When you look at the small percentage of consumers who click-through to websites from digital ads, one thing is clear: online advertising is not only about driving consumers to your website. Creating interaction, awareness and impact with your ads is just as - if not more - important.

Most online ads generate an average click-through rate of .10 to .20 percent. Even the best performing online ads only generate a click-through rate of around one to two percent on average. That means that the vast majority of consumers, while exposed to ads, do not click on the ads.

With that in mind, we decided to take the bold step of changing our online media approach for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism to generate more impact and awareness against this majority of online consumers by greatly increasing our online video presence. Our stance was this: if 98 to 99 percent of consumers are not clicking on ads, let’s make sure that the ads that they are exposed to on websites provide the greatest impact possible to maximize awareness of Arkansas.

While we introduced video ads into the Arkansas online media mix in 2006, well before most major advertisers around the country, and increased the percentage each year based on how they cost-efficiently and effectively generated visits to Arkansas.com, by 2012, we were still only placing about 48 percent of our online budget into video ads. In 2013, we decided to increase that online video presence to about 86 percent of our online budget. By 2014, it was more than 90 percent of the online budget. We also split the video budget fairly evenly between desktop and mobile video based on the continued growth of mobile device usage.

As you can see in the examples below, running video ads has provided Arkansas with a greater visual presence on both desktop and mobile screens than banner ads alone. On average, more than 75 percent of consumers watch the entire Arkansas 15-second video ad and move on to the video content they are seeking.

Online Videos Arkansas Parks and Tourism CJRW

The shift to more video has also resulted in an increase in the following online metrics.

  • 106 percent increase in the click-through rate
  • 14 percent lower cost-per-click
  • 50 percent increase in visit rate
  • 15 percent increase in average time spent on the site
  • 10 percent increase in page views-per-visitor

Will our online video presence ever be 100 percent? Probably not since we are always looking to test new creative executions and technologies. But to date, our shift to more online video ads has paid off for Arkansas Tourism.