Yahoo Study Suggests Metrics to Determine Video Engagement Levels

A new study from Yahoo finds that highly engaging online videos are three times more effective in getting consumers to remember, talk about and search for more information on their brand or product.

That may not come as a surprise to most advertisers. What they should be scratching their heads about, said the study’s author, is why more publishers aren’t using the right metrics to determine what makes a video engaging.

“None of the publishers out there are actually measuring video this way, where you take consumption trends and build a model around it,” Edwin Wong, director of market research at Yahoo, said. “That’s the best way to know if the advertiser is connecting with the consumer.”

The study, which was conducted in partnership with Havas Digital, Warner Bros. Media Research, PHD and measurement firm Interpret, used three key metrics to determine whether consumers were engaged in a video: whether they completed the video, how much attention they paid (determined by the ratings they gave) and whether they took some sort of follow-up action, such as e-mailing it to a friend or leaving a comment. “Using this, we were able to qualify all the videos that were watched from high to low engagement score,” Wong said.

The results showed that 27 percent of participants who watched the high-engagement videos were likely to search for more information about the product featured, as opposed to only 13 percent for those who watched low-engagement videos. Twenty eight percent who watched high-engagement videos visited that brand’s Web site, as opposed to 10 percent for low-engagement ads. And high-engagement videos accounted for 47 percent of all ad recall among respondents.

“It shows that when your audience is engaged with the content they are more likely to engage with brand,” he said.

“This propensity for sharing and ad recall translates into improved viral ‘buzz’ for advertisers and their ads, if they take advantage of online video opportunities properly,” Liz Huszarik, SVP of Warner Bros. Media Research, said in a written statement.

The study also found that online video accounts for more than 30 percent of all time spent online by those who watch videos on the Web, that approximately 70 percent of people watch online videos at home and at work; and that short-form videos still account for the majority of videos watched online.

Wong also pointed out that online video consumption spikes dramatically after lunchtime. “The ability to connect with consumers throughout the workday is key,” he said.

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