Today, consumers are watching video everywhere, and marketers need to be prepared. Here are some best practices to help you succeed in the brave new world of video convergence.
1. High Definition Matters
Quality matters. Video isn’t just for TV anymore, so it’s imperative you plan for your spots to be on all screens. 75% of homes today are HD capable, and nearly all laptops and PCs can play HD. Even the latest round of tablets and smart phones are high resolution and designed for the HD experience, not to mention connected televisions. In an environment when files are transcoded for each publisher and broadcast format, you don’t want quality to stand in the way of a great viewing experience. If you’re not mastering and delivering your spots in HD, you’re already behind the curve.
2. Sharing Means Caring
Production is expensive, so every spot produced should be considered for use on all screens. And there’s no better way to ensure your spots are shared between media and creative teams across broadcast and digital, than by storing your masters in a digital asset management (DAM) platform. These systems not only make it easy to share spots, but they ensure all spot metadata is visible to all parties. And for global campaigns that need to customize and localize spots, it’s a requirement – not an option. From asset IDs to talent & usage rights, metadata transparency is a critical component of convergence and shouldn’t be overlooked.
3. 1,000,000+ Formats
The TV and online video ecosystems have their own unique set of video formats and standards — you can’t simply take a broadcast master and stream it online. As online video publishers each with their own specifications, and broadcast and TV networks around the globe increasingly require totally different specifications, it’s imperative the conversion process start with the highest quality format and to work with a partner that knows and is certified across the board. Campaign management platforms that automatically convert your production masters into the right formats for TV and online ensure your spots always look the best on any screen, anywhere in the world without any headaches. But make sure your online videos are all identified by an Ad-ID/ISCI code – all too often they’re not. Also, look for providers that have a variety of interactive video formats and flexible creative tools so you can offer the best experience for each type of screen. Interactive video has been shown to be nearly 10X as engaging as linear video ads.
4. Consider Your Platform.
When it comes to online video, site serving can leave you exposed. Marketers may want to consider a third-party ad server to have control over the campaign from a single platform, to eliminate the need to coordinate activities with each individual publisher.
5. Where’s the Consumer?
Online campaign ratings are important, but cross platform ratings are where it’s at when it comes to video convergence. It’s the only way to measure your campaign when your spots are airing on both television and online. Look for duplicated and unduplicated reach to provide insights into how your TV and online activities complement one another. Also, demand open APIs from your data providers so you can aggregate those sources and layer them on top of your campaign ratings to extract more meaningful insights. Set top box data sources can be invaluable, but make sure you understand any differences that exist between those results and the media costs tabulated with industry standard currencies.
6. Optimize on the Fly
Make the most of your creative by optimizing your campaigns for effectiveness across TV and online. For online video, third party ad servers can help with campaign optimization. Have a video narrative that you want sequence? What about frequency tagging? Performance triggers across all your publishers? These techniques can all be employed to generate substantial lift in brand awareness and affinity. Online campaigns and engagement data can also be used to optimize broadcast campaigns. It’s simple to test spots at limited scale online and then use the results to aid the decision making process for broadcast and cable TV traffic.
7. Don’t Sell Dog Food to Cat People
Relevancy is one of the most influential factors of advertising. But to be relevant, you need both advanced targeting capabilities, either by program or audience, and a library of creative options. Program or content targeting is not as straightforward online as it is on TV, but it is possible. And for audience targeting, you don’t have to limit yourself to online. Most cable, satellite and IPTV providers all have addressable advertising solutions that can help you zero in on your target audience through HH modeling. When it comes to creative, make sure you have lined up a provider to build multiple versions of spots for different audiences up front, or are using dynamic creative optimization technology to customize spots on the fly.
8. Go Global or Go Home.
Convergence isn’t just about breaking down the silos of media channels – it’s about breaking down geographic silos as well. Large scale campaigns spanning multiple countries and continents can be daunting, but one of the best things you can do for your brand and yourself is to accept convergence. Consistency and control over the brand message are just the tip of the iceberg. Workflows can now be streamlined and shared across offices. Various local brand teams can suddenly work together or share leanings and best practices. And data generated from every consumer interaction on every screen around the globe can be visualized and acted upon in real time. You don’t have to give up your local creative & marketing partners either – in fact it’s quite the opposite. You simply need to provide a common set of tools to empower them and everyone involved in the campaign to do what they do best.
9. Don’t Forget the Talent
Most digital agencies don’t think about the implications of using creative online that hasn’t been approved for use outside of broadcast. That can create unanticipated costs for marketers. Talent management companies such as TEAM Services and Talent Partners are used by 98% of the marketers in North America. Ensure that you work with your talent payroll and management company to secure buyouts for content that will be used online.
10. This Screen, That Screen, Just Make Sure it Works
Finding a partner with true scale, reliability and the breadth of services across both traditional TV and online is critical. Whether your spots are bound for broadcast or online – on TV, desktop, tablet or smart phone – national or international – a common platform to unite activities is fundamental to convergence. Point solutions for online video only go so far when they’re disconnected from the initial creative process and broadcast efforts. And broadcast solutions without robust online targeting and optimization severely limit campaign potential. While these best practices can help you get started, the next step is to bring them all together.
John Douglas is product marketing manager of DG.