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TubeMogul is at the center of the video advertising explosion. Our analytics platform gives us a unique set of data to measure what works – and what doesn’t – in video advertising. Each day, we work closely with brand marketers and advertising agencies to craft the most effective strategies for their video advertising campaigns.

In our collaboration with major brands, we have developed a set of fundamental principles that advertisers should employ to ensure they are getting the most value for their spending on online video.

  • Don’t skimp on the creative – a quality creative will return its investment many times over as it increases viewer engagement and entices more users to respond to the “call to action”.
  • Be on YouTube, but be everywhere else too – setting up a YouTube channel is a prerequisite, but it won’t guarantee views. Utilize organic and paid distribution to ensure your video is watched by the audiences you want.
  • Pay for performance – if you have spent money producing a video, you want people to actually watch it, not just look at the first frame. So when you are buying media, buy it on a cost per view – not CPM – basis.
  • Demand transparency – brands don’t have to be told that they should care about where their ads are displayed. Working with vendors that offer transparency and reporting on where ads are shown – down to the site level – will give advertisers the confidence that their ads are running beside acceptable content.
  • Measure the interaction – measure and analyze what happens after a viewer clicks “play”, such as seconds viewed, click-throughs and social shares via Facebook and Twitter.
  • Focus on key metrics – as advertisers use video in all its forms, they can compare the effectiveness of different ad units by measuring effective cost per view and effect cost per viewed second.

As brands move beyond these basics, they are looking for new sites for their video advertising and the site they are increasingly turning to is Facebook. In the most recent data from comScore, Facebook is now the #10 video property on the Internet. Using data from our analytics platform, we compared the performance of different video ad units on Facebook against a standalone banner unit served on other premium sites. What we found was that viewer engagement was significantly higher with Facebook ad units versus the control unit – for the same video, completion rates were approximately 40% on Facebook compared to 25% on other sites.

Brands are also just beginning to explore new platforms for their video advertising – including smartphones, tablets and Internet-enabled televisions. These platforms offer enormous potential in terms of interactivity, geo-location and other features. However, it is still early in the game in terms of the maturity of the ad units and the analytics that are available to advertisers. Brands who venture onto these platforms will have the cachet of being “progressive”, but they need to accept that the level of targeting and reporting will not be equivalent to what is currently available with traditional brower-based advertising.

Video advertising is growing rapidly as brand advertisers recognize the power of the medium to deliver a higher level of engagement with their consumers. Yet the pace of growth is also causing confusion among media buyers. Adhering to key principles such as paying for views (not impressions) and demanding transparency will ensure that advertisers get the most value for their video ad dollars.