Video marketers talk about engagement all the time—they don’t want viewers to merely watch their videos, but to engage with them—but what does that really mean?
Advertisers have been using the term “engagement” liberally for 20 years now, notes Bryan Melmed, vice president of insights services for interactive ad company Exponential Interactive. Instead of defining what it means, he says, marketers focus on simplistic metrics and high-volume, low-involvement content.
To help marketers build real engagement, Exponential has released a white paper called “Engagement: Not Just a Buzzword.”
We live in an era of ad overload and brand proliferation, the white paper says. There’s so much ad clutter around that consumers pay less attention to any of it. The two challenges for advertisers are to cost-effectively capture attention, and then convert that attention into brand value or purchase intent.
Exponential offers these stats on engagement:
- 57 percent of shoppers who watch a product video feel more confident about their purchase.
- Campaigns that are built around engagement can push interaction rates to 10 percent.
- Engaged consumers will spend 60 seconds actively exploring a brand’s message.
- Consumers are 25 percent more likely to engage with an ad rather than clicking on it.
Video advertising “is the most reliable incentive to engagement,” the white paper says. Video nearly doubles dwell time and makes the consumer six times more likely to browse a brand’s website.
Exponential suggests two ways brands can get consumers to spend more time with their online video and rich creative:
- Make video the focus of the ad. Avoid the temptation to insert heavy branding or surround the video with distracting animation.
- Show brand consistency in the use of interactive elements and don’t send viewers directly to the website. Consumers appreciate interactive elements that feel true to the brand. For example, the paper suggests a clothing brand could build a virtual reality store where shoppers can move around and create looks. That creates an experience that’s more relevant and memorable.
“We have the technology available—and continue to develop cutting-edge technology—to drive attention-capturing video ads, but we must shed our own discomfort with tackling what engagement means for audience interaction, creative development, and multi-screen campaigns,” Melmed says. “Creating a consistent, device-adaptive experience from screen-to-screen is the future of video advertising.”
For more on engagement, including why big data isn’t the answer, download the full white paper for free (registration required).