I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that as a digital marketer in 2016, you’ve at least flirted with the idea of video advertising. Given the right creative talent, it is easier than ever to develop and distribute video on a shoestring budget. But what about after the video is launched? Of course, everyone and their grandmother will be asking about conversions… After all, new customers are the point of advertising. But what other metrics can confirm that your video advertising is successful?
So, this may sound like a ridiculous question, but is your video ad viewable? Turns out, up to 54% of video ads are not, according to Digiday. Are certain videos developing a mind of their own and wandering off into the sunset or what?
Let’s back up for a second. What is viewability? The Media Ratings Council (MRC) defines it as 50% of video frame pixels appearing on a screen for 2 seconds… And to go back to Digiday’s stat, more than half of programmatically placed videos don’t even meet these criteria of being half seen for the blink of an eye. These standards are, let’s face it, terrible, and most advertising industry bodies across Europe have no criteria at all. In other words, there’s no saying whether your video ad will be front and centre, or hiding away in a dark corner of a webpage, or whether it will play for 2 seconds or 10.
What Causes Low Viewability?
Poor viewability is due to a number of factors, the biggest being the piss poor or non-existent standards stated above. As long as video advertisements are sold on an impressions-served rather than an impressions-viewed basis, the industry will continue to struggle with ensuring viewable placements across diverse publishers.
How Can I Ensure High Viewability?
Choosing the right video ad format can save you a lot of wasted money. Most recently, native outstream video has come to the rescue. In this format, the video: a) always appears dead centre of the publication page (usually between article paragraphs), b) only plays when the video player is in view (sounds so simple, doesn’t it?), and in an effort to be less annoying, only plays audio when a user hovers over the video content.
2. Time Viewed
Is your video ad putting people to sleep? You can find out by measuring the average amount of time people watch your advertisement. Most video advertising platforms today will have backend metrics that include average time watched and even video completion rates. These rates help determine whether or not your audience is engaged in the content you’ve produced.
What Causes Poor View Times and Video Completion Rates?
First of all, study your video format. There are a few things to keep in mind here, namely the type, tone and length of content. For example, your pre-roll ad either needs to be incredibly engaging (to the point of not “feeling like an ad”) or it should be short enough that a user isn’t bothered by the interruption. Done correctly, pre-roll is still an effective format, but tugging at the heartstrings, humour and storytelling are key. If your ad is more traditional, for example, promoting a limited time offer, perhaps native outstream or interstitial is your best bet.
How Can I Ensure Longer View Times & More Completed Video Views?
One of the biggest mistakes marketers continue to make in video advertising is telling rather than showing. Video is a visual medium. A diatribe on the benefits of your product or service is like trying to run a car on Windex – it’s an amazing product, but it’s the wrong fuel for the vehicle. Consider who buys your product or service and the end result of that purchase. How does it make his or her life easier, better, more enjoyable? And what emotion does that outcome produce? Focus your video advertising efforts on eliciting that emotion through a compelling example of that journey or even a humorous take on the problem you’re solving.
How much is a pair of eyeballs costing you? Cost per completed view (CPCV) measures the amount paid by an advertiser to the publisher once a video has been viewed through to completion.
What Causes a High Cost per Completed View?
CPCV is calculated by dividing your total ad spend by the # of completed video views. Traditionally, CPCV prices between $0.10-0.30, but newer formats such as native outstream perform at an average of $0.02. If your CPCV is high, it’s best to re-evaluate your creative, your video format, and your distribution plan because one of these things just isn’t working for you.
How Can I Ensure a Low CPCV?
A high CPCV means there’s something off with a slice of your video strategy: Perhaps your video isn’t performing well due to the type of ad inventory you’ve opted for, maybe viewership is continually dropping off at the 32 second mark. The best way to combat high prices is to continually test a variety of formats, video lengths and distribution channels. As much as we’d love a one size fits all solution, each campaign is unique and requires a lot of A/B testing.
Are your videos creating a buzz? When it comes to video advertising, likes, shares and comments are worth more than the sum of their parts. While it’s easy to dismiss this kind of engagement, metrics like these act as key performance indicators against broader business goals.
What Causes a Lack of Interaction With My Video Ad?
A lack of interaction is one of the most difficult challenges to pinpoint. Sometimes amazing ads simply don’t get picked up by a broad audience. When you consider that over 4 BILLION pieces of content are created every day, it’s easy to appreciate the work it takes to plough through the noise.
How Can I Ensure High Levels of Interaction With My Video Ad?
Be sure you’re investing in a precisely targeted audience, and have fun experimenting with a mix of paid, earned and owned strategies. As Chris Penn has said, “The next evolution of content marketing is not more content, it’s better distribution.”