Stephen Hunt

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The ultimate digital video campaign checklist

Brand marketers and agencies know that the sight, sound and motion of video make it the most powerful communication medium to connect with an audience. 

Programmatic video branding, the use of software to place video ads online, is now the fastest growth channel of any advertising segment. 

The benefits of programmatic digital video advertising are becoming apparent for brands, advertisers, and publishers. Reaching a large online video audience, automating the media buy, and optimising the campaign in real-time, brings scale, reach, efficiencies and brand lift. Everybody wins, if it's done right. 

Compared to display ads, video ads have higher completion and engagement rates, and the metrics for brand lift and awareness are also significantly higher.

Our own research shows that ten seconds into a video ad, just over ten percent of viewers have clicked away, which means the opportunity for a brand to create an impression on the consumer is significant. 

Brands realise that online video consumption is skyrocketing and consumers are spending more time across all platforms, whether it be mobile, tablets or computers. 

Programmatic video is the easiest and most efficient way for advertisers to execute a digital branding campaign online. Buying video programmatically gives advertisers accurate and efficient audience targeting, real-time optimisation and increased control, with the flexibility to adjust their strategy on the fly.

The dominant format in video advertising is pre-roll. However, other formats exist, such as interactive pre-roll, rollover-to-play, click-to-fullscreen, IPTV and mobile. They all offer a powerful opportunity to get a brand message in front of millions of people. 

So how does an agency or an advertiser get started and what is the ultimate digital video campaign checklist? Here are some tips: 

  • Planning 

Before embarking on a digital video buying campaign, agencies, on behalf of their clients, should confirm which audience segments will be targeted. In addition, key performance indicators for views, completed views, brandlift, reach, frequency or engagement should be set. 

To reach your audience at scale, the buying platform should be able to prove they are aggregating inventory from the best possible sources. That inventory should come from the widest selection of the best sources, including publishers, ad exchanges (public and private), ad servers, supply side platforms and other sources. 

  • Dynamic Optimisation and Real-Time Analytics

It's not a case of set and forget as your platform partner should optimise the campaign while it's running. Some agencies may choose to undertake a real-time bidding (RTB) strategy, which allows them to bid for ad inventory as it comes to auction ensuring that every impression is optimal. 

Brands may also want to alter their message as the campaign unfolds, depending on their engagement success. Advertisers can adjust their campaigns to react to external events, update their site lists, add/remove ad units from their campaigns or concentrate the ad spend on the sites and audiences that are delivering the best performance metrics.

  • Transparency 

Advertisers want to know where their ads run. Therefore true transparency must be provided and the brand should know exactly where their ads are positioned, how they performed, and how much the impression cost. The exact list of sites should be provided so that during the campaign, real-time reporting and site-by-site performance metrics can be optimised. 

At the end of the video ad campaign, a full report should be provided, covering audience metrics (reach, demographics, and geography), and brand metrics (awareness, favourability, and purchase intent). 

In other words, every stage of your process should be simple, effective, and accountable. 

The post-campaign video analytics must deliver the true brand impact of the campaign, defined by survey-based measurement of attitudinal metrics. There is no place for uncertainty, data black spots, or a lack of accountability. 

Here are a few programmatic strategies that can deliver outstanding results:  

  • Real-Time Bidding

Real-time bidding enables brands to bid on individual impressions rather than agreeing to a predetermined fixed price. Buying in real-time is cost effective, reduces waste and prevents advertisers from overpaying for media. RTB provides complete control over context, which for many marketers is the biggest concern or worry. It allows the marketer to pick and control the exact sites their ad is running on.

Additionally, real time bidding comes with real-time data. This allows marketers to optimise the creative for the audience tracking audience and performance by the minute rather than picking from bundled site lists ahead of time and assessing performance after the fact.

  • Targeting Technology

Data has become somewhat of a cryptic buzzword when it comes to advertising technology, but advertisers are becoming more aware of the benefits of 1st and 3rd-party data to target desired audiences. With the help of third party data vendors, advertisers can successfully profile their ideal audience by modelling the attributes of existing customers. By taking advantage of 1st-party data, advertisers can reach their existing customers with customised messages.

  • Private Exchange Capabilities and Access to Premium Inventory

Private Exchanges are a way for advertisers and publishers to benefit from programmatic buying in a controlled environment.  The option for advertisers to enter into an exclusive partnership with a single publisher, while still seeing the benefits of a real-time buying platform like TubeMogul is becoming more popular, especially when premium inventory is involved.

Programmatic buying has matured significantly in recent years and can now meet the requirements of brand advertisers. Efficiency, transparency, precision targeting and scale are just a few ways programmatic buying can benefit brand advertisers and continue to drive explosive growth in the sector. 

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