only a percentage of the cost.

Not to mention unlike TV advertising, which might only hit a small amount of your aimed focus group within a large distribution range. Banner ads are based on a users geography, demographic etc, and when combined with video plus the ability to re-market consistently it gets very exciting.



With that in mind, Google gives a video ad 5 seconds before it can be skipped. Speaking on that parameter and in general, Am I right in assuming the first 5 to 10 seconds of video ad is most crucial?

Absolutely. That is what will either engage or disengage the audience. Think of it was a sales pitch because that’s what marketing is, if you know you have a 5 to 10 second window to grab an audience; whats it going to be? What message are you trying to get across to your audience? Once you understand the message then you can weave it into the storyboard.


That leads onto the next question. What must a video contain to be effective?

A very clear message, you need a checklist of items such as the call to action, USPs and benefits which, just like any sales, need to be placed appropriately. If you knew as a customer you had one minute in front of your ideal prospect what would you say? Guide them, display a clear and distinct URL, a phone number, normally it stays on screen at the videos end so you know exactly what you need to do.


What is AdRank and how does it work?

In simple terms it works on a mathematical formula with two ends, Click- Through-Rate and Quality Score.

Quality Score is how Google ranks ads out of ten based on keywords, links and relevance to the landing page. But through my experience the most important focus with AdRank is Click-Through-Rate.

Imagine an ad is displayed one-thousand times, and gets one-hundred clicks, thats a 10% click-through-rate. The higher the rate the better AdRank scores it, Google is identifying the advertisements relevance based off multiple factors which it can decide rather quickly. Plus if you know how to use the system correctly you can lower your bid based on your click-throughs, meaning you can stay right at the top but pay far less then you did at the beginning.

Keeping on point, this is how Google became dominant. Making good work of relevance, and it’s exactly the same with it’s Paid Advertising Relevance.

It sounds like Google are the main players in this field. But I imagine Pay-Per-View and Paid Advertising doesn’t just consist of Google?

Of course, search engine Bing, Stumble Upon and Facebook are other platforms where you will see lots of Paid Advertising. Still its important to recognise Google’s display network over the likes of Bing, due to the outreach of up to 70% of the UK population that you could advertise too.

Facebook is a social animal, meaning the advertisement has to be approached in a different mind-set. You also must consider the viewing platform. Facebook today is browsed on mobiles far more then on desktops, so you must consider how ads would present in this format to be effective. Not to mention if this is done incorrectly it can become very costly.


And finally what are your thoughts on how the Paid Video Advertising industry will grow? What will be become in one or two years time?

I can see two outcomes, firstly the recently launched Video Engagement Ads already mentioned will have a huge impact as they didn’t exist previously. You can get an outstanding reach but also paying far less then TV advertisement. I’m interested to how it evolves and how video might replace static ads, which you can see is already happening. In simple terms it’s going to make the computers on our desks and in our pockets all the more like TV. Over the coming years it will all merge into one experience, it really will. We have seen that already.