Remember when Michael Dublin, CEO of Dollar Shave Club, charmed us all with his punchy digital video ad complete with the F-bomb and deep truth about the price of razor blades?

How about the first time you saw a Tasty recipe video in your feed and you watched the whole thing all the way through, even though you didn’t even like homemade pizza dip?

Or the first time you saw Travis Rice shred the slopes via helicopter for Red Bull?

These videos took over the web because let’s face it: they were creative genius.

But the brands themselves, even though they sold very different products, all had one thing in common—they understood the power of truly knowing their audience.

You likely saw these videos everywhere at first, and then likely less and less as time went on. That’s because either you engaged and the brands took notice, or you didn’t, and they decided to spend their dollars elsewhere.

More than anything, this truth is what made these brands successful, and it’s simultaneously the one truth many video marketers today are ignoring.

Video campaigns that lack actionable audience data are likely wasting money.

So, how did they decide who was worth their ad dollars, and how should you?

First, they went big.

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I’m really not exaggerating when I say that for a while, we saw these branded videos everywhere.

That was likely a very strategic decision, because when they first started out with video content, they probably defined their audience based on their gut, but they hadn’t had the opportunity to collect real data to justify that definition.

So, they chose to target wide. If you’re in the same video boat, or if your video ads haven’t been performing lately, you should go wide too.

Step 1: Go “run of network” or without audience parameters. Here’s why:

  • You’ll have more opportunities to serve your ad. The wider your audience, the more eyeballs will see it.
  • The more people that see your video, the more data you have. As your campaign runs, the goal is to collect as much data as possible on those viewing, completing and acting on your video campaign.
  • The more data you have, the better you can optimize. You think you know your audience, and you very well might, but you also might be surprised at who is engaging most with your brand.

If you decide to not run without targeting a particular audience, that’s okay too. Just make sure it’s enough time to get a significant amount of eyes on your campaign so you’re comfortable with your insights.

Then, they narrowed their audience with both their own and other data.

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Once these brands made their splash on the web with their video content, they reeled in their strategy a bit to focus on the audience that was really interested in seeing their ads.

That’s right, they layered some good ‘ole fashioned data onto their campaigns.

The good news—if you’re working with us, we can layer on the data segments you desire.

There are two ways you can slice the data pie:

  • First-party data. Take the data from your run of network campaign, data stored in your customer relationship management platform, and from your data management platform, and target those types of people again.
  • Third-party data. Partner with a platform or tool that collects data from the big data players—like, Neustar, Bombora and others—for more audience segments to test.

Adding more data onto your campaign does a variety of things. Not only does it narrow your audience, it:

  • Gives you greater control over targeting. And makes your conversion and cost per completed view goals easier to reach.
  • Helps with brand safety concerns. Which can be challenging to avoid programmatically.
  • Opens up new possibilities for testing. New audience segments will likely crop up that you didn’t know would be interested in you. Pay attention to them, and adjust accordingly.

Finally, they kept testing—until the end of time.

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As time went on, we saw all three of these big video players roll out more sassy razor ads, more recipe tutorials, and more extreme sports videos. That’s because a one-and-done success isn’t enough; they needed to be successful again and again.

You won’t be successful again and again unless you test new things. I can’t stress the power of reports and monitoring the success of your campaign enough.

Sometimes the answer to more scale lies with your audience, and testing new segments as you go will likely yield the results you desire.

Not to mention, you should be testing your video creatives as well. Here are some suggestions that we’ve personally seen knock it out of the park for brands:

  • Include subtitles. You want to be able to deliver your message to people on mute to reach all audiences. If you need proof, Facebook says 85% of video is watched without sound.
  • Layer on a call to action (CTA) that specifies the action you want viewers to take. “Click to Save,” or “Offer at the End,” for example.
  • Use your logo. Make sure that your brand logo or an element clearly identified with your brand is clearly presented to promote brand recognition.

If you work with us, you can access data based on 1.4B monthly users, over 400 Taboola specific audience segments, and over 20,000 demographic, interest, intent and B2B segments from 45+ industry-leading data providers. Check out our Data Marketplace.

Our Taboola Video Studio can help with subtitles, CTAs, and logos, on behalf of brands.

Regardless of your tactical strategy, one thing is certain, you don’t want to get left behind—help reverse the tragedy ailing video campaigns across the web, and start using data for better targeting today.

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