Google: Measuring How Effective Video Ads Are

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  • January 8, 2015

Google has revealed that it aims to increase the effectiveness of its video ads. By looking at the number of people who actually watch an advert, this will affect the way digital marketers and businesses advertise through video from now on. In the past video statistics were imprecise, but now with Google’s new service it is clear that this is all about to change forever.

Viewability Reporting

Announced by Google’s Vice President Neal Mohan at CES, Google is switching over to a “Viewability” model. This simply means that Google will begin tracking how many people watch a video advert. That information can then be added to all of the other analytics data which marketers and businesses are used to dealing with, and allow them to more keenly see which video adverts are catching the attention of desired audiences and which are not.

Advertising Effectiveness

These changes are to be rolled out to businesses and webmasters from March 2015 onwards, and could revolutionise the effectiveness of video advertising. Up until now, marketers and businesses could only gauge the effectiveness of an advert by how many clicks it garnered from visitors. This piece of data of course is helpful, as it shows how many potential customers are directly influenced enough to make a purchasing decision by a video advert, but it leaves out some critical data. For example, what if a customer watches an advert from beginning to end and then decides to visit the promoted product or service at a later date? Maybe they don’t have the time at that moment to buy a product or investigate properly, or perhaps the adverts stays in their mind enough for the customer to enquire about it at a later date? Further still, what if an advert lays some groundwork and then some other promotional material or word-of-mouth merely seals the deal later? Or what if customers are watching adverts and still not making a purchasing decision? 

The point is: knowing how many people actually see a video advert gives experienced marketers a much clearer indication of which videos work, and which do not.  

Impact on Digital Marketing

Viewability could impact digital marketing profoundly. With businesses knowing how often an advert is seen, they could then choose which sites to advertise on, clearly benefiting those which display adverts in a more accessible way. This will also mean that marketers will be able to control their budgets more effectively, ensuring that their clients are only charged by the likes of Google for adverts which gain the right amount of exposure. 

Currently there is a lot of debate about how much of an advert should be viewed before an advertiser must pay for a video. Many in the industry favour two seconds of watch time with 50% of the video screen being apparent. For some, however, this is not enough, and with these increased viewability statistics, it is likely that websites will slowly change the way they display ads so that they are watched for longer in order to maintain advertising revenue. 

Talented marketers will be able to make use of this information, ensuring that businesses reach the demographics they require to be a success.

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