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Three Steps to Optimize Your Video Marketing Strategy

Of all the tools marketers have at their disposal, a video marketing strategy is perhaps the most effective and the most misunderstood. It is ideally positioned to deliver significant ROI if used effectively, yet often marketers are prone to make simple mistakes, based on outdated assumptions.

Fortunately, these issues can be easily addressed if we step back and consider what the basic principles of successful video marketing campaigns are in 2022.

The constantly moving goalposts in the digital marketing industry mean advertisers must regularly adapt the way they think about video – from targeting to the platforms they find audiences on, to their KPIs.  Following the demise of third-party cookies, we should not assume that applying the tactics used historically in behavioral advertising will deliver the same results as in contextual campaigns, for example. 

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A new way of thinking is needed; one that combines the strengths of video content, premium environments, and contextual targeting. For marketers and advertisers still seeking to improve ROI in a post-cookie world, I believe there are three key considerations.

Lesson 1: It’s Not Just About Social in Video Marketing Strategy

It’s all too easy to think of video as a primarily social format. What with Tiktok, Snapchat and Instagram commanding high engagement time from users, and immersive environments into which to place video.

But focussing solely on social negates the entire web browsing experience. The open web is where users spend two-thirds of their online time, yet around 63% of ad spend is spent on social. That means open web inventory is under-valued and under-utilized.

On the open web, advertisers can benefit from user engagement in discovery journeys around topics to bring them into their brand world through contextual targeting. 

Lesson 2: Target Contextually

Reaching the right people at the right time is core to any effective video campaign. 

Consumers don’t want to be inundated with generic, irrelevant ads. Not only do they undermine trust and credibility towards a brand; they can actively decrease ROI. With contextual advertising, marketers focus on the user’s current frame of mind, as opposed to constantly and aggressively bombarding a user regardless of their individual preferences and state of mind. 

For video campaigns, this means finding a placement that is non-interruptive, like instream. Since ‘in-stream’ ads run on video content (rather than elbowing their way into article text, like outstream), they offer an opportunity to target contextually.

But one must make sure the video content has been contextually matched to the article page that it appears on. This makes it contextually relevant content, ensuring it’s not random, or outdated. The advantages of contextually relevant content are manifold. Firstly, adverts that are relevant to the consumer automatically stand out more, beating the buzz of less relevant adverts around them. Second, the user is more likely to engage with the advert, increasing awareness, click-through rates (CTRs), and eventually revenue. To do this, you need to harness the right technology, this is down to working with the right video tech vendor.

Analysis by Lumen Research revealed the impact of contextual advertising:

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Three samples of consumers were tracked reacting to a reel of video content linked to an article they were reading. 

Group one saw a video advert about coffee that was not contextually targeted to the article or the video content within that article.

Group two saw the same video advert about coffee, but this time the words in the article were about coffee. 

The final group saw the same video advert about coffee, but it was contextually matched to both the words in the article, and also the video content placed within that article.

Essentially, a highly contextual experience. 

Based on this, the research showed that 95% of the people in group three paid attention to the video advert, while only 85% of people in group two paid attention to the video advert, and 79% of people in group one paid attention to the video advert. This provides evidence to suggest how much impact the right context can have when influencing KPIs and overall advert success.

Lesson 3: Find Premium Environments

This is a natural extension of lesson 2. As well as being sure the video content is contextual, it should also be premium.

What does that mean? 

Users can spot a poorly made video a long way off. They’re super-savvy when it comes to understanding the production values of content, and nowadays also on the lookout for reliable video sources – as opposed to UGC, fake news, or disreputable creators.  

So, in addition to having sophisticated contextual matching, video tech suppliers must also have a library of premium content to deliver to publishers.

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Premium video content, delivered on quality publisher sites is the best combination. It means that a highly trustworthy and superior environment has been created. Unlike many adverts on both social and the open web, the user experience within these environments will be high quality, and the user will be primed for receiving a video ad at the most appropriate point in their online journey.

With this three-fold approach of contextually targeted advertising, in premium quality environments on the open web, advertisers can make the most of how adtech has evolved. These are user-experience first tactics, that place your audience at the center of an online journey and aim to reach them on their own terms.

It will result in higher brand metrics – from recall through to preference – if done correctly. 

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