2014 was a busy year in the world of online video marketing. Creative directors continued to come up with clever new ways to build brands and tell stories to increasingly overwhelmed and distracted consumers, while the business folks focused on figuring out how to measure impact and success accurately.
So what will 2015 bring? We asked a group of industry experts to share their best guesses.
Metrics Will Matter Even More
2015 will be the year of sales accountability for video marketing and social media. CEOs, CMOs, brand managers, startup founders, and everyone else looking to video and social media to drive site traffic, engagement, and awareness is going to be looking more closely at the connections between these activities and sales. The more digital marketing companies, creative agencies, and production companies prepare themselves to show the connection between what they’re getting paid to do and the profit their work is generating, the better off they’ll do.
—David Murdico, Executive Creative Director, Supercool Creative
A greater focus will be placed on the awareness impact of video and how it feeds the purchase funnel. Advertisers will leverage attribution models to understand the true impact video advertising has on conversions and sales.
—Adam Cohen, VP and Director of Media Strategy, Media Partnership Corporation
In 2015 we will enter the age of transparency. As a result of the corruption and ad fraud of 2014, we’ll see advertisers shift toward more mainstream video ad platforms in 2015, opting to partner only with trusted adtech sources. Video analytics will play a much more important role, and we’ll see demand for more robust reporting.
—Rob Ciampa, CMO, Pixability
Video viewability and audibility metrics will take center stage in 2015 as advertisers shift their video strategies away from long-tail sites and toward higher quality sources.
—Jonah Goodhart, CEO, Moat
Mobile Will Keep Growing
With the consumer shift to mobile usage, video consumption on mobile devices will increase substantially for all demographics. Mobile video will emerge as the centerpiece of cross-screen targeting through an influx of available inventory and the ability to target individual consumers rather than shared computers and TVs.
Interactivity Will Increase
I think we’ll begin to see a rise in interactive brand videos, and not just the animation/effects-based Old Spice-type videos that were produced a while back. They’ll be real commercials/brand entertainment that viewers can interact with and play a role in the storytelling. We’ve seen a few attempts, but they’ve always been on brand Web sites rather than on YouTube or somewhere on social media. On YouTube we’ll see it done with annotations. Hell Pizza in New Zealand had some success with this a few years ago. I can see it taking off as a way for brands to fight short attention spans and attempt to create more tailored messages for their specific audiences.
—Ken Gumbs, Founder, Fresh Giants
We anticipate more video ad interactivity, including smarter, dynamic annotations and customized, geo-based annotations.
To address short attention spans, we’ll see “choose your own adventure” interactive ads—customized, interlinking snippets of video as short as 5 or 10 seconds that weave together a brand’s story across paid and owned media channels. Inspired by snackable social video platforms like Vine, campaigns that use this method of storytelling will drive consumer engagement on a much deeper level.
—Michael Baliber, SVP and Director of Digital Media Strategy, ID Media
Video Formats Will Evolve
Video formats will be revisited as advertisers look beyond the traditional 15- and 30-second spots in an effort to tell a story in an environment the consumer is ready to hear and see.
Advertisers will pay closer attention to the format and player sizes of their online video inventory. As advertisers demand transparency into ad placements, they will uncover that they are investing in inventory that acts less like TV advertising and more like display banners. Advertisers will push their media vendors to focus on the more TV-centric placements as they shift their TV investments to online video.
Advertisers Will Authenticate Ad Buys
Brand safety will be the name of the game for mobile video in 2015. Advertisers will find it necessary to authenticate buys with ad-safe technologies like Vindico and Innovid to ensure viewability on mobile devices.
Completion rate will continue to be one of the primary measures of a campaign’s success. Advertisers will take advantage of cookie pools for use in retargeting and remessaging based on a consumer’s past actions. We now have ad technologies capable of abandoning what would be wasted impressions on uninterested consumers in favor of consumers who are proven to be engaged with a brand’s offerings.
Advertisers Will Embrace Consumer Content
User-generated content will become a part of the video experience. Visual storytelling technologies like GoPro will live with consumers as a means to change how content is produced and shared. Advertisers will need to improve the ways they harness the power of content sharing while ensuring their brands are not compromised.
—Angie Given-Cook, SVP and Managing Director, ID Media
Facebook Will Take on YouTube
The battle between YouTube and Facebook will be a main focus in 2015, but in this war everyone will win. It’s not going to be a choice of one video platform over the other. Instead, successful brand marketers will put a combination of the two to work.
It’s Time to Get Serious
We’re past the age of throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks.
2015 image via Shutterstock.