A Brand Manager's Video Campaign Checklist

In a majority of marketing-driven companies today, brand managers typically have the final say on their product’s media plan (take a look at the consumer packaged goods industry, for example). Given the far-reaching demands placed on brand managers – from volume forecasting to business reviews – many would agree that a great deal of trust must be placed on media planning agencies to deliver a plan that serves the best interest of the advertiser.

It’s hard for even the savviest of brand managers to keep up with the latest advancements in online video. Just when marketers reach a comfort level with search engine marketing tactics or display strategies, our industry moves on to programmatic buying and cross-device targeting. To that end, here are six questions every brand manager should consider when evaluating his/her online video media plan:

1. Have you established specific goals and metrics so you can clearly evaluate success for your online video campaign? Marketing attribution models have brought attention to the fact that different media vehicles have varying roles in driving value for the advertiser. The sight, sound, and motion of TV and video deliver an unparalleled branding experience for consumers, and as a result, these tools remain at the top of the purchase decision funnel. Brand managers should determine ahead of a campaign’s launch which metrics and goals best define success for a brand-building medium such as online video.

2. Do you have full transparency into where your online video campaign is running? With a heightened awareness of brand safety issues, brand advertisers must expect their video solution provider to deliver, at minimum, site-level reporting for campaigns.  Additional concerns about video viewability, impression fraud and netbot traffic underline the importance of full site transparency even further.

3. Are you buying on an impression-by-impression basis? Real-time bidding (RTB) inventory for video has exploded, and advertisers benefit from the ability to make real-time advertising decisions by impression, depending on the viewer's behavioral or demographic characteristics. Layer in the capability of dynamically adjusting the price you’re willing to pay depending on the audience and ad placement’s characteristics, and you understand the benefits of programmatic buying!

4. Are you fully leveraging the targeting capabilities of online video? Managing waste in video delivery is essential to fully leverage every dollar in your budget. Using first- or third-party data segments to effectively target your campaign to desired viewers is the first step. Measuring what percent of your campaign delivered to your target is the second.

5. Are you modifying your video assets to take complete advantage of online video’s unique capabilities? Suffice it to say, online video is not TV. Running your TV spot online may be an easy solution, but it's not necessarily the right one to maximize brand awareness. For example, adapting video assets to communicate your brand message within the first five seconds can lead to free media value if you leverage skippable video ad inventory.

6. Are you consolidating your online video campaign spend? Fragmenting video budgets across multiple sellers can lead to audience duplication, disjointed inventory buying, and splintered reporting. Imagine setting a daily frequency cap of three impressions per targeted unique among 10 different vendors on your plan – you could potentially deliver 30 impressions to the same viewer per day! Focusing your spend within a single software platform allows for more efficient reach while limiting wasted impressions.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of questions that can help brand managers (and agency planners) best evaluate their online video media plans. But it is a great start in opening up a larger, more strategic dialogue within your company as you consider transitioning more dollars into the online video space.

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