Video Advertising: What the Pros Know

eMarketer interviewed industry pros for its recently released, Digital Video Advertising Best Practices 2018: Connecting the Dots Across Screens & Formats, and here’s what our VP of Media Strategy, Danielle Krauter, and we believe are the top five video advertising recommendations from the report:

  1. Run on real inventory.

Real, quality video inventory has long been in scarce supply on the open exchange, and now it’s even more so. Up until now, buyers have only been able to gauge whether inventory is real based on indicators like price and player size. With the Authorized Dealer Sellers (ads.txt) launch in May 2017 – the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB’s) Tech Lab initiative to combat counterfeit inventory and increase transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem – advertisers and marketers now have another tool in their arsenal to root out ad fraud. Danielle, our in-house expert, talks about its value in eMarketer’s report: “[Ads.txt] allows publishers to declare who their authorizers are, so then as buyers we can choose to just buy from those sources. That one action alone is really going to help clean up some of the fraud we’re seeing today.” To reduce the risk of buying fraudulent inventory, here are some steps you can take: Be wary of cheap inventory on the open exchange. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Pick your website placements carefully or consider going with PMP deals or direct placements. And keep a whitelist of the sites you want to run on, and a blacklist of the sites you don’t.

  1. Get to know your audience on a deeper level.

You know your customers and prospects; you know their demographics, their age and gender. But with people-based marketing, you can now go deeper and get insights into their behavior, their hobbies, their quirks. You can learn the tiny details to really bring them into focus. And using this new data can help you craft video advertising that is more personalized and persuasive. With people-based marketing, you can match your CRM data (such as every customer’s email address, phone number, job title and purchase history, etc.) with your customers’ online activity to learn more about the people you want to reach most. Simply upload your CRM data to our secure platform, and we’ll match your CRM data to the digital data on each person — like their device IDs, browsing habits and social logins. (And, of course, in the process, we’ll anonymize the data so PII, personally identifiable information, is removed to protect privacy.)[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

  1. Match your creative to your platform to your audience.

Before you craft your creative, you’ll want to know the end before you begin. Do your research and learn about all your video advertising platforms and your audience’s behavior on these platforms first. With the ever-increasing video platforms, types and formats, you’ll likely need a lot of permutations to make your message effective. Don’t auto-play your ads in case viewers are on their phones or in situations where they have to be quiet. Auto-playing with sound will annoy your customers and is misguided given today’s media consumption habits. Subtitles are a nice quiet way to get your message across easily. And remember to set a frequency cap. No matter how innovative or entertaining your videos are, you want them to stay fresh. You want viewers to have a good experience, not feel negatively about your brand because they must suffer through watching them over and over.

  1. Get your timing right.

Per Ad Age, 33% of viewers will stop watching a video after 30 seconds, 45% by one minute, and 60% by 2 minutes. It’s clear timing is key when it comes to video advertising. You can’t repurpose a 30-second TV spot and call it done. It just won’t work in digital. Even the 15-second spot struggles, especially as attention spans continue to shrink. Realistically, you’ve got 5 seconds of storytelling max so make the most of it: Showcase your brand and get your message out there before someone skips your ad.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

  1. Increase your ad value.

Before going live with your video ads, be sure your customers and prospects can find them. Include keywords and titles and descriptions when naming your video files and add video tags so they’re easily searchable. This will go a long way. The more metadata you can include in your video content, the better it can be searched and monetized. If your video ads rank higher in search results, you have the potential to reach a much larger audience effortlessly. And if you include links in the videos so your customers can email, embed or share your videos easily on social media, this could give you a lot of unexpected free exposure. After you go live, keep gathering your first-, second- and third-party data to gain new insights. Keep doing your legwork. Test your video advertising executions and pore over the analytics to determine the top performers. Then optimize based on what is winning to further boost your video campaign to succeed, and do this often since the industry is always changing. Using the power of sight, sound and motion can be powerful. In fact, Forrester Research says one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. So, don’t underestimate video advertising’s ability to emotionally connect with your customers. Now that you know what the pros know, you can start harnessing this important tactic. Find out just how to put these video advertising recommendations into action.

Goodway Group Renews Commitment to Transparency with TAG IQG Recertification

With the industry’s efforts to fight fraud and improve transparency gaining overwhelming momentum, the first question your advertisers are likely to ask is, “Are my campaigns protected?” It’s a fair question for most, but not one our partners lose sleep over. That’s because the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) just released its 2018 list of Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG)-certified companies, and Goodway Group is among the recipients for the third year in a row!

What is TAG?

For those who aren’t familiar, TAG is a global certification program dedicated to fighting fraud, combating malware, preventing Internet piracy, and promoting transparency in the digital advertising supply chain. TAG’s certification program gives consumers and advertisers peace of mind that they can trust the sites, publishers and vendors they’re working with. In total, 80 companies have earned 115 seals across TAG’s four programs — Certified Against Fraud, Certified Against Piracy, Certified Against Malware, and Inventory Quality Guidelines Certified.

What does it take to get TAG IQG-certified?

TAG IQG certification requires a rigorous verification process that demonstrates a company’s commitment to quality advertising and increasing transparency in the ecosystem. Among the steps needed to receive approval, companies must comply with a proprietary background check and review process with Dun & Bradstreet. TAG awards an IQG-certified seal to those who meet its stringent standards and brand safety measures. The seal for TAG IQG has become the gold standard for companies who want to raise accountability in today’s digital landscape.

Why does it matter?

Our certification helps buyers know they can confidently purchase advertising through sellers they can trust because our methods continue to get results even as fraudsters get more sophisticated. And by being TAG IQG-certified, Goodway Group proves it’s committed to being clear with clients and only working with other legitimate, vetted companies within the industry. We’re dedicated to driving the digital media industry forward by leading the way when it comes to transparency and brand safety for our partners. Ensure your advertisers are protected too.

Newsfeed Changes Take Over Social Media Marketing World

Earlier this year, Facebook announced it was making changes to its Newsfeed algorithm to prioritize friends’ content over passive brand and publisher posts. This news was all the talk at Social Media Marketing World earlier this month. In the past, many used organic social media as a cheap way to raise brand awareness or drive traffic to a brand site. But now, as Facebook’s Newsfeed begins to limit organic content from publishers, some marketers find themselves in a quandary. How can you effectively use social media to market your products moving forward? The answer: It’s time to put real ad dollars behind your content.

Expected Brand Impact

It’s estimated that each Facebook user is eligible to be shown up to 1,500 different pieces of content daily but only sees about 300. The Facebook Newsfeed algorithm works to ensure users are getting a relevant experience by measuring thousands of factors to cut through the noise. Now, the algorithm will prioritize posts expected to spark conversation and show these higher in the feed. With the recent update, it’s predicted that posts from friends and family will take priority over brands and businesses, thus limiting the organic brand reach. While brands can expect to see decreased organic reach, Facebook will not make drastic changes to its ad algorithm, meaning paid social content won’t be impacted by these changes. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because last year’s theme coming out of Social Media Marketing World was also about having to put paid dollars behind your content. But then there were still hacks to get Facebook’s algorithm to prioritize your organic posts in the Newsfeed for free, such as using Facebook Live. Moving forward, marketers must focus on organic posts that drive real engagement, supported by paid social media ads to expand brand reach.

Engagement Is the Way to Go

Another hot topic at Social Media Marketing World was the importance of having an engaged audience. Followers, likes, comments and shares are integral parts of a social media presence but are only vanity metrics. There’s no denying that your number of followers comes with a sense of pride, but that’s merely the tip of the social media advertising iceberg. Harvard Business Review recently conducted over 20 experiments to explore if liking a brand on Facebook makes consumers more likely to purchase. A/B tests ranging in complexity and category consistently found that liking a brand on Facebook doesn’t change behavior or increase purchasing among consumers. Having tons of followers is nice, but ultimately, how do you quantify metrics to justify your media spend? When it comes to putting advertising dollars behind social media, we always recommend incorporating a return on ad spend (ROAS) metric to your reporting. To do so, focus on conversions, engagements and brand awareness to help quantify the value of the spend. At Goodway Group, we often utilize cost per click, cost per conversion and video viewership to tie social metrics back to a business objective where the user took an action. Because what’s more valuable: 50,000 users converting and driving business to your bottom line or 500,000 passive followers who may or may not engage with your brand?

It’s not All About Facebook

Sure, Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla of social media, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only player in the game. Many other social media platforms offer great reach and ad options, but some, such as Pinterest and LinkedIn, are quickly upgrading their advertising capabilities as well to become just as robust as Facebook. Pinterest is great for top funnel advertising since users typically save Pins of interest and revisit them down the road when they’re ready to convert. Last year, Pinterest introduced multiple new advertising products, including expanding their search ads, autoplay video pins and additional interest targeting. Their advertising platform continues to grow with new functionality, such as customized reporting and conversion settings. Plus, they’ve released new tools to help with planning out future campaigns based on historical data. For LinkedIn, 2018 is poised to be a big growth year. Their road map of product releases for the year will really expand LinkedIn’s advertising offerings. Such releases include video and dynamic ads, objective-based advertising, third-party impression tracking and look-alike targeting. There is a social media platform out there for every advertiser. Find out what’s right for your brand.

LiveRamp Launches IdentityLink for Television to Transform World’s Largest Marketing Medium

Amanda Martin, our director of enterprise partnerships, was quoted in LiveRamp’s recent press release about launching IdentityLink for TV: “Television is no longer just television — it’s simply not enough to reach consumers through traditional linear TV since the living room is now any device,” said Amanda Martin, Director Enterprise Partnerships, Goodway Group. “In today’s world, creating a relevant and seamless consumer experience across channels is critical, and we’re thrilled that LiveRamp is bringing IdentityLink to TV to further improve targeting and the user experience.”

Is Your March Madness Advertising Strategy a Slam Dunk or a Bust?

One of the most unproductive times of the year for employers is also one of the biggest opportunities for advertisers — March Madness! Last year, consumers filled out more than 70 million brackets during the tournament. This means millions of potential eyeballs for advertisers to target in those action-packed buzzer-beater moments. Luckily, building the right digital advertising plan isn’t as complicated as picking the perfect bracket. We’ll help you play the odds with a high-scoring March Madness advertising strategy:

  1. Combine cross-device targeting and people-based marketing for an unstoppable duo. Getting in front of viewers won’t be difficult for advertisers since fans will be doing everything they can to catch the games. And thanks to live streaming, they can cheer on their alma maters not only at home but also during work hours. Streaming services, like CBS All Access, let them watch throughout the day on their computers, phones and tablets – making cross-device targeting a must for your March Madness advertising strategy.

However, with this increased accessibility comes the need for ad personalization. Consumers expect advertisers to understand their needs and interests. Bombarding them with the same generic message over and over again is a surefire way to cause an upset (especially when it’s a retargeting ad that promotes a product they have already purchased – who’s with me!?). Instead, utilize people-based marketing techniques to share hyper-relevant messages with your consumers.

  1. Make your marketing small-screen-friendly. According to eMarketer, almost half of 18- to 24-year-olds (younger millennials) keep up with March Madness via their mobile devices. When they aren’t able to watch the games live, they will at least be checking the scores and snapping their bracket standings on mobile messaging apps. In fact, messaging app users will top almost 150 million this year thanks to millennial engagement. This obsession equates to tremendous potential reach for advertisers who want to engage a younger demographic during March Madness.

Start your March Madness advertising strategy by making sure all of your landing pages are small-screen-friendly to ensure successful conversions post-click. But don’t take on a “set it and forget it” attitude. Since users will tune in to all things related to the tournament on their phones as much as their TVs, consider other sharable approaches to grab their attention, for example, dynamic ads with GIF highlights of their favorite teams through custom affinity targeting.

  1. Capitalize on cord-cutters during prime time with advanced TV ads. Cord-cutting is on the rise, but that doesn’t mean these viewers don’t want in on the action during prime time. Smart TVs enable those not using linear television — cable, satellite or broadcast — to stream national prime-time events, like March Madness. One of the beauties of advanced TV is you can supplement your existing TV buy with advanced TV tactics to ensure your ads aren’t missing anyone.

Advanced TV ads give you access to cord-cutter and cord-never audiences at both the national and local level. Use this digital video medium to engage a large audience with high-impact, highly visible units. Also, take advantage of advanced TV’s targeting capabilities by layering in basic targeting parameters to reach your most desirable potential customers.

  1. Play for the long game with paid social ads. The inherent communal nature of sports make social media platforms a natural fit for digital advertising plans set to launch during March Madness season. Fans will be tweeting, posting, snapping, gloating, shaming and complaining to their friends on social media before, during and after the games. With paid social advertising, you can target users based on their demographics, locations, interests, behaviors, connections and more.

Take advantage of trending social platforms, such as Snapchat, for a more creative outlet to reach younger viewers. And lucky for marketers, Snapchat recently opened up their programmatic advertising API to all advertisers, for more streamlined buying.

Remember, getting the most mileage out of a social ad campaign also requires thoughtful groundwork well before tip-off. Brands who pre-promote their campaigns through social media contests and events can drive future value by placing tags to retarget users who visited their landing pages with specialty ads during the live event.

  1. Bonus time! Focus your game plan to score big. There are basketball-obsessed fans who wouldn’t dare miss a game or highlight. Then, there are also those who typically couldn’t care less about sports, but the excitement of March Madness catches their attention for a couple of weeks. With more than 40 million people filling out at least one bracket this year, it’s easy to see who the target audience is for advertisers: everyone.

However, just because the excitement creates new opportunities to get in front of a large and coveted audience doesn’t mean you should move forward with every single tactic. Remember, quality over quantity always wins (unless you’re counting the number of times a basketball goes into the net, of course).

Regardless of how your basketball bracket nets out this season, you can still take home a winner. Contact us to talk more about your digital advertising plans and how we can help.

*This post was originally published on 3/21/17 but has been revised and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.