Give ‘em a Choice: Advertisers Increase Video Ad KPIs by Putting Users in Control

Tali Brousard-Shimer

Engaging users with “polite” video ads is a win-win – marketers and publishers improve their results from video advertising while preserving a positive viewing experience for users.

Marketers are investing heavily in video ads as online video consumption continues to demonstrate strong growth. When properly executed, video advertising drives impressive results, allowing brands to tell multi-sensory stories that engage viewers in a way that display ads never could.

However not all video formats are equally engaging. Marketers work hard to capture their target audience’s attention through unique creative campaigns, but that is only half the battle. Selecting the right format to deliver their message can go a long way in creating positive brand sentiment and increasing the user’s positive engagement with the brand. In fact, video formats that respect the user and are more mindful of maintaining a positive viewing experience are more likely to drive higher engagement.

Publishers on the other hand, undertake a balancing act of their own—one in which they strive to generate as much value as possible from every impression they serve without compromising user experience. By empowering users to decide if and when they engage with an ad, publishers are able to create a positive viewing experience for users while providing marketers with a quality campaign offering higher returns on their investment.

How do you measure the true value of video advertising?

For publishers, the answer is easy. Video is attractive, in part because it yields higher CPMs than traditional display ads.

For brands, however, adequately measuring the value of video ads can be challenging. Marketers typically use impressions, click-through rates (CTR) and completion rates to evaluate campaigns. CTR is valuable, but measuring impressions doesn’t tell you much about an ad’s impact. Completion rates to can be a misleading measurement if advertisers are running unskippable ads. Are users actually interested in the video you are serving, or are they watching it because it’s a precondition to viewing their video content?

Choose quality over quantity

A more meaningful way to determine a video ad’s value and impact on a user is to give viewers a choice. Let them decide whether or not to view the ad. If someone actively opts to watch your ad, you will have their undivided attention and you know they are truly interested in your brand message, indicating clear intent. This engaged user is far more valuable than someone who is subjected to an autoplay video or an unskippable message.

Allowing users the freedom to activate video ads brings with it cost benefits, too. With this new approach, every dollar counts and advertisers are able to pay exclusively for quality, engaged users, rather than wasting spend on passive ones. Publishers too stand to benefit from this new approach as they are now able to sell quality at applicable premium rates rather than just quantity.

Introducing IntentView

Cedato recently launched its newest video technology innovation – a video ad format that is solely driven by user intent. IntentView is an in-stream video ad unit that only plays if the user decides to activate it. The unit appears as a thumbnail on one of the corners of the video player and transforms to full-view mode based on user initiation (mouse hover or click).

IntentView ads running on our publisher sites have proven that engaged users who view ads by choice deliver a higher return on investment for both publishers and advertisers. With intent-activated ad impressions, IntentView achieves 100% viewability and a 50%–100% lift in completion rate. Advertisers only pay for engaged users, but they will also benefit from the free ad “politely” served in thumbnail view, should a user opt not to engage with it.

The benefit to publishers is higher CPMs that come from engaged views. With IntentView publishers are able to preserve a positive user experience by allowing their audience flexibility and control. It is a complacent, interactive advertising experience—balancing out intrusive other commercial messages. It is a win-win for marketers, publishers, and consumers alike.