Contextual Video Advertising: I Am Finally Choosing Which Products To Promote On My Own Videos With The Amazon Your Video Widgets
Amazon has just launched a new monetization tool called Your Video Widgets, which makes it easy for anyone, with an Amazon Associate account, to create a cool-looking embeddable video player in which to integrate a selected video you want alongside specific Amazon products, you choose, overlaid on the clip at your preferred points.
Photo credit: The Amazon Your Video Widget
I have always wanted to have more control allowing me to choose which ads, products and services to endorse and to promote on my site. I don't like advertisers who can buy space on my site without me having an opportunity to decide whether or not that company is in line with what I say and recommend.
Bottom-up advertising? Publisher-driven advertising? You choose the name, but what counts more than the label is the fact that by allowing web publishers to create their own advertising widgets, by mashing up relevant video content and products from the Amazon inventory, Amazon is tangibly going beyond the contextual advertising paradigm and into a non-machine driven approach to highly relevant, publisher-driven ads.
If nothing else, anyone can now review any product sold on Amazon, from books to movies to software and digital camcorders and make affiliate commissions at the same time.
This should have come from AdSense a long time ago. Instead, I could not compliment Jeff Bezos and his Associates team enough for such a great idea.
Photo credit: The real Amazon Your Video Widget at work - by playing the clip you should see relevant products I have selected from the Amazon catalog appearing over the video bottom. Just click the "Play" button at the center of the video and try.
Amazon Your Video Widgets - Overview
The Amazon Your Video Widgets let you earn referral fees while publishing your own favorite video clips. You simply select specific products from the Amazon inventory and you decide when to have them appear as overlay ads on the bottom of the video.
The video clips you upload must be yours or you must have full rights to use them (you can't upload a Mike Tyson video you do not own and put ads for boxing gloves on it). The Amazon Your Video Widgets makes it really easy to make your videos more interesting and informative by allowing you to complement it with relevant products your audience may be interested in.
As with books sales, Amazon Associates will pay you commissions when your readers click on product links and then make direct purchases on Amazon.com.
The Amazon Your Video Widgets makes it possible for most any online publisher to expand their monetization opportunities by facilitating the creation and distribution of product reviews, side by side product comparisons as well as tutorials and entertainment clips with integrated publisher-selected product ads.
You can add as many products to this widget as you wish, with the restriction that no two products can appear within 10 seconds of each other.
How It Works
The Amazon Your Video Widgets facility is very simple to use. Here in a step-by-step format, what you need to do to make it work.
1) You just log-in into your Amazon Associate account and click on the Build Links / Widgets option on the left vertical column.
2) Select now to upload your video clip, which must not be larger than 100MB and which must be in one of these video standard formats: avi, flv, mov, mpg, wmv.
3) As soon as your video has been uploaded you can play it in the Your Video Widget player.
4) At any point while watching your just uploaded video you can hit the button "Add a product". When you do so, Amazon offers you an interactive small window in which you can search for specific products inside anyone of the major Amazon categories. All of the Amazon products that match your query are immediately displayed to the right side of your video widget.
5) You can now select the product you want to add to your video at the selected point by clicking the button that says under each product shown "Add product".
You can repeat the same process over and over again, by adding as many products to a video as you want.
6) Once you have completed this process you will see all of the products you have selected from the Amazon inventory right below your video.
The only restriction is that products should not be closer than 10 seconds from each other.
As a matter of fact if you try to place two product ads too close the Amazon Your Video Widget will stop you and will signal you that you are too close still to another ad.
7) Now you can Save and Preview your video widget and decide whether it is good as it is or if it needs more editing.
If it needs more editing, you can go back and edit any and all of the products already added, by removing those that are not OK, adding new ones or moving the display position on the timeline to anticipate or delay their entry.
8) Once done you can select "Publish on Your Website" and a small window containing the "embed" code you need to place inside your site will pop-up. Just hit the "Copy" button and then paste the snippet of code within your blog template or your selected web site pages.
9) After watching your video, your viewers have the option of adding your video to their own website. You will still be credited for referral fees generated by your video even if it is added to another website.
Video formats supported include avi, flv, mov, mpg, wmv with a maximum file size of 100 MB and a max duration of 10 minutes.
Also of interest:
The Amazon MP3 Clips Widget
Send feedback and ideas to Amazon Associates Customer Service
Pros - Key Strengths
- Monetize easily your own video content
- Easy to use
- Huge catalog of products you can promote
- Viral - if other publishers like your video they can republish it too
- Editable - you can change and update your video widget anytime
- Backed up by Amazon - not by another startup that may disappear tomorrow
Cons - To be improved
- You can't set the duration of the ad overlay display.
- Offering alternative ways to display the ads, instead of forcing the same solution on everyone would be also a great addition.
- As of now you can't set yourself a specific time in minutes and seconds at which you want a specific product ad to appear, though you can click on any point of video (not too close to another ad you have already placed) to set the starting point for a product ad.
N.B.: The Amazon Your Video Widget works for all publishers, not just those in the US.
The Amazon Your Video Widgets is a monetization solution that goes beyond the standard approaches by allowing YOU, the publisher to integrate specific product ads into your own videos and at the specific point inside the video where they would be most relevant for your audience.
In my humble opinion this is a major step forward in the way of further empowering online independent publishers to gain greater control on their advertising.
By placing the online publisher in the driver seat, Amazon acknowledges how important it is to know which specific audience you are addressing and which products it may be most interested in. But while for the online publisher this comes as second nature, it is increasingly difficult for automated mechanisms like AdSense and other similar monetization tools to really strike the perfect match when it comes to provide both good and highly relevant ads that match a specific audience needs.
Two comments which have appeared yesterday on Darren Rowse's own announcement of this new Amazon service, really deserve to be highlighted to conclude this review.
First is Egbert, who really catches the essence of the Amazon Your Video Widgets :
"If Amazon would offer a way to browse hosted videos as well, Amazon could even become a competitor for Youtube, since this is a very promising feature that could become very popular among bloggers and other people."
Second, but no less important is Greg Wilker who wisely comments: "You are the Blogger. You are the Spokesperson to your readers." That's why, I say, you should be the one to select how and in which way your site promotes specific products and services to your readers. The more you can fine tune this synergy the better off everyone will be: you, the advertiser and your own audience.
Originally written by Robin Good for Master New Media and first published on July 7th 2008 as "Contextual Video Advertising: I Am Finally Choosing Which Products To Promote On My Own Videos With The Amazon Your Video Widgets".
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