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Thoughts on Online Video Measurement

February 6, 2010

This week, TubeMogul released a research report which provides insights into how effective pre-roll advertising is.The key finding was that on average, 15.89% of viewers abandon a video during a pre-roll ad. One of their key takeaways is that the measurement of what constitutes a view is important as brands may be paying for views (on a CPM basis), where a viewer didn’t actually watch the full ad.

While CPM is a common metric used for billing agency fees, performance measurement of an online video should not be compared the same way as other media. Reach and frequency are common metrics for TV, for example, but their purpose is to drive awareness. Online video, on the other hand, has a broader ability to target different areas of the marketing funnel.

As you measure ROI around an online video campaign, that measurement process needs to be aligned with the strategy and objective of the campaign. For example, was the purpose of the video to drive awareness and brand equity? Does the video have a call-to-action to drive to another website? Are there other assets and links on a microsite that measures performance or engagement levels? Did the video lead to a sales conversion? What’s the pre and post brand equity of a brand after viewing the video and becoming engaged with a branded entertainment series? Does intent to purchase change? Are people sharing the video, and becoming net promoters of the brand or the web series?

One of the struggles around online video (and many other media) is around the right way to measure ROI. The best way to tackle this is to understand the 1) objectives of an online video campaign, 2) identifying and setting goals around the right (and relevant) key performance indicators (e.g., impressions, click-through, survey response, etc.), and the costs associated with developing the content and distributing it.

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