Today’s post is by Rosetta’s Mike Pocci.

There’s no doubt that the digital media space has continued to see major growth in the online video channel, projected to reach $4.14 billion in spending this year. (Click here to read the marketer’s guide to advertising on YouTube, the world’s biggest content channel.)

emarketer digital video ad spend

Source: eMarketer

Video has clearly been one of the most heavily used ad formats among consumers online.  But how well does it work as a marketing channel?  Well, that depends on your business goals, as well as the strength of your media and creative strategies.

In our experience, online video has been most effective when used for building awareness, interaction, and engagement, and for solidifying a brand identity or brand personality in the mind of the consumer.  The more challenging aspect of video is in achieving direct-response goals, as this channel is not the most conducive to enticing consumers to take action. However, when planning for any online video initiative, we must not lose sight of two key elements that can make or break the campaign:

1. Know How to Target the Media:  Depending on your objectives, the method of deployment for your video program may vary. When focusing on branding efforts, you may want to consider partnering directly with a streaming video service, such as Hulu, or a wide-reaching video ad network, such as Brightroll or Yume, with the ability to focus on specific content channels or behavioral categories. With a concentration on direct response, it could make more sense to partner with a video-based demand side platform (DSP) such as TubeMogul, in order to achieve efficiency and scale, and to reach specific, in-market audience segments.

2. Tailor Creative to the Audience:  It’s not enough to reach the right user; we must ensure that we deliver the right message that will compel the user to complete the desired action or feel a certain way toward the brand. Consider the characteristics and needs of your audience when determining your messaging strategy, to ensure that you’re making the most of your video buy. Whether it’s a short-form or long-form ad, proper creative design can truly maximize the effectiveness and impact of a video program.

The creative should speak to the consumer in the appropriate tone and voice in order to create a meaningful connection. It can also be helpful to add interactive elements to video creative, capitalizing on this channel’s unique features, in order to give the audience more control over their experience, and keep them engaged, so that you can continue to enhance your brand positioning.

With these two video “ingredients” in mind, we recently launched a program for a national retailer, primarily focused on building awareness.  The campaign was behaviorally and contextually targeted to specific audience segments, across a major ad network specializing in video creative and optimization, in order to balance effective reach and target audience alignment. This was joined with captivating, brand-focused messaging throughout the video content.

Because of the specificity of the targeting, the relevance of the creative, and the fact that we were able to truly integrate the brand with our audience’s online navigation habits, the results have been excellent thus far.

In the campaign’s first two months, click-through rate has soared past any other tactic or ad format on our plan, and our video completion rate landed 35% above the industry benchmark. Furthermore, by using a detailed ad effectiveness study, we were able to determine whether our video ads actually influenced consumer behavior and perceptions of the brand.

Key successes included a 13.5% lift in message association, a 6.6% lift in online ad awareness, and a 4.8% lift in aided awareness.

video ad effectiveness

All in all, online video certainly can accomplish various goals for brands, as long as the proper planning approach is followed. By fusing the two ideas of targeted media (focused on the proper platforms) and relevant creative that leverages the unique features of the channel, an online video campaign can be extremely effective in building valuable relationships with your audience, and ultimately, delivering quantifiable results for your business.

mike pocci rosetta– Mike Pocci joined Rosetta in June 2008, after spending just over three years as a media planner at a traditional ad agency. Mike is known as a resource for online media industry insights, research, and planning expertise as well as thorough knowledge of advanced analytics as they apply to display advertising.

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