New Experience, New Results: Why Traditional Video Metrics Are Less Relevant For Native Outstream Video

on Native Video, The Future of Advertising

Traditional outstream video emerged a few years ago as a direct outgrowth of pre-roll video ads. Pre-roll had established itself as the premiere high-value video ad unit, but playing before an existing video, it could only be deployed by publishers that had video content in the first place. Outstream video offered an easy solution: playing in the middle of an article, it allowed all publishers to scale their premium video inventory.

Native outstream video is a new outgrowth of traditional outstream, developed directly for the publisher’s content feed and pairing a video (technically still outstream because it isn’t playing in the stream of other video content) with a headline and description text you’d see in any native display ad. It’s proven to be an especially high impact ad unit, as you get the visual impact of the video and the benefits of context and creative brand associations that you see with native ads.

We’re seeing new scale in the market around native outstream video in 2017 and have set up RTB-integrations to allow it to be traded programmatically with The Trade Desk, StrikeAd and Adelphic (with many more partners set to come on board in the coming months).

For anyone investing in native outstream video for the first time, this new format requires a different approach to assessing campaign effectiveness. The metrics used to assess traditional outstream’s effectiveness as a format were adapted directly from preroll - how many people engaged with the video and how many people watched through to the end - and no longer apply as directly.


Native Outstream Video Fits Seamlessly Into The Modern Content Feed

A traditional outstream video autoplays, usually on silent, in between paragraphs of an article. As a video ad unit it cuts against the content experience it is placed into. It also lacks context and can confuse audiences who think that it is part of the article they’re reading.

Native outstream video sits inside a publisher’s content feed, also autoplaying silently. Content feeds, especially on mobile, are far and away the dominant online browsing experience. According to Sharethrough research, 91 percent of Millennials discover content while browsing social or content feeds, compared to just 8 percent who do so via search. Like any native display ad, native outstream video runs alongside a headline and description text, allowing a brand to engage an audience with eye catching video and create brand associations at the moment of impression.

Rather than interrupting someone while they are reading another article, native outstream video reaches someone while they are in the “discovery mindset” and on the lookout for engaging content.


Different Experience, New and More Meaningful Business Results

Native outstream video reaches audiences in a different viewing environment and is processed differently, so to truly understand how high impact it is as a unit, it requires native specific brand lift questions.

In light of this - Sharethrough has developed a new suite of native advertising research tools with Kantar Millward Brown, to help brands get a true assessment of how native advertising is impacting on brand lift. They allow brands to assess the impact of positive word of mouth (through the Net Promoter Score metric), how each of their brand messages is tracking with their target audiences and what demographics are responding best to them. We work directly with the brands themselves, within weeks of a campaign going live, to report back on how they’re moving the needle for the business and help them optimize toward the creative variants and audience segments where they’re performing the best. Similarly, we work with Placed, the industry leader in location analytics, to perform offline impact analysis to study how native ads are working to bring customers into a brand's retail locations.

Through this we've been able to unlock a whole new level of brand insight for companies running native outstream video campaigns.

We recently worked with a major CPG company to show them that after their native campaign ran, they saw a 60 percent lift in site visits to their page and a 45 percent lift in related search terms from people exposed to their messages. We’ve worked with a major national restaurant chain to show them how they got a boost in sales at their physical locations that represented a 20x return on their media spend.

Engagements rates aren’t going away and can still be useful. But with native outstream video there’s so much more to look at, that can tell so much richer of a story.