Boiling down a video strategy to “Let’s make it go viral!” won’t work anymore.
When someone’s favorite television show cuts to commercial, chances are they hit mute on their remote, channel surf, or head to the kitchen for a snack. Online video ads are no different. If viewers don’t like what they hear and see, they can mute, minimize, or just ignore the ad. But traditional video metrics may still label that an impression.
The standard ways of measuring reach, including impressions and completion rates, have limitations because they don’t tell the whole story of what the viewer experienced or the actions they took because of the video ad. Instead, marketers need to think about more advanced, in-depth video metrics – achieved through more personalized, dynamic video advertising formats – and most importantly, think mobile.
Remember that video packs a punch, even when it’s not viral.
Consumers are watching more digital video than ever. Nielsen reports digital video viewing for American adults doubled from 2012 to 2014 — to 27 minutes — thanks in large part to a spike in mobile video. And by 2018, Cisco Systems estimates that video will drive as much as 90 percent of all consumer Internet traffic.
Viewers are also less likely to be distracted on a mobile device than they are during a television ad, according to Nielsen research for AOL. Distractions cut ad recall by more than half — and the biggest impact is on TV.
So how can brand marketers know if their ads are working? Click-through rates (CTR) and impressions may be one determining factor, but to absolutely ensure ROI, videos must tie back to campaign’s overarching goals and performance indicators.
Monitor shopping baskets and referral traffic to understand the effectiveness of a call-to-action.
With the right call-to-action, video ads can bridge online experiences to real-world commerce. In fact, more than 70 percent of marketers believe video outperforms all other platforms in conversions. Mobile viewers are particularly likely to follow through with a purchase if brands capture their attention with personally relevant and actionable video content.
To find out if a call-to-action is attracting customers, simply connect the dots. For example, by offering an exclusive coupon or discount code at the conclusion of a video, marketers can directly track conversions. Or, by creating a landing page attached to the video, they can connect the video to a commerce experience through referral traffic metrics.
Google and Facebook are both planning to roll out deeper video insights soon to help connect in-store visits to online views as well. In the meantime, marketers should study their CTAs closely to help paint a more contextually useful picture for how their video ads perform.
Measure brand and product interest with video engagement metrics.
In the Kate Spade interactive ad “The Waiting Game,” actress Anna Kendrick returns home after holiday shopping to find she’s locked herself out of her apartment. She bides her time on her front stoop by drinking champagne, singing carols, and trying on her new Kate Spade purchases.
What makes this video unique? Viewers can click on any products they like (whether it’s Anna’s sunglasses, coat, or dress) during the video, and then see more about those specific products after the ad. Simple coding allows the brand to know exactly which products generated the most interest. And knowing a viewers’ interests, makes it a lot easier to sell products.
Also remember, social activation is key. Likes, retweets, comments, shares and so on all demonstrate active viewer engagement with videos while also giving advertisers boost in earned media exposure.
Track foot traffic by leveraging programmatic ad buying.
P&G made headlines last year by announcing a plan to use 70-75 percent of its digital ad budget for programmatic ad buying — the automation of buying, placement and optimization of advertising.
The success of its Crest campaign, in which video ads distributed by zip code featured prices for items available at local Walmart stores, shows that this shift will work to drive more consumers in-store for increased brand (and cateogry) sales lift.
As Millennial Media Chief Revenue Officer Frank Weishaupt told us, transaction metrics tied to video are best when they drill down to the individual purchaser and average basket size. They are far more insightful and useful for brands than just completion rates.
Brands need to stop blasting generic messaging. Instead, they need to create tailored videos that speak to individual consumers. They can then use more advanced metrics based on consumer behavior, programmatic delivery, and hyperlocal offers to track what really impacts revenue. To get viewers to pay attention, the solution is simple: pay attention to them.