Although video is the fastest-growing ad and content platform, it does pose a real challenge to advertisers, as existing analytics don't necessarily allow for immediately tracking conversions to purchases from a video ad. A recent Forrester report names this issue, among others, as the big challenge for return-on-investment (ROI) measurement. You may see an ad on your device, but how can the advertiser and brand find out whether you bought their product, when you did, and if the ad was the reason for the purchase?
Looking at innovative start-ups such as interactive video platform Rapt Media (formerly known as FlixMaster), it appears that contrary to belief, the solution could very well lie with the ad or content format itself, rather than the measurement tool.
Built-in interactivity allows click-to-actions (CTA) to be turned into educational or entertaining steps within the videos, pushing consumers to act upon the various triggers right there and then to take control of the content. This, in turn, provides the avenue for tools to track that sacred path to the shopping cart and the final buy.
For instance, look at this makeup brand: Their ad is a short embedded video that is carried either on the brand's own site or on those of bloggers.
The video gives a choice between different looks at the beginning of the story. Depending on which one the user clicks on, the brand will serve as an educational piece about how to apply the makeup and of course, which of its products to use --and therefore buy -- to achieve the desired look. Rapt Media embeds the CTAs within the video to allow viewing of the proposed product and browsing of matching, or similar, alternatives that the brand has. Right there, the user (now turned consumer) can place an order and buy. Touchscreens are no doubt an enabling factor, making the already immersive experience even more seamless.
The back end looks like this: It's a web of variable scenarios that are built along the main storyline.
ClickZ spoke with Rapt Media's chief executive and co-founder Erika Trautman to talk about the video advertising space and Rapt Media's experience. She tells us how from owning an Emmy-winning video production company, she and her co-founder came up with the idea for interactive, immersive video content.
She explains clearly how this format is bringing a new way of telling stories, while providing the much-needed space for ads to exist in a very efficient way.
Also, Trautman shares her views on targeting and how it is not enough for video advertising. A video can have a massive number of avid (no pun intended, for those who know a bit about video production tools...) viewers, but those mass views are not necessarily the "high-value views," she explains to us.
This graph is from Rapt Media's dashboard: It shows a scenario with two variables, a choice between set-ups for brunch decoration. Though one gets the most views, the less eyeballed setup generates the most conversions, i.e. purchases.
Watch what Erika Trautman has to say:
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Liva Judic joined Search Engine Watch and ClickZ in May 2010 as a news blogger. She has lived and worked across the globe in Madagascar, Switzerland, London, NYC, Asia and is now based in between New York and Berlin.
Her background is in government relations and financial media where she started out as a journalist at Bloomberg and became senior editor at AFX news (now part of ThomsonReuters). Prior to forming her own consultancy Judic was head of international PR for a head of state.
Judic focuses on facilitating brand and marketing transitioning for European startups moving to the US. She has been named one of the Top 50 Industry Influencers of 2014 by AGBeat
March 19, 2014