We have to ask if the standard metrics for media effectiveness will be enough into the future to convince savvy marketers that their media investments are truly hitting their targets. I’d say the current metrics need a new dynamic: engagement.
As APAC marketers continue to shift budgets from traditional TV to online pre-roll video, even this particular channel is statistically showing specific characteristics where marketers need to be aware of the nuances. One of the most important among them has been video rich media. This medium achieves significantly higher levels of impact with online audiences, compared with standard pre-roll. For those not familiar in this sector, video rich media offers multiple layers of engagement built into standard pre-roll in the form of a rich-media panel.
So what is it exactly that makes rich media video ads so impactful? Video continues to be one of the most effective mediums to reach vast audiences at scale. Internet users in Asia alone watched almost 45 billion online videos in June 2012. According to research across Asia, the time consumers spend engaging with rich media ads is 74 per cent higher than with traditional advertising. Also, engagement rates for rich media content are now five times higher than for static or animated banner ads.
How exactly does this help brands? Here are some key drivers of rich media in the APAC online video space:
- Engagement: This is one of the most effective practises for people to experience a brand without actually purchasing the product or service.
- Dwell time: The time spent on rich-media ads is much higher than standard ads. We have seen 15-second pre-roll rich media ads have a dwell time of eight minutes and above. From a marketer’s perspective, it increases the window of opportunity to keep an audience engaged.
- Post-click analytics: Rich media makes this experience simpler than basic video by keeping most engagement options within the ad itself, thereby making it seamless to measure and track engagements alongside impressions, clicks and views.
- Engagement-based cost models: Standard media costing capabilities are limited to CPC, CPM and CPA. Rich media, on the other hand, opens up cost-per-engagement (CPE) costing for campaigns. Increasingly, we’re also noticing brands opting for cost-per-engaged-minute (CPEM), where they pay based on the dwell time. This means brands pay only for a confirmed engagement and not for clicks or impressions which may not mean anything to the brand.
An important point to mention in this context is mobile rich-media video. It is a no-brainer that mobile will become the 800-pound gorilla in the digital ad space over the next two years. Mobile has far higher engagement rates compared to desktops. Combine mobile success with rich media for video, and marketers are starting to see the most efficient platforms to engage their audience.
ComScore research suggests that tablet users are three times more likely to view video on their tablets compared to smartphone users. In turn, smartphone users are twice as likely to watch videos on their smartphones compared with desktops. Rich media on mobile has more capabilities than desktops because of ubiquitous device features including touch, shake, and tilt, allowing marketers to take engagements to new heights.
The world of video rich media is a labyrinth of possibilities, and very few marketers are ahead of the curve in terms of exploiting its potential. The age of video rich media has arrived with a bang, and we are going to increasingly witness marketers spending more time discussing engagements rather than standard metrics. So, bring it on.