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BizReport : Advertising : August 28, 2013


How personalization is smartening up video

For online video, pre-roll may be a grandfather unit, but it's still pulling in viewers and advertisers alike. The problem with pre-roll is that many ads are simply repurposed from television and many are not properly personalized - or targeted.

by Kristina Knight

I recently had the chance to chat with SundaySky about the popularity of pre-roll and how personalization is changing the online video space.

Kristina: Pre-roll continues to be the main video ad unit. What is the draw of pre-roll?

Kelly Ford, Vice President of Marketing, SundaySky: I believe advertisers are drawn to the pre-roll ad because it's a secondary channel for them to leverage existing TV ad assets. Yet herein lies the problem with the standard pre-roll video: it is produced for a mass consumer audience. On the contrary, today's consumers engage with and appreciate a more personalized and relevant online experience, even when it comes to ads. Whether viewing video content, socially sharing or shopping online, consumers are only paying attention if the content and message is spoken directly to them, and not to the mass audience around them.

Kristina: Personalization continues to be a huge buzzword for online marketers; how can video be personalized to build engagement?

Kelly: There are simple, overt ways of video personalization, such as greeting a customer by name, confirming a recent purchase, or featuring a previously viewed item within a 15-second pre-roll ad. More subtle tactics that build deeper engagement include delivering tailored messages for wherever the customer stands in the acquisition lifecycle. For instance, a personalized message for a new customer may include, "Sign up for our rewards program," where as a repeat customer could receive a message saying, "Share with a friend for points." Such different messages can connect with the customer on a more personal level for deeper engagement.

Kristina: Tell me about the personalization potential of SundaySky's SmartVideo units.

Kelly: Our SmartVideo Advertising platform targets and personalizes video content for each individual viewer, leveraging on-site behavior, network behavior, content viewed and even audience data.

Retailers are quite familiar with the tried-and-true tactic of retargeting, as they retarget site abandoners with a last item viewed or left in cart. By leveraging other behavioral and audience data, we are able to deliver unlimited permutations of the right personalized video ad within the most accurate and timely context for the consumer. To illustrate a simple example, a freshman entering college browsed a computer retailer's site for a new laptop and left the site without making a purchase. Later that week, he may visit CollegeHumor's YouTube channel where he receives a personalized pre-roll ad for that product with specific back-to-school messaging and perhaps even a skin specific to his persona.

Finally, we are applying audience look-alike targeting to move up the acquisition funnel, as mentioned earlier. This helps an online retailer expand its footprint by targeting consumers that look like those who have successfully converted in the past.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: online video, SundaySky, video ad trends, video advertising, video content










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