The online video segment is growing at a rapid clip, as audiences spend more time scrolling through content on desktops and mobile devices, and less time watching traditional TV.
This shift has sparked a frenzy of formats, platforms, and channels vying for control of the digital frontier, a competition that is often presented as a win-lose situation. In the realm of video, the industry is seeing a powerful fusion between two underlying trends—in-feed formats, and programmatic delivery.
As adoption rates for each of these technologies continue to rise, the duo has become an indispensable strategy for brands and publishers alike, creating new opportunities around content monetization, on-site engagement, and audience targeting, no matter where or how users may be consuming video across the web.
Video marketers can achieve greater engagement with more precise targeting.
Perhaps the biggest development in video over the last year has been the proliferation of outstream placements, referring to the large-format video units that exist alongside editorial content outside of a video player on publisher websites.
Because outstream units are non-intrusive, allowing users to choose if or when they engage with the video:
Advertisers have seen up to 80% higher completion rates than similar campaigns across Facebook (where pre-roll ads tend to dissuade already-distracted users).
In line with the rest of digital ad spending, the majority of video ad campaigns—including outstream—are also going programmatic, referring to the automated, real-time exchanges that enable advertisers to bid on only the most relevant audiences at the most valuable moments.
By combining the precision of programmatic, with the experiential impact of outstream, marketers for the first time can promote their premium videos at scale, to hyper-targeted segments of users across the web.
Turnkey solutions enable brands and publishers to rapidly scale video revenues.
While video creation and distribution is often a complex and expensive endeavor, there are a host of companies attempting to make things easier for buyers and sellers.
Through direct integrations with demand-side partners such as The Trade Desk and AppNexus, content discovery platforms (like Taboola) now enable advertisers to rapidly scale up their programmatic video campaigns to include in-feed outstream placements across hundreds of premium publisher websites.
This supply often includes premium real estate that can be added with just a few clicks via your demand-side dashboard.
Publishers, too, can quickly dive into the monetization opportunities of programmatic outstream video, even if they don’t have the budget for hiring their own video production staff.
Taboola, for example, powers in-feed placements on publisher websites with branded videos from our marketplace. These videos generate 3-6x higher CPMs than banner ads, and because they are non-intrusive, publishers don’t have to accept the typical sacrifices to on-site engagement that often result in annoying users.
In-feed outstream units are highly adaptable across desktop and mobile, and can be implemented within minutes through a simple line of code.
Remember that video content should always align with context and device.
While it’s exciting to see how rapidly in-feed placements are being folded into programmatic buys, it’s also important to remain attentive to the characteristics of each inventory type.
For example, in-feed placements tap into a unique audience mindset. While disruptive ad units, such as pre-roll, must capture a user’s attention immediately, non-intrusive formats that are delivered in-feed can engage audiences through more in-depth storytelling, since they’ve proactively earned a user’s attention.
Device type also plays a big role in whether or not a video campaign proves successful. Even if a programmatic video ad targets the right user at the right time, the content must still align with that person’s expectations in order to create an impact.
When it comes to mobile video, users often prefer overlaying text captions or subtitles so they can follow along without audio, and the lack of this feature could doom even the most strategically placed campaign.
As outstream formats, and programmatic delivery channels, account for a greater portion of the high-growth video segment, every publisher and advertiser should consider how these technologies can be applied to further their own business goals.
It’s still early days in the world of online video, but it seems like these buzzwords will be driving both the conversation, and the economics, of the industry for years to come.