As the use of online video continues to skyrocket, advertisers and brands flock to online video advertising. The most recent report from comScore noted that in February 2011 3.8 billion video ads were served to 100′s of millions of viewers. This is a major opportunity to engage your target demographic – if executed properly.
Over the last several months, I have been a part of the initiation of multiple online video advertising campaigns. In one campaign, we utilized online video to compliment a television buy by providing additional touch points and an expanded reach in the target demographic. For another, we helped a client with a smaller, non-broadcast budget leverage their video assets to target a 18-35 year-old, Californian audience.
In both cases, online video advertisements allowed for flexibility in scheduling, a strong branding opportunity and the availability of actionable data.
One of my favorite perks with online advertising is the ability to constantly optimize and fine tune a campaign. Once a campaign is live, marketers can gather precise data on statistics such as click-through-rates, view-through-rates, impressions, etc. All of this information will allow you to amplify the success of your online advertising and adapt as you go along.
With that said, I would love to share with you a few tips on just how to optimize an online video advertising campaign in order to make a good campaign great.
The most important factor in analyzing the success of a campaign and being able to optimize it according to your goals is to know your key metrics. Work with your team and your client to determine how success will be measured in this campaign. This will establish a foundation for your analysis.
Here is an example of measuring success with a common metric:
When creating or compiling creative concepts, it’s important to incorporate multiple video executions for the campaign. A variety of creative executions will allow for the A/B testing of creative material. It is difficult to intuitively know how a demographic is going to respond to a particular joke or call to action. Therefore, the availability of numerous video advertisements will allow the strongest to shine through. Use your key metrics to analyze the performance of one video versus another, and eventually you will have enough data to begin weeding out the less popular choices.
For our recent Inner Jockey campaign, we had both a :15 and :30 version of each video. After analyzing the data we realized that the :30s were stronger based upon our key metrics, so we increased the flighting weight of the :30s, and saw a successful bump in our key metrics moving forward.
Keeping the above tips in mind, it is also important that you give the campaign some time to run in order to make sure that poor performance in a particular category is a pattern and not an anomaly. It is very possible that after two weeks one creative element will be under-performing, but given a longer sample period the success rate may bounce back-up. Therefore, we usually wait at least one month before making any drastic changes.
If “one month” is too nebulous of an identifier for you, then feel free to use the number of impressions that a given video has received. Depending on the size of your buy these numbers will vary, but for a smaller local buy I would begin optimizations after 40,000-75,000 impressions. However, for larger buys you may want to wait until several hundred thousand impressions have been logged because you have a larger bankroll of impressions to play with.
Last, but certainly not least, is the concept of perpetual improvement. If you have the time and resources there is no reason to stop improving the performance of the campaign. Once you have your best performing creative identified then you can move into optimizing the performance of individual sites within a buy. Your online video will be playing on a large variety of sites depending on the demographics of the campaign. Therefore, there is always some room for tweaking and squeezing out those extra CTR percentage points.
As the campaign progresses and everything is performing closer and closer to your high standards, then feel free to make optimizations at longer intervals, unless you see something drastic happen.
Go get ‘em! And feel free to share your own optimization strategies below.