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Why marketers should insist on 100% viewability

Video is here to stay; mobile video, that is.In a recent survey commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau to examine mobile video consumption habits across the globe, consumers are watching more video on mobile devices than they were a year ago.

Interestingly, there appears to be a trend towards watching longer clips on mobile: 36% of respondents said they watch videos that are five minutes or longer in length daily. Furthermore, 35%  of respondents in Singapore, and 37% of respondents in China are actually watching less TV in favor of mobile video.

There is an upside on the advertising side of things as well; advertising on online video increased by over 20% in 2015. According to Forrester analyst Clement Teo, with banner blindness increasingly becoming the norm in Asia, there’s no better time than now for advertisers to shift their focus towards formats like video, as well as other publisher-specific native formats.

However, with video ads comes the issue of viewability as a measurement. Viewability for a video ad can be controversial simply because different entities define viewability differently; Google for example follows guidelines set by the Media Rating Council and the Interactive Advertising Bureau which state that at least 50% of a video ad’s pixels must be seen onscreen for at least two consecutive seconds for a video ad to be considered viewable.

Facebook, on the other hand, is only charging advertisers if 100% of the ad is in view onscreen, with no requirement on how long it would need to be in view. In comparison, Twitter defines a chargeable view as three seconds of playback in 100% view in the timeline, or a click to watch in fullscreen/unmute — whichever comes first.

What does this mean from a consumer’s perspective?

You’re scrolling through your social newsfeed and you notice a video ad is in your stream that is not relevant to you. What do you do? You’ll quickly scroll pass it before it autoplays. The process takes about one second, which does not bring any benefit to the advertiser, should the advertiser be charged? We think not.

It is clear that the advertiser community is demanding better returns on their investment and there is an increasing emphasis on quality of views received instead of just pure numbers. For a number of agencies and brands, getting 100% viewability on purchased ad inventory is no longer just a goal to strive toward, but a mandate which publishers must one day comply with.

Heineken is one brand that agrees with this approach. Ron Amram, senior media director for Heineken USA, was quoted as saying: “Viewability is one of the key drivers that make or break the effectiveness and ROI of any campaign, and we need to partner with platforms who understand this.”

How can marketers make video ads more view-worthy? Here are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Give people a reason to pause at your video ad

Key to effective engagement is in compelling content that can draw your users in, and that starts with piquing their curiosity with a short text that accompanies your video. Movie trailers for example, are particularly good at showing a short, edited clip that still maintains a narrative. Remember to use language with a strong call to action with a hashtag; this helps people know why they would benefit from watching your video and how they can follow up on more details using the hashtag.

  1. There’s a time and place for everything

Use the autoplay feature to your advantage. Communicate within the first 3 seconds what your main message is to the audience. Short and sweet content works more effectively over a longer clip. The longer the video takes to roll to a conclusion, the more likely users are to get bored and move on. It’s also worth considering how your clip plays out without audio, so you get your narrative across even when the audience has just paused while scrolling.

  1. Make your videos mobile-ready

A recent survey by Animoto put Generation Y under the microscope to reveal the importance of incorporating video into your strategy when marketing to millennials. Interestingly, 45 percent of millennials prefer to watch video on their mobile device versus laptop or desktop, while 48 percent of millennials surveyed watched videos exclusively on their mobile device. In the same vein, 90% of video views on Twitter are mobile.

As users are more likely to view or engage with your video on mobile, it’s important to ensure that the requirements and dimensions are perfectly suited for all mobile devices to help maximise viewability.

The writer is Maya Hari, director, Product Strategy & Sales of Asia Pacific, Americas & Emerging Markets at Twitter


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