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Lights, Camera, Action: Examining the Effectiveness of Digital Video

Lights, Camera, Action: Examining the Effectiveness of Digital Video

It’s no secret.

In recent years, video has become the leading choice of both digital publishers and platforms for content format. Relative to images and text, the usage of video has grown exponentially.

Case and point? See the following chart that documents the growth of video for news and media publishers using Instagram worldwide.

For advertisers and brands, there is one question about video that lingers. How effective is it in moving customers closer to a buying decision?

eMarketer strived to answer this question in their report titled “Digital Video Ad Effectiveness: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and More”. This is snapshot of what they found.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Measuring the effectiveness of video is dependent on a variety of factors. Channels, like Facebook and YouTube, are not built the same and the way users behave on them differ. Therefore, it’s best that advertisers and brands first determine what they’re hoping to achieve before beginning a campaign.

Effectiveness is heavily dependent on what key performance indicators are selected prior to launch. On average, the most common metrics that are typically analyzed and measured for video have been factors like completed views, time spent, visibility, engagement, brand lift and skip rate.

Why isn’t there an industry-wide solution?

As alluded to above, activity is measured differently depending on the channel. Facebook determines success differently from YouTube, Snapchat measures data differently than Instagram, etc.

There’s also no standard for what constitutes a typical ad format. Factors like aspect ratios, length of ads and determinants like whether or not autoplay is initiated can skew the effectiveness of digital video.

What about television?

The fall of TV at the hands of digital video is greatly exaggerated. In fact, online video is mostly seen as a complement, rather than a competitor to TV by advertisers.

eMarketer discovered that advertisers and brands are looking for ways to build synergy between the two. According to research conducted in April 2017 on behalf of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, most US agency and marketing professionals had planned to increase their cross-platform spending.

Though not competitors, digital does hold an edge over TV in terms of measuring effectiveness. Compared to television better data for online video exists that can reveal a customer’s attitudes and behavior toward a brand. This is due largely to the fact that digital is much more interactive and engaging than television, a mostly passive medium.

Deep-diving into specific digital platforms

YouTube: Despite competition, ad blocking and questions about brand safety, YouTube is still considered a highly effective channel for advertisers. Most marketing executives found YouTube’s greatest strength to be a platform for branding. Ad recall and brand lift were noted in eMarketer’s report as metrics indicating the effectiveness of a YouTube driven campaign.

Facebook: If shareability and reactions are actions a brand seeks, then Facebook should be a brand’s choice. Engagement is much higher on Facebook than it is on YouTube, as sharing and engaging content is much more effective on the 13-year-old social network. Facebook is also undergoing an evolution as video platform with new publisher products like Facebook Watch. As a result, mid-roll ads are slowly becoming a focal point of advertising on the platform.

Twitter: Despite it’s popularity for news, entertainment and sports information, video consumption is actually fairly low on Twitter. A study from RBC Capital Markets found the number of US Twitter users that “rarely or never” viewed videos on the platform grew from November 2016 to May 2017. There is, however, upside for video to thrive on Twitter due to the ease of shareability on the platform with the retweet button.

Instagram: Like Facebook, similar metrics such as engagement are measured. With the advent of linkable content, marketers have also found direct response ads to be effective on the platform.

Snapchat: The jury is still out on Snapchat. It’s still too early for advertisers to champion it as top option for digital video. According to a study by J.P. Morgan, the most effective content for brands were sponsored filters and lenses, which generated more engagement than video.

Let Awlogy help you find the right audience through video. Schedule a consultation with us today.

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