Here are ways to take advantage of in-stream in advertising now:
1. Use interactive pre-rolls. In-stream is notorious for re-purposing TV ads into pre-roll video ads. In 2010, we should not expect the vast majority of in-stream advertisers to spend a fortune on creating special creative for the Web audience. Instead, marketers can take repurposing one step further by leveraging the benefits of the Internet as an interactive and engaging medium. Today, there are already examples of interactive pre-rolls from video networks that combine the simplicity of repurposing TV creative with the interactivity of the Web.
2. Leverage overlays. Until recently the potential of overlays has been overlooked. Overlays work when best used in a supporting role of a comprehensive in-stream media mix rather than a standalone unit. When used alongside other ad units, overlays enhance the richness of the experience and the overall ad performance of the in-stream placement. Advertisers should mix overlays with pre-roll and take a more holistic approach to driving performance for a campaign or brand.
3. Use teasers. It's common that a single brand advertiser will sponsor an entire TV program online which means users end up seeing the same ad multiple times. Before serving a 15- or 30-second spot, shake things up by running teasers to build the user's curiosity throughout the show. Ultimately, users will appreciate shortened pre-roll video. which may translate into better ad performance, brand appreciation, and a win-win situation for the consumer and advertiser.
4. Experiment with new technologies. When it comes to interactivity and measurability, in-stream advertising has created a world of new capabilities for marketers. Start-ups such as Panache, Innovid, In-Skin and others now offer cutting-edge formats and capabilities, such as hot-spotting, post production brand integration and dynamic skins. These technologies provide innovative ways to associate brands with premium content and reach target audiences in a more compelling way than simple pre-rolls.
5. Go for the long tail. The Internet is a fragmented medium and it is challenging for marketers to achieve mass reach. Video ad networks aggregate the long tail and can offer a safe branding environment for advertisers.
6. Think beyond the video player. Today, you can run in-stream ads that sync with units outside the video player. This advanced technology enables video players to connect with banner ads and create unique and immersive experiences for the end user.
7. Leverage third-party servers. IAB technology standards like VAST and VPAID ensure publishers and ad-serving vendors align creating a more streamline campaign process. These standards allow agencies and advertisers to use ad-servers in order to run in-stream in a scalable and efficient manner, as well as gain control over the reporting capabilities.
8. Put an end to the siloed approach. In-stream is not meant to be used or measured in silos. Centrally manage in-stream along with standard display, rich media, search, mobile, in-game and any other digital channel through one unified ad serving platform. It not only provides greater scalability and efficiency, but also unified tracking and reporting that enables marketers to analyze the campaign holistically.
9. Take a stand regarding the online GRP debate. The online GRP is a long-debated topic in the online advertising space, but it's even more relevant for in-stream advertising as it's often compared to TV advertising. The sooner this debate comes to a halt, the faster in-stream advertising will grow.
10. Kick the click. The value of in-stream advertising is not measured in clicks! Instead, focus on engagement and brand metrics. Metrics like Dwell Time, video start rate and video play rate demonstrate how users engage with the brand and for how long.
Let's not forget to exercise these top 10 facets of in-stream and help stimulate the adoption of standards for VAST and VPAID. Remember, better standards mean better opportunities.