Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CMO Club May '08: Digital Video Effectiveness: Audience reach and engagement

Matt Cutler, CMO at Visible Measures, an independent third party measurement firm shared some interesting discoveries from the company's video measurement case study. I spoke to Matt last night and he gave a preview of today's discussion.

Cutler says that consuming Internet video is a lean forward experience. Viewers have their hand on the mouse and they're ready to click away the moment they're bored.

Visible Measures looks at videos second by second to determine where interest rises and falls. Cutler showed us what his company did by breaking down a silly and special-effects laden 30-second VW ad. The video metrics company was able to show second by second when people were clicking away and when others were rewinding the clip to see what they just saw again. Surprisingly, the commercial's special effects didn't do the trick. Not surprisingly, viewers were drawn to the attractive female and oddly also the goofy German guy.

Video produced for TV doesn't necessarily play well online. Dollars spent don't correlate into viewership. Online audiences have different expectations with regard to content, length, raciness, and censorship. Cutler mentioned he has one client that's going to be testing a video that will be using profanity. They're going to put two videos up. One with the cuss words bleeped out, and another that lets the profanity play through and they're going to see if there's a significant difference between the two.

Cutler advises online video producers to get in the head of viewers and build metrics that matter for ad effectiveness. Here are four development and production issues to consider and think about:
  • Average attention: Are viewers engaged overall?
  • Initial attention: Your image thumbnail and first few seconds of the video better have something to do with each other.
  • Captivation: What are the hot spots? Where do people get engaged throughout the length of the video?
  • Engagement index: How can a bunch of different ads be compared?
Here are the four V's for calculating success of your video:
  • Viewers: obviously. :)
  • Views: Want people to consume more videos. So have more videos for visitors to consume. Don't just post one.
  • Viewing time: Want them to stay with the stream
  • Virality: Are they going to pass this along to their friends?

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