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How digital video will change 2014
Branded video content as well as more traditional video advertising is expected to see a significant increase in 2013. In July comScore reported that 187 million Americans watched more than 45 billion video clips - nearly 20 billion of which were video ads.
I recently had the chance to chat with Rocket Fuel's Robert Jones about video trends and how brands can make the most of consumers' interest in content.
Kristina: Most brands say they'll increase video budgets for the 2014 year - why the increased push in digital video?
Robert Jones, Sr. Manager, Research & Insights for Rocket Fuel: This is a combination of factors, the first being the increasing reach of digital video--with the proliferation of tablets and smart phones, the gap between TV and digital video reach is narrowing, making digital video a more attractive proposition. Additionally, studies (such as the Nielsen/Microsoft IAG research) have continually shown that not only are engagement and recall higher for digital video ads (you can think of watching digital video as a "lean forward" action), but the combination of exposure to ads on TV and digital video yields even greater results. This in turn leads to advertisers spending more on digital video to get more out of their video assets and improve their campaign's effectiveness. Then you add in the shareability of digital video and the lower cost per impression compared to prime time and cable buys and the appeal is clearly there.
Kristina: According to comScore more than 80% of Americans are now watching online/mobile video, but brands are still concerned with reach - why is that?
Robert: Although we've come a long way with measuring ad effectiveness, we've seen that advertisers primarily view digital video as a vehicle for branding campaigns, for which effectiveness measurement is significantly more difficult. Some advertisers are still reluctant to use surveys to measure effectiveness and offline sales research can be expensive. In those cases, the easiest/most concrete metric they have at their disposal is reach.
Furthermore, video buyers still focus on GRPs as a means of measuring their campaign's effectiveness. Given that reach is a key part of that equation, video buyers focused on GRPs will always care about reach.
Kristina: RTB/programmatic buys are also of interest to video buyers - why is that?
Robert: Video campaigns may be less focused on direct response, but they still want the same efficiency that RTB buys can provide with regard to meeting their goals and reaching their target audience. Programmatic buying can be applied to video inventory in the same way as display inventory, so there's plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the upsides--better targeting, cost efficiency--when doing video advertising.
Kristina: What are brands doing 'right' with video right now?
Robert: As much as we'd like for brands to move all of their television budgets online to programmatic buys, they really do work best in concert with TV ads, giving brands second, third, and fourth-screen support to stay top-of-mind. Rocket Fuel conducted a study that looked at insurance back in January that showed that one particular brand that outspent its competitors by 3:1 on TV (but had little online presence) was top-of-mind among adults but that didn't translate to market share (they are still 3rd among auto insurance companies), nor was it indicative of an increase in market share once we looked at new market share data (in terms of policy holders) 6 months down the line.
Kristina: How can brands improve engagement with video ads?
Robert: The easiest way to improve engagement is to make sure the ads are delivered to the correct person at the correct time. Part of the beauty about a machine learning-powered programmatic solution like Rocket Fuel is that we can free up agencies to spend time creating great creative while we do the heavy lifting.
Image via Shutterstock
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