Measuring online video ad reception is critical

Businesses will have to analyze and measure how their videos are working as a campaign.

Posted on Feb 10, 2014 by YuMe

Looking for meaningful statistics and measurements for an online video ad campaign is something every business should be doing, but few are actually undertaking correctly. Don Willmott wrote on OnlineVideo.net that there no universally agreed-upon way to measure the impact of online video. He spoke with Jonah Goodhart, who told him that the video industry will not grow as quickly as it should until measurement happens across the board.

Goodhart said there is currently no standard measurement of success in the online video realm, and brands need to figure out how they can spend their money in a way that will get them the best return on investment. Currently, 25 percent of online marketing is focused on branding, he said, even though it makes up 67 percent of ad spending across the world.

Analytics professional Noreen Hafez said one measurement that could be useful is the play -through rate, which can show businesses how many people watch a video once it loads. Fifteen seconds is the current average time people will watch a video before cutting it off.

"Our research shows that the play-through rate is a very meaningful metric," Hafez told Willmott. "We know that correlates with the attention span of the viewer. We also know that it correlates with the loyalty of the viewer to that website. Further, we know that it's related to the perceived value (and level of interest) of the viewer in watching the content itself. We also have quantitative evidence that viewers will play through an ad with greater patience, since they view it as implicit payment for the content."

Looking at the campaign holistically
A recent eMarketer report, titled "Digital Video Ad Metrics: Making the Most of the Measurement Toolbox," said metrics doesn't have to be difficult, but many companies end up simplifying them too much. The best way to go is to let analytics and metrics work in concert with other statistics, eMarketer stated. Examples of this include tying in online video ad numbers with social and brand health studies to ensure that a holistic picture is being gained of online video advertising.

There are common metrics and measurements companies utilize, according to a study, eMarketer cited. The most popular is impressions, which 86.5 percent of brands look at, followed by clicks, which are monitored by 82.7 percent, and 71.2 percent look at completion rates. However, eMarketer noted that just because there is a data set or metric that is widely utilized does not mean that it will work for every business. Each organization needs to figure out the analytics that will show what is working for their online video ad campaigns and which areas may need some adjustments.

Willmott gave some other ideas for what online video advertisers can do to make sure their campaign is working, including looking at conversion rates, how search engines are picking up the video and perhaps most importantly for the future, whether videos are shared.

"In our social media-centric world, a share indicates that the ad in question was engaging enough to inspire the viewer to take action, and with viewers doing some of your work for you, you can yield a better ROI," Willmott wrote. "Following a pass-along from one site to another can also give you insight about which sites work best for your message and content."

However, Goodhart told Willmott that sharing cannot be the end-all be-all of a video's measurement of success. Ads can still be effective if they are not widely shared, but this is an important area of the industry to keep an eye on moving forward.