According to a 2015 Forrester study, 70% of agencies and advertisers expect video budgets to increase in the next two years. Yet the problem for many marketers is finding enough inventory for this spend.
Social media video platforms, although vast, only offer a limited amount of quality video, and professional publishers struggle to create cost effective video inventory of their own to host pre-roll ads.
Marketers can solve this problem by inserting video ads seamlessly within quality written journalistic content. This native video approach is exploding in popularity. This year our business has grown 50%, with a 500% growth in mobile alone.
But what makes an effective native video campaign? And how do you devise a strategy to make the most of your native video advertising?
1. Create compelling content
Research shows that giving consumers the option to skip or close the ads they are presented with significantly improves their disposition towards them. 79% would reconsider installing ad blockers if the ad experience provided them with the choice to skip or close the ad.
Using a skippable format like native, however, means that it is crucial that the ads grab viewers’ attention quickly; Ads need to be short, with compelling visuals that don’t rely on sound, as native video ads only play when the user interacts with ad unit.
We will explore the more technical aspects of native video below, but the cornerstone of any successful native video campaign is to create content that consumers actually want to watch.
2. Think mobile first…
With smartphones now the UK’s most popular device for getting online, according to Ofcom, it makes sense to create campaigns that work for mobile first, in order to maximise impact on this crucial channel.
Consumers’ browsing habits on mobile and desktop are quite distinct. Just as consumer behaviour adapts to different devices, so must native video ads.
Ads on mobile should be shorter, they can also benefit to adopting the form and format to how we all use a mobile – vertically (instead of the more traditional horizontal formats, inherited from TV campaigns). It’s about making sure the video fits with the screen it’s shown on, which is an important consideration when designing and editing the creative.
3. … but remember cross device too
While mobile is now the dominant device, the next step for marketers is to master native campaigns that may kick off on mobile but then follow the consumer across a range of devices. This allows marketers to lead consumers down the path to purchase and engage them with relevant content every step of the way.
Over the next few years, we will see the big data techniques available to marketers become ever more sophisticated. By harnessing predictive analytics, it will be possible to pick out one user on all their different devices with incredible accuracy and spread a consistent brand message across all channels.
The marketers that truly succeed will be those that use these techniques creatively, for example, telling stories with chronologically targeted video content.
4. Don’t ‘spray and pray’
One of the things that makes native video advertising so powerful is the fact that it sits within premium editorial content. Marketers can be sure that their creative is placed in the midst of highly relevant and suitable content. There is no risk of creative being placed alongside offensive or amateurish videos.
It’s not just about targeting the right individual, but providing the right context too. Research shows that 52% of readers said they’re more likely to enjoy video advertising if it’s relevant to what they’re reading.
It’s perfectly possible to create walled gardens and use contextual targeting to ensure ads are only displayed within relevant content. Resisting the ‘spray and pray’ approach which sees ads placed as far and wide as possible, and instead focusing on targeting the articles you know your customers will be reading is key to engaging, not enraging, the people who see your ad.
5. Embrace programmatic
Many marketers were suspicious of programmatic; seen as a place for cheaper, low quality inventory. But in 2016, it’s possible to conduct top quality brand campaigns, with premium inventory, via programmatic buying. In fact, programmatic can be one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal when it comes to developing your native video strategy.
To succeed, it’s important to be targeted with your content, with specific creative targeted to the right device, picking the editorial your audience is reading. Get the mix right and programmatic buying allows you to react swiftly to a fast changing media landscape with top video inventory.