One Person’s View is Another Person’s Viewability

July 23, 2017

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Google “viewability” for a quick recap of the ongoing drama related to the word. It’s been asked to explain itself more times than a certain world leader’s press secretary.

The viewability metric has been part of the brand safety discussion, had its ability to provide measurement for mobile apps questioned, and has its ownership ping-ponged between publisher and industry daily. All this, despite being formally defined by the Media Rating Council (MRC) some three years ago.

Here’s the thing – viewability is important. Millions of dollars of media decisions rely on this metric. So what’s a media planner to do? How do we rise above the drama? While we at Sightly can’t comment on the whole case for viewability, we can go deep and give you our thoughts on one of its applications: helping Performance Video campaigns achieve viewability goals via YouTube TrueView. Here are some ideas.

  1. Focus on Your Goals: The MRC standard for what qualifies as a view is that at least 50% of the video ad must be on someone’s screen for a minimum of two consecutive seconds. YouTube counts a view when a video plays for about 30 seconds. The point is: different entities still define it differently, so what you need to do is focus on yourself and your brand. It depends on your content and what you’re trying to accomplish. Some general rules of thumb: ensure a third-party is verifying your views (at Sightly, we use MOAT). And make sure that your message matches your audience and goal. Performance Video campaigns deliver ads to people that they WANT to see, so viewability is achieved naturally.
  1. Be Cross Platform: There is much discussion about proper application and auditing of viewability for mobile apps. But let’s take this topic broader: your video campaign must be relevant to the device it is being viewed on. This opens up a wide area of opportunity – particularly on the local level, where you can pinpoint a consumer and use the makeup of their geography to truly narrowcast relevant ads. Targeting for the right device = better viewability.
  1. Stay On Top of the Industry: The viewability conversation is long from over, and it’s bigger than Sightly’s focus on performance video. Be part of it, and make sure you know how different platforms are applying different metrics, and how the larger ecosystem is taking and applying the data. This is necessary for your campaign’s success – and yours.

As we said before, millions of dollars of media buys are informed with viewability data. Cisco says that Internet video will be 79% of all global internet traffic by 2020. Now is the time to make viewability the rock star measurement we know it can be.

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