Overcoming Video Marketing Measurement Challenges
The digital video marketing ecosystem is going through a significant transformation as brands post videos natively on social channels like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, rather than using links to more traditional video channels like YouTube.
While an increase in channel options is generally good for marketers, it also creates a new set of challenges for marketing teams. Managing the execution and measurement of video marketing activities becomes more difficult and ambiguous with more services and publishers involved.
However, the proliferation of services isn’t the only reason measuring the effectiveness of video marketing campaigns is troublesome. Here are a few others:
Digital Video Metrics Are not the Same as Those Across Other Digital Marketing Channels
There are a lot of digital video (DV) metrics that are unique to the channel because of the different ad units available. For example, some video ad units support user interactions beyond clicks and this results in user engagement metrics — such as video completion rate — that are unique to DV.
Additionally, the effects of DV are different than other forms of digital marketing. As a result, it is not wise to use the same benchmarks to compare the performance of a DV campaign to a display campaign. CPMs (costs per thousand advertisement impressions) for DV tend to be higher than for display advertisements, so the cost to reach a target audience may be higher. However, DVs may also result in a higher conversion rate so the cost per conversion may ultimately be lower.
The Right Metrics to Measure Vary Depending on the Goals of the Campaign
While deploying video ads across multiple channels at scale to drive brand awareness is the most effective approach to DV campaigns, they can also successfully engage customers, move them along a consideration path and even drive immediate conversions. Regardless of the campaign goal, it is important to measure the right metrics. Here are some of the key metrics for different goals.
Consider measuring reach, impressions, view time, video completion rate and brand lift.
Consider measuring view time, video completion rate, user interactions (this varies depending on the ad format used), click-through rate and brand lift.
Consider measuring conversion rate, video completion rate, cost per completed view, cost per click and cost per action.
The Needed Ad Units and Third-Party Technologies Depend on the Metrics
More so than any other form of digital marketing, there is a tight connection between the goal of a campaign, the metrics that should be measured and the technical execution of the ads. With DV, marketers must choose the right ad units and delivery tags for the metrics being measured. For example, standard pre-roll ads have a limited number of traceable metrics as compared to a rich media video ad. Also, video ads delivered via VAST track fewer metrics than those delivered through VPAID. It is important to make sure that the publishers being considered support the appropriate tracking technologies.
Publishers Don’t Use the Same Definitions
The problem with using a variety of services to publish videos is that publishers don’t define terms consistently. And, unfortunately, definitions used by publishers are not always consistent with those specified by industry groups. A great example of this is how “impression” is defined by several large players:
- Interactive Advertising Bureau- “measurement of responses from a Web server to a page request from the user browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes, and is recorded at a point as close as possible to opportunity to see the page by the user”
- Facebook- “each time an ad can be viewed when it enters a person’s screen on the Facebook Audience Network”
- DoubleClick Campaign Manager- “does not log an impression until the video has buffered enough to start playing”
- Twitter- video_total_views, which are views “at least 50% in-view for 2 seconds, per the MRC (Media Rating Council) standard”
Reaping the Benefits of Accurate Measurement
While measuring the performance of video marketing campaigns is not easy, it is worth making the effort to do it well. A key benefit of digital video is that there are more traceable user engagement metrics, like video completion rate, than other types of digital ads.
This helps marketers gain a better understanding of how individual consumers are reacting to their brand message. By measuring the appropriate metrics and setting goal-based performance benchmarks, marketers can make in-flight adjustments — updating the creatives or reallocating budget among video ad publishers — to maximize budgets and ROIs.
Steven Wastie is the CMO of Origami Logic. He brings over 20 years of experience leading global marketing, product management and business development activities in highly competitive and high growth markets. Before joining Origami Logic, he was CMO at AppDynamics, the market leader in application intelligence and SaaS analytics solutions. He oversaw company messaging and positioning, as well as all outbound marketing and go-to-market activities during a period of explosive growth as the company grew from 250 to 1000 employees. Previously, Wastie served in executive roles in several category leaders and fast growth software innovators including Xirrus, Juniper Networks and Inktomi. He holds a BA in Business Studies and Marketing from London Metropolitan University in the UK.