If a picture can speak a thousand words, does this mean that each second of video ad content speaks 30,000 words (more than Animal Farm, A Christmas Carol and Of Mice and Men)?
Probably not, but it does raise an interesting point about video's inherent use of sight, sound, and motion, which when applied intelligently, can create new opportunities for how audiences engage and interact with brands. Whether marketers are after awareness, direct response or conversions, higher engagement rates often translate to more effective digital ad campaigns.
With UK digital video ad spend growing at its highest rate since 2010, marketers are clearly opening up their wallets for the channel. That doesn't mean video advertising value exchange is straightforward: marketers are now operating in an era where audiences expect ads to be relevant and engaging without being overly disruptive on their browsing experience.
Most digital video advertising also remains expensive relative to other digital channels despite historically falling behind in personalisation. According to eMarketer, better targeting and personalisation of video ads is one of the major growth drivers for digital video advertising in 2016. Being able to customise marketing messages around what matters most to consumers during a particular moment allows brands and marketers to create an engaging opportunity which is relevant to the audience.
With personalisation in mind, what other video formats should marketers begin exploring to ensure they can capitalise on the short window of undivided audience attention? One answer might lie within the interactive video format.
For the most part, interactive video ad formats are designed to contain compelling content and inspire engagement. One of the toughest challenges in video advertising is the investment associated with creating assets. With interactive video ads, assets that have already been created are simply enhanced and made better.
One use case for interactive ad units is around the festive period, where shoppable ads can be ideal for augmenting retail campaigns. Users can swipe or toggle through products, view them in different scenarios, and eventually move them into a basket - all within the video ad unit. This functionality creates a value exchange between brand and audience through engagement while also expanding brand awareness. It allows products to come to life for consumers by enhancing the buying experience in an immersive and relevant digital environment.
Retailers might also leverage 360-degree video, which allows the user to control where the ad takes them based on movements and tilting of their smartphone. This functionality puts consumers in the driver's seat of navigating content in ways that feel most natural.
For brands that are looking to make a greater impact with a customised, personal approach, interactive video is a strong option. Marketers have the opportunity to capitalise even further on the large investment that video advertising demands, and supercharge assets to reach consumers and influence purchasing behavior. The ability to measure time spent, number of interactions and what areas of the ad most appealed to the consumer, provides opportunities to leverage and gain insights about an audience that can be used to go beyond just delivering campaigns.
Using interactive ads, marketers can make every second count and create demand to help fill baskets both online and in stores.
By David Barker, managing director & senior vice president at Amobee EMEA
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