While it’s overly simple to proclaim that ‘video beats static posts’, some reasonably rigorous testing by HubSpot demonstrates that the right video garners more clicks, at a lower cost per click, than even the best-optimised static posts.
No wonder then, as we’ve observed in earlier posts, that both the amount and the proportion of online data that is video continues to skyrocket.
What’s more, the latest research from WARC suggests there is some way to go to most efficiently harness the power of video online: ‘its performance is more variable than TV – so it has as much potential but is a less reliable investment currently. Greater understanding of the most effective forms … is required.’
The good news is, some of that understanding is already being gained through further testing and research. For example, as the WARC research goes on to note:
Premium media environments boost impact
WARC hypothesises that while Facebook and YouTube deliver reach, a growing lack of trust in social media means they’re not as strong for engagement: ‘Ads on premium sites have a 23% uplift in brand searches, and 153% uplift in brand site visits.’
Creative needs to consider the right opening and tone
As we‘ve noted before, online videos (especially short-form like 6 second bumpers) generally need to quickly evoke emotion and begin with recognisable but not branded imagery to perform at their peak.
Audio is a luxury
Visual storytelling and optimum integration of captions or subtitles are key in an environment where much video is viewed without sound (up to a staggering 85% according to one 2016 study!)
Last impressions count
Cognitive psychology studies suggest memory is affected more by how an experience ends than how it begins. And an analysis of over 700 video ads draws similar conclusions: emotions evoked later in video ads (over 15 seconds duration) ‘play a greater role in ad effectiveness in memory encoding and retrieval.’
Interruption isn‘t effective
As Howard Gossage noted decades ago: ‘People don’t [watch] ads, they [watch] what interests them, and sometimes that is an ad.’ So the interruptive approach favoured by many TV practitioners can’t work online – people simply click away. That means ‘video ads need to reward people for staying and convey key elements early’ – a tricky balance to get right!
Metrics aint metrics
‘With inconsistency of digital video metrics and … formats between publishers, measuring the effectiveness of video marketing campaigns is a complex business,’ advises WARC. In short, a YouTube click ≠ a Facebook click ≠ an Instagram click ≠ … WARC’s suggested solution is to set your ultimate marketing KPIs against your brand or sales goals – publishers’ provided metrics (e.g. viewable impressions) may be instructive regarding effectiveness, but not reliable nor infallible.
In short, if you’re seeking effective and efficient marketing outcomes online, can your organisation afford not to ‘think in video’?