Home On TV & Video Online Video Metrics Need To Go Retro

Online Video Metrics Need To Go Retro

SHARE:

On TV And Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.

Today’s column is written by James Brooks, founder and CEO at GlassView.

How many people are watching a brand’s video ads? And for how long?

Those questions are perennial ones for advertisers, particularly after Google recently agreed to third-party audits for its YouTube ads. Facebook, which was caught exaggerating the average view time for its video ads, also has agreed to third-party audits.

Such verification will give marketers data about consumers’ interactions with their ads. But it’s not going to tell them what they really want to know. Though we can track video ad performance in granular detail, the best way to tell if they’re working is often to use metrics from 50 years ago, including increases in brand awareness, affinity and recall.

Video Ad Metrics That Don’t Reveal If An Ad Worked 

Anyone who is spending money on a digital video ad campaign will naturally want to know the best metrics to gauge success. The frustrating answer is that it depends. If you’re running a branding campaign, click-through rates aren’t important. If it’s a direct-response campaign, they are.

There are other reasons why popular digital video metrics don’t tell you much about whether ads are working. Viewability, for example, matters, but only to a point. Viewability is important because marketers want people to see their ads, but if they aim for the highest possible viewability rate, then they’re likely to pay higher CPMs and reach fewer people than if they aimed for a lower viewability percentage.

Likewise, audibility is nice, but not essential. Does it matter if people hear video ads? Yes, it’s definitely preferable to having consumers not hear them, but it really depends what marketers are trying to do. If marketers are selling paper towels, they might be able to run subtitles and audio might matter less. A luxury brand, however, may not want to detract from its editorial images with words, eliminating captions as an option and making audio more important.

Finally, completion rates are often beside the point. Sitting through an entire video ad shows engagement, but it’s possible to see only part of a video ad and still be exposed to a branding message. That’s how banners and billboards work.

Look To The Funnel

Subscribe

AdExchanger Daily

Get our editors’ roundup delivered to your inbox every weekday.

Looking at video metrics in isolation is a bit like looking at the wrong end of a pair of binoculars. To determine the success of a campaign, marketers need to assess whether the ads are working, which requires an expansive view rather than tunnel vision.

What works? Over the past few years, it’s become apparent that engagement is often a red herring. An ad might get a lot of engagement because it’s funny but it doesn’t sell a lot of products, as was the case with Evian’s Roller Babies. Or an ad might sell a lot of products, but not go viral as many others have.

That’s why the best way to assess a video campaign is to start with the purchase funnel. It may be a century-old remnant of marketing past to some, but the purchase funnel is still an important tool to determine who marketers are trying to reach.

Video tends to skew to the upper part of the funnel so they’re good for branding rather than for direct-response, generally speaking. The best way to measure branding advertising is to measure consumers’ brand affinity before and after an ad runs. So far, there’s no high-tech way to test ad recall. You have to simply ask consumers if they remember seeing an ad.

That seems squishy, I know. We would all like a machine that tells us unequivocally, with data, that an ad works. There are humans behind those numbers, though. They are more complex than their clicks and swipes would indicate, and in many cases the tried-and-true metrics from 50 years ago still yield some of the most significant insights today.

Follow GlassView (@GlassViewMedia) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

Must Read

Scott’s Miracle-Gro Is Seeing Green With Retail Media

It’s lawn season – and you know what that means. Scott’s Miracle-Gro commercials, of course. Except this time, spots for Scott’s will be brought to you by The Home Depot’s retail media network.

Walled Garden Platforms Are Drowning Marketers In Self-Attributed Sales

Sales are way up; ROAS is through the roof across search, social and ecommerce. At least, that’s what the ad platforms say.

Comic: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Shadier Than Forbes? Premium Publishers Are Partnering With Content Farms To Make A Quick Programmatic Buck

The practice involves monetizing resold subdomains jammed with recycled MFA articles produced by notorious content farms.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters

Adalytics Claims Colossus SSP Is Misdeclaring IDs In Its Bid Requests

Colossus SSP, a DEI-focused supply-side platform owned by Direct Digital Holdings (DDH), is the subject of Adalytics’ latest report released Friday. It’s a doozy.

The Trade Desk Reframes Its Open Internet Vision As ‘The Premium Internet’

The Trade Desk is focusing beyond the overall “open internet” and on what CEO Jeff Green calls the “premium internet.”

Comic: Welcome Aboard

Google Search’s Core Updates Are Crushing Sites And Reshaping The Web

Google Search, the web’s largest traffic and revenue generator for two decades, is in the midst of sweeping overhauls that have already altered how users are funneled around the internet.