Recipe for Success

Online video advertising presents a variety of new opportunities for marketers. For the most part, these opportunities are obvious-additional reach, enhanced brand/consumer interaction, and more. To be sure, a number of best practice methods have surfaced and some are more obvious than others. So, let’s first review some of the more obvious best practices, and then discuss some of the more surprising strategies for success. Given the countless new ad units, various publishers, and lack of standards for measuring success, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by this burgeoning space. However, by sticking to the basics success is attainable.Companion Banner Units
Take advantage of all the opportunities publishers provide to deliver a companion banner unit with the video ad. These units sit adjacent to the video player while, and sometimes after, the ad plays. They also offer an extremely valuable recall and interaction point for consumers. SpotXchange data suggests that banners can provide significant lift (add .5 to one percent CTR) on overall CTR of a campaign. ‘Clickable Video’ units, while also preferred, do not offer as much value since most consumers don’t know they can click on in-stream video ads.

Publishers should let advertisers take advantage of all the targeting applications available online. All publishers should, at the very least, enable targeting by content category and geo-targeting (country at minimum). Good publishers and networks should do the same, but the best of breed will offer more-targeting by content, category, geo-location (down to city/DMA/zip code), demographic, and day-part.

Tracking the behavior and interaction of consumers is crucial, and it is surprisingly easy. When running a campaign on a single publisher or a network of publishers, make sure they offer the most finite segmentation of their traffic. Use any means possible to track the performance of the ads, specific to each level of segmentation. For example, if a publisher or network allows performance tracking by category channel (e.g., sports, travel, finance), then use a unique tracking URL, phone number, coupon code, etc. for each channel.

Best Advertising Campaigns
The most successful SpotXchange campaigns by all measures (CTR, ROI, eCPM) have been those that took advantage of all the targeting options available. They targeted only the content categories relevant to their audience, and selected precise geo-targets down to the city and DMA-level. When trying to drive traffic to an offline brick and mortar business, why waste ad budget running ads in front of consumers in locations that don’t contain those brick and mortars?

Best Publishers
Not surprisingly, the inventory that is in highest demand is high-quality, professionally produced news or entertainment content. However, this inventory is quite expensive relative to other inventory that routinely outperforms it in terms of CTR, ROI, and eCPM. SpotXchange has seen just about every kind of publisher and content that’s out there over the last year and surprisingly nothing has been able to compete with casual gaming inventory. The gaming publishers in the network consistently deliver the highest CTR’s (by two to three times) at reasonable CPM’s relative to other publishers in the network.

In conclusion, look for publishers that provide clickable videos, companion banner units, exhaust every targeting and tracking application available, and don’t count out casual gaming publishers.

Explore posts in the same categories: Best Campaign Practices, Newsletter - SpotXchange Insight, SpotX for Media Buyers

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