An online sales manager sent a note asking about getting started in online video sales. The quick answer is, start small.
A previous post pointed out the limited viewership at this time with local online videos. It is important to establish a foothold in video by producing some clips, learning the technology and gaining insight into the audience. But the great majority of video viewership is on national sites such as YouTube, while much smaller viewership is on local media sites.
A local site that is regularly getting more than 100,000 views a month is probably an exception right now. A more common amount of traffic might be in the tens of thousands. Many sites are likely generating less than 10,000 views a month if they are doing video at all.
At a $30 cost per thousand video views (video commands a higher cpm because it is a captive audience), the inventory on a site with 20,000 views a month is worth $600. In contrast, page view inventory is worth $150,000 a month on a site with 5 million PVs a month (5M/1,000 x $10 cpm x three ads per page). In addition, video has a high production cost because it is labor intensive.
A good starting point for sales is just one or two video sponsorships that include the preroll (the ad at the beginning of the video, usually less than 10 seconds long) and a banner position on the pages that display the videos for the sake of added value.
But there is a better answer. Consider starting with a video version of Top Jobs, which is an upsell of employment liner ads into a video format. It has successfully rolled out at quite a few newspapers, has decent advertiser acceptance and can quickly generate six figures of revenue in metro markets. The profit and revenue from this product can finance the growth of video in other areas of the operation.