Videos can play a major role in online marketing today, but only if it is done right. Recently, IAB Digital Marketing held a panel discussion on the topic of “Accelerating Metrics and Measurement: The Real KPI’s Driving Video Adoption.” The panel consisted of 3 people from the giant video corporations of Viacom, Time Warner Cable, and Mindshare North America. During the panel they shared their views about the many opportunities of using video in marketing and the challenges that one may have to overcome.
One of the issues they discussed dealt with the main challenge that many video creators have to deal with: viewer distraction. According to Courtney Henseler, the Director of Consumer Analytics & Research at AOL,
When consumers are distracted, advertising pays the price. Distracted video viewing dramatically impacts advertising effectiveness from ad recall to persuasion. On average, when people are distracted by a device, their ad recall decreases by 43%.
The problems that can result from this single fact could end up being devastating for any type of online marketing plan. While other metrics can tell you how many are tuned in to your video, have clicked on it, or even have watched it play through, they tend to fall short of telling you how engaged the consumer may have been with the video or if your efforts have hit the mark.
In addition, a low response to a call to action may reveal an adjustment is needed but it might not be able to clearly indicate what type of adjustment needs to be considered. The new metric helps to see how much of the information presented in the video is being recalled by the viewer.
A lot of work goes into developing online video but if it’s not gaining the viewer’s attention, it could be money that should be spent on more profitable endeavors. So, the question now is, “How can you make your online video more engaging for the consumer?”
AOL’s New Attention Metric
No business should be content with nearly half of the viewership being distracted while the marketing and advertising videos are playing. This can have a pretty heavy impact on the conversion rates and eventually the return on investment. Fortunately, AOL’s new attention metric is a way to work around this challenge.
The reality is that the days of a one-screen household no longer exist. Viewers’ attention will be divided; they may use the video time for a bathroom break, to get a snack, or even to chat on the phone with friends. While your ad may still play, it is difficult to determine just how much your viewer is tuned in to your message. So your video message should take this fact into consideration.
According to Henseler, smartphones and tablets seemed to have less distraction than computers and television sets. This is believed to be the result of distance from the screen, which is another factor that was measured by the metric. Viewers who were closer to the screen tended to have better brand recall than those who sat further away. This fact needs to be part of your marketing plan as well as having shorter content. As she explains to VentureBeat.com,
The fact that a smartphone or a tablet is right there, 3 feet from your face. Additionally, video ads on those devices are often part of short-form content – so pay attention or it will soon be over. By contrast, the bigger TV screen is literally in the background, and its sound often becomes background noise.
When the viewer is aware that the advertising will be short, they tend to be more focused on what’s being said. This gives credence to the need to have video marketing that is short and to the point rather than long, drawn out storytelling.
After determining how much attention is lost when viewers are involved in an online advertising campaign, the metric also concludes with several recommendations. In comparing video advertising to TV advertising they discovered that marketers need to have anywhere from 17 to 80% more video impressions of ads when it comes to marketing their wares than those that use short-form videos to get the same effect they once had. Each ad a viewer sees counts as one impression.
This translates into more advertising spots at shorter durations than we have previously become accustomed to.
Mobile Device Algorithm
The results of AOL’s new metric works right in line with Google’s latest algorithm update where sites will be ranked higher for being mobile friendly. When marketers realize that viewers’ attention remains more focused during the advertising stage when using mobile devices it becomes clear where they should direct their marketing efforts.
AOL’s metric works in much the same way TV advertisers have relied on Nielsen ratings for years and more media outlets are giving this more attention. While these metrics do not give a definitive report of what’s happening in each viewer’s mind as they watch an online advertisement or how they will respond, it is clear that it does show where their attention is directed at when it comes to online marketing.
Advertisers who are presently dumping millions of their company’s dollars into video advertising can learn a great deal from this video metric and can now tweak their marketing programs to reach a wider audience. As they point out at Comscore.com,
Consumers now spend the majority of their digital media time on mobile devices, making mobile more valuable than ever.
For the online marketer, this is vital information that should be considered highly valuable to your marketing plan. With a better understanding of what’s involved in capturing the viewers’ attention, it will help to tailor advertising efforts towards those areas where it can have the most impact.
Many marketers are spinning their wheels focusing their attention on areas of video programming that were popular in the past, but the world is evolving at an extremely rapid rate and it is increasingly necessary to pay attention to these new updates in order to stay competitive in the fast paced world of online marketing.