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August 20, 2014, Article

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Fourth Source: Plan, target and measure your way to video ad success

The rise of online video consumption in the UK shows no signs of slowing. With figures highlighting that video content will account for almost four-fifths of global online consumer traffic by 2018, it’s little surprise that UK video ad spend has reached a record high of £324.9 million.

The global media streaming market is also booming, with around 20 million consumers currently subscribed to Amazon Prime and a further 44 million to Netflix.

With such a vast and highly engaged audience, online video presents a compelling advertising opportunity for brands. Video is a multi-sensory medium that engages viewers on an emotional level and provides the ideal platform for conveying a brand’s bid ideas.

Online video is also a heavily shared medium, providing word-of-mouth endorsement across social networks, so is a powerful tool for advertisers looking to reach and build brand awareness among demographics such as millennials, who are moving steadily away from traditional TV viewing and towards online video across multiple devices.

While the value of online video to advertisers is clear, there can be challenges around the planning, targeting, and measurement of campaigns that hinder success.

So what can advertisers do to overcome these issues and take advantage of the numerous benefits that video can offer?

Viewing for video
It is critical that marketers understand the user environment of online video, and accommodate consumer behaviours and needs accordingly. Viewers engage with video in a very different way from TV, and the advertising creative should be designed to make the most of this unique environment and deliver the correct viewer experience.
While TV audiences adopt a passive ‘lean-back’ mindset, video viewers encourage a fully engaged ‘lean-forward’ approach. This enables marketers to create interactive ads, or use user generated content, and other formats that are unique to video.

Target practice
Video is an adaptable medium and achieving maximum ROI from a video campaign means continual optimisation by identifying the tactics that deliver the most success and allocating spend accordingly. This complex process can be made simple with machine learning algorithms that use video-specific performance data to optimally connect media, audiences, and creative to achieve predetermined goals.
By leveraging algorithmic optimisation, marketers can be more effective in their messaging and more efficient in their video media buying.

Advanced attribution
Traditional attribution models that reward the last impression or click often disregard video when it is used as a top-of-the-funnel prospecting tool to increase brand awareness and engagement. But more advanced attribution models can be used to quantify the fractional credit that each touch point deserves and adjust bid values based on the predicted contribution of various touch points – including video.

There is a great deal of innovation and focus in the market place to help better measure cross-screen activity, with comScore and Nielsen recently announcing new ad-tracking systems for mobile and tablets. This drive for new advanced measurements demonstrates the importance of cross-screen attribution and tracking of consumers for marketers.

The use of a single platform – or marketing operating system – enables marketers to incorporate video-specific measurements into their campaigns, including exposure, engagement, reach, and frequency. And tools such as gross rating point (GRP) can help gauge online video success, comparing TV and digital campaigns to deliver like-for-like analysis and ROI.

The benefits of video are clear and marketers that adopt these guiding principles will reap the rewards gained from being able to better plan, execute, and measure their video ad campaigns.

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