Lottie Laws, head of video at Twitter Australia, sits down for a one-on-one with BT to talk all things video advertising, and how the social media behemoth is in the prime position to capitalise on this space.
The way we, as consumers, engage with advertising has changed rapidly. For advertisers, this has meant they’ve had to find new ways to improve the user experience and make more engaging content – and it’s why many brands are choosing video advertising today.
Recent research by CodeFuel found that online users prefer to consume content as video, including ads. However, the format isn’t the only thing that matters – the ad also has to be just as engaging as the content, according to Laws.
“Our own research showed that 43 per cent of users said they would watch a full video ad if it had interesting content,” she tells BT.
“It also noted factors like whether the ad had an interesting offer or whether it was from a brand the user knew and liked. These elements should always be at the forefront of any video ad campaign.”
Advertisers should also keep in mind that a video campaign should be accompanied by a strong brand marketing campaign, Laws adds.
“If an ad is the first time someone is learning about a brand, the ads won’t be nearly as effective. Video ads need to be part of a broader marketing strategy,” she explains.
The Twitter take-up
Twitter has a range of video ad solutions, and most recently launched its in-stream offering for Australia in September, which gives marketers the opportunity to take a TV-like approach to audience buying in a brand-safe environment.
“The beauty is that advertisers can handpick the publishers they want to work with, and access and sponsor the best content from a single partner to build a brand association and reach their audience in multiple ways,” Laws says.
“CMOs and marketers talk to us about wanting more control of their ads, and in-stream video ads let them do just that. Brands are able to choose their partners, and target their content to specific events, at scale, against premium videos.”
Since launching in-stream video ads on Twitter globally, Laws says the reception from brands and content partners has been extremely positive.
“We already have partners such as BeIN Sports and Seven West Media on the content side, and Sportsbet, NAB and Woolworths on board as advertisers,” she tells BT.
“And we’re having regular conversations with brands and content partners interested in learning more about how they can leverage in-stream video ads via Twitter.
“A few things have become clear to us in 2017 when working with advertising partners on our video products: they want incremental reach, a differentiated audience, and truly premium content in a viewable, brand-safe environment.”
Proof in the pudding
Now, it’s all well and good for Twitter to claim that its video ad campaigns drive positive shifts in key brand metrics for advertisers time and time again, but where’s the evidence?
Well, across 406 Nielsen Brand Effect studies, those who saw video ads on Twitter said they were 50 per cent more likely to be aware of the advertiser’s brand, feel 14 per cent more favourable about the brand, and had 18 per cent higher purchase intent – versus those not exposed to video ads.
But why is this the case? Well, according to Laws, people approach Twitter with a discovery mindset, making them more attentive, responsive, and trusting of the video ad content they see on the platform compared to others.
“This leads to video ads on Twitter being almost twice as memorable when compared to the same ads on other premium sites,” she explains.
Increasingly, people are shifting away from traditional ways of consuming video, with some audience demographics such as Generation Z are bypassing traditional methods altogether, and have gone straight to streaming on demand or live video.
Ultimately, Laws says it is these consumer trends that should, and will, inform how video advertising evolves.
“Twitter recently announced 16 premium deals at #Newfronts in the US, and APAC followed this trend in September by announcing more than 30 content partnerships at the All That Matters conference in Singapore,” she says.
“A number of these premium video offerings will include live streaming opportunities for advertisers, and this is a testament to the live nature of Twitter, but also the way the digital industry is moving.
“Five or 10 years down the line, the ‘cord-cutting’ and ‘cordless’ audiences will dictate how video is consumed even further.”