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How to find the hidden value in online video

How to find the hidden value in online video Mitchell Reichgut

Most advertisers use tried and true criteria to gauge the quality of their online video programs. Namely, where's it going to run? How many impressions will I get? What's my click-through rate (CTR)? And how much will it cost?

But the site list, the CTR, and the CPMs (cost per thousand) don't tell us the whole story -- and the story they do tell is an imperfect one at best. Site lists, for example, are generally opaque, amounting to little more than cherry-picked samples of better known sites that comprise only a small percentage of the overall distribution.

Impressions tell us how many times a video was presented, but they don't tell us where on the page it appeared or if it was even visible to the user at the time it played. DoubleVerify's recent "viewability" metric addresses this to a degree, but it's only treating a symptom.

The larger issue is that advertisers plan and evaluate their online video programs the same way they do their print, radio, and TV. In doing so they're missing out on significant opportunities to micro-target audiences, engage them, generate earned media actions, and clearly evaluate and optimize this activity in real time.

There are, however, non-traditional ways to capture this value. Here are some of the best:

Cost-per-view (CPV)

Buying based on performance puts the onus on publishers and distributors to deliver genuine engagement, not just display-oriented "impressions." It eliminates waste and creates a more targeted and trackable program.

Opt-in units

When users opt in to the ad experience, advertisers enjoy significantly higher engagement, intent to purchase, and brand lift. Offering rewards, such as the ability to earn virtual currency or enjoy ad-free content, drives millions of targeted video views. This type of social video targets viewers by age, gender, and geography via their social profiles.

Sharing tools

Placing simple sharing buttons and calls to action on video players can drive significant earned media actions after the view. Three to 5 percent of users took an action after viewing a social video in 2011, according to a study my company recently conducted. 

Site-specific reporting

Advertisers have a right to know exactly where their videos are running. By demanding site-specific reporting, they can avoid unsafe brand placements and gain a better understanding of which creative treatments and which sites are delivering value.

The guidelines above allow advertisers to develop targeted, functional programs that focus on bottom line interactions and value, rather than top line site lists and impressions. In this system, advertisers can apply much more powerful evaluative criteria to their online video programs, including:

  • How effectively did the program reach targeted consumers?

  • Which sites and properties delivered the most value?

  • How many consumers watched to the end of the video?

  • Which creative execution performed the best?

  • How many web visits, coupon downloads, or other actions were generated?

  • What was the value of the post-view actions?

Beyond the obvious advantages of increased attention and targeting, this style of non-interruptive social video produces more profound benefits for advertisers and for publishers. Instead of interrupting users as frequently and obtrusively as possible, publishers, advertisers, and audiences are working together. As interactive media continues to evolve, advertisers will learn to recognize and exploit these opportunities, leaving the old reach-and-frequency mindset behind.

Mitchell Reichgut is founder and CEO of Jun Group.

On Twitter? follow Mitchell at @jungroup.

Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

"A flat television screen has a blank black text area" image via Shutterstock.

Mitchell is founder and CEO of Jun Group. Jun means truth, and the company's platform is the honest, efficient way to get millions of people to engage with video and branded content across devices. The world's best-known brands choose Jun Group...

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to leave comments.

Commenter: Roy de Souza

2012, June 27

Cost per view for video is a good metric. Not so many users will want to view the video, but those that do are probably those that are very interested.

Also for brand advertising, the best way to build the brand is often to get the user to view the TV Ad. That is far better than getting them to click on something that takes them to an un-exciting site. So getting the user to view the quality TV ad is exactly what brand advertisers want to do.

ZEDO is therefore increasingly a big supporter of advertisers paying per view

Commenter: Mike Dawson

2012, June 26

As Mitchell explains; the old metric mindset of promotion effectiveness, is changing less rapidly than the means of metric itself, but it is changing, and we are all in it together. Take a promotional good, the metrics regarding impressions are much harder to define, but even the promotional good can be used as a means to determine the effectiveness of other promotions using other formats. Video can be used this way too, and can be used in a range of different ways ALL AT ONCE --- Coupon downloads and call to action click through are only just the beginning - The most important thing (once we get the video in the line of sight of the target of course) is that we get a least ONE - And that action we get is the action of the target's own CHOOSING - Business managers talk of Information overload and that we can't bombard employees or targets with too much information, but as we see with the new generation of users using multiple media devices all at one time, the user is conditioned to take in more than just an impression, even if their full focus is not one specific video ----- The human mind can handle so much more than is currently being delivered - And even if the end result of the video is to have the user humming the company or product associated theme tune, that's a result - We have yet to give the target the FULL EXPERIENCE they are capable of experiencing, but we are getting there, and with Publishers, Creatives, Advertisers and indeed the audience working together, we're going to take this video revolution to the streets - To real action, and beyond mere impressions in target mind..
Mike Dawson of: sollylabs.blogspot.com

Commenter: Loran White

2012, June 26

the best value of the video is to make hidden advertising of some means of doing something useful