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Measuring the Impact of Online Video Ad Campaigns


Why are savvy marketers using promotional video content in their online campaigns? Because they believe that it effectively engages their target stakeholders, but they're really not certain of the actual impact.

With online video advertising in the U.S. expected to experience steady growth -- eMarketer now estimates that spending will climb from $3.1 billion in 2012 to $9.3 billion in 2016 -- marketers will need to figure out how to best employ metrics to gauge the value of campaigns on a more individualized basis.

As marketers continue to expand the slice of their digital ad budget that's being applied to online video, a better understanding of metrics in this area has become a key part of the process.

But due to the common inexperience with online video, as well as the absence of any clear measurement standards, setting goals that define meaningful outcomes will likely present challenges to marketers as these types of campaigns mature.

In its latest survey of ad agency executives conducted in April 2012, Brightroll found that respondent agencies had yet to settle on one metric as the agreed-upon measure of an online video campaign’s success. While 26 percent said measuring views was the most important measurement of a campaign, 23 percent named brand lift and 22 percent said sales impact.

According to the ad agency assessment, their client perspective on the best way to measure audiences was also spread almost evenly among a number of approaches, illustrating that a standard metric has yet to be established.

One-third said their clients considered unique viewers to be the best way to measure audience. Another one-quarter said it was target impressions. And about the same number named gross rating point (GRP) or target rating point (TRP), which were combined into one category for the survey.

Advertisers are apparently eager for information that can bridge the online and offline worlds -- by contextualizing digital effectiveness in terms of older, offline metrics.

When asked what areas of online video warranted additional research, about three in 10 respondents sought greater insight into how video affected offline purchases.

Almost one-quarter of those polled wanted more information about the performance of online video ads in comparison to traditional TV advertising. And interest in understanding how to link the gross rating point (GRP) to online video buying grew by more than six percentage points between 2011 and 2012.

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