With Evolving Native Video Ad Formats, What Metrics Should Publishers Pay Attention To?

on Native Video

The digital advertising landscape is rapidly changing and to keep pace publishers are offering up new ad units and formats that allow advertisers to engage directly with their audiences. One of the most discussed of these new ad formats has been native video, which was recently defined by the IAB and is one of the many ways publishers are responding to growing advertiser demands.

New ad formats can be confusing, even if you’ve been in the industry for a long time. One of the largest points of publisher confusion for native video has been around measurement. As a publisher, it is important to explore and understand these confusions and to develop a proper strategy when rolling out these nascent ad executions. Without proper measurement, publishers will struggle to define the worth of their advertising programs, which puts future revenue opportunities at risk. Defining measurement and performance metrics for effective video ad campaigns is particularly challenging, as the success of these campaigns is most commonly aligned with brand awareness and lift objectives.

Finding The Right Metrics For Native Video

As I discussed in a previous post, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other publishers have built native video ad executions designed specifically to increase audience engagement and video completion rates. In-feed Editorial video and autoplaying video are becoming the standard.

Three essential metrics for assessing engagement that we’re seeing in our own native video advertising campaigns are brand lift, completion rates and percentage complete. Completion rate is defined as the percentage of plays that have reached 100% completion. Percentage complete, on the other hand, measures the number of users that have partially played an ad. For instance, we can track intervals of 25, 50 and 75 percent. When you pair these figures with engagement rates or standard clickthrough rates, you can begin to tell a more thorough story of ad effectiveness.

At Sharethrough, our native video products are already showing drastic increases in campaign performance. Exact performance varies by creative quality and length, but we are seeing an 82% increase in brand lift compared to pre-roll and a 14% lift in brand recall for instant play versus other video formats. Beyond brand lift metrics, completion rates are also proving to have positive performance.

Native Video Brand Metrics

With stronger performance and deeper understanding of campaign success, publishers have the opportunity to source more video advertising campaigns and dollars. With higher brand engagement and more overall demand for video from advertisers, publishers are poised to be able to charge higher rates and capitalize on more revenue.

New Dynamics, New Pricing Models

With all of this said, pricing models come into the mix. To date, standard CPM has been the most common pricing structure for native video, but with all eyes on video views and completions, other pricing models have begun to emerge. Cost Per Completed View (CPCV) and Cost Per View (CPV) models can become new tools for a publisher's monetization strategy, once they have gotten comfortable with the performance data from their own properties. Many video buyers prefer these metrics because they offer some level of guarantee of engagement with their video content.

This is not to say that CPM models are dead. Native video provides real brand value on the impression level, because it is designed to allow brands the opportunity to provide context through the headline and description text. With native, users don’t just watch the video, they read the headline too. The goal for any publisher should be flexibility, so you can work with clients in the way they feel most comfortable.

With the industry changing quickly, it is important for publishers to develop a strategic approach to their evolving ad placements. With new ad formats come new metrics of measurement and campaign effectiveness. As new measurements come forth, new pricing models and structures will follow suit. When it comes to video, knowing the right metrics and pricing models will ultimately maximize your financial reward.

To learn more about these measurement metrics and pricing models, sign up for our customized video workshop here.