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How Publishers Can Optimize Video Ad Delivery for Higher Revenue?

Optimizing video ads
So you have implemented video ads on your site to ramp up the revenue. What's Next? It's time to optimize the delivery to maximize the eCPM. Here's how to do it.

So you’ve started showing video ads on your site, the revenue has increased, CPMs are higher, now what? Now it’s time to make sure that your video ad setup is up to the mark. Without a proper setup, you’ll be losing a lot of your revenue due to issues like latency, bad user experience, imprecise reporting, inability to target, etc. Here we have some tips for you to optimize your video ads so that you’re not prone to any such issues:

Length of Video Creative

Keep your videos short. Short videos that play for 15 seconds or less will be better than long videos. Shorter videos are best for mobile, they can be delivered faster, they won’t eat up user’s mobile data, they have higher completion rates, they are less likely to be skipped. Even the advertising brand is more likely to deliver a complete message if it keeps the ad short. While dealing with programmatic videos, you can define the minimum and maximum duration of video ads while generating the tags.

VAST Support

Your site environment should be able to support the latest version of the VAST tag (4.0 or above). Supporting newer versions of VAST helps you in maintaining video ads quality, lesser errors, and improved measurement, verification, and reporting capabilities. There are numerous other benefits of VAST 4.x for publishers, users as well as advertisers. It’ll ease your video ads operations and provide you better revenue. 

The right Ad Server

You can choose between an ad server specialized in video ads and an ad server that can handle all types of ads. The ad server should have easy integration with SSPs and other third-party solutions that help in effective video delivery.

Video formats, reporting, targeting are some other aspects that you should look for in an ad server. The right ad server will help you in optimizing the video ads to a great extent with its easy integration, faster delivery, targeted and relevant ads, support for the required ad formats, insights from reporting, etc. So make sure that you are using the correct ad server for your video ads. If you think that an ad server can improve your video ad operations then you can give it a try.

Latency

Latency in video ads can hurt revenue as well as user experience. Here are some of the ways to manage latency:

  • Avoid unnecessary scripts and redirects.
  • Look into the weight of files, avoid heavy files.
  • Improve page load speed
  • Ensure proper integration of every tech stack
  • Block bot traffic 
  • Load ads asynchronously so that page content and ads are loading independently without blocking each other.
  • Analyze your ad partner’s response time.
  • Every aspect of video delivery that can influence the latency of ads should be thoroughly inspected and optimized for a smooth workflow.

While analyzing the demand partner’s latency, consider its CPM as well. Partners with high latency and low CPMs can be removed but if the CPMs are high then you need to take a careful decision.

Targeting

Video ads provide you high revenue but if the advertisers can target them precisely then the revenue can go even higher. Gender and Age are two of the most important demographics that the advertisers look for. You can build your first-party data strategy for such targeting criteria.

Alternatively, you can partner with DMPs for more sophisticated targeting capabilities and other data management needs. Our checklist for finding the best DMPs will help you in the process.

Security

You need to secure users, advertisers, and yourself.  Ensuring their security will help you in retaining the users and advertisers. The high CPM with video ads also attracts bad actors. Misrepresentation of placements by banner stuffing, false impressions from fake users, pixel stuffing, domain spoofing, infecting users’ devices, and then rendering video ads offscreen are some of the common video ad fraud techniques. Digiday says, “While video accounts for 45 percent of total ad spend, it is tied to 64 percent of all ad fraud”. 

When bad actors fest on the ad money then it deflates the overall rates of the inventory. At the same time if the buyers become the victim of frauds on your site then you can lose them for no reason. So it is best to partner with demand partners who are trustworthy because frauds like misrepresenting display inventory as video inventory happen due to unscrupulous demand partners.

Other security needs like ad tag validation, creative scanning, malware detection, bot detection data leakage prevention, etc can be fulfilled by working with ad fraud detection companies.

User Experience

A great user experience keeps the visitor on your site for a longer time and it also encourages them for returning visits. We have already shared many tips for maintaining a good user experience earlier so here we’ll give you some UX tips related to your video player:

  • The video player should be fast at delivering the content as well as the ads.
  • In the case of syndication, the player should fetch the most relevant content.
  • It should provide controls like Pause, Play, Mute, and Close so that the user has control over the ad experience.
  • It should be customizable to match your site’s look and feel so that the ads do not look out of place.
  • Videos should always start without sound and auto-playing should be avoidable.
  • Videos should be played only while the player is in the viewport.
  • It’ll be better if the player is dockable so that the video can be downsized and docked at a corner of the screen, it helps in providing high viewability without being intrusive.
  • Providing the option to skip an ad would be an added advantage.

If your video player already has all the above-mentioned features then just implement them, else our list of best video players will help in finding the right match.

Viewability

When the advertisers are paying a premium for video ad impressions, they also expect higher viewability. Many advertisers may target only the inventory with high viewability. So, if you want to make sure you are attracting the premium advertisers, you need to provide higher viewability to the video ads. You can study the past viewability metrics of your existing ad units to know the best spot for delivering video ads. Some more tips:

  • Use Sticky Containers: They’ll remain in view while the user scrolls through the page.
  • Use Large-Sized Ad Units: They have high probability of capturing viewers’ attention leading to higher CTR.
  • Place Ads In or Near the ATF Area: Being in or near the ATF area ensures that the video ads will appear in the viewport even if the user is not going to the end of the webpage.
  • Use Responsive Players: Responsive players resize according to the page size so that their user experience remains the same irrespective of the page size. The user will be less likely to close the ad when it isn’t hampering the experience.
  • Have a Data-Driven Approach: A data-driven approach to find the best placements for your site will make sure that you are making validated changes instead of doing guess work. Your placements will yield better results when your approach is data-driven.

Sidenote: Many publishers do not adopt VPAID or VAST 4.X because they believe that these formats provide too much control to the buyers. But if you do not have proper VPAID setup then many viewability tools may not work.

Try Vertical Ads

As per the 2017 report by Comscore, 70% of the total media consumption is happening on mobile devices. It is due to the popularity of mobile web browsing that platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and now YouTube are able to lure advertisers with their vertical ads. If you have a big mobile audience then you should give it a try too. 

But currently there are hardly any vertical video solutions like Rubicon Project’s Vertical Outstream for mobile web, however, some SSPs can monetize apps with vertical format. Even the in-app vertical ads may not be as good as the ads on walled garden platforms, so it’ll be better to have direct deals with advertisers to make your vertical video ad campaign successful.

What’s Next?

Currently, there’s a growing trend of video header bidding among publishers. It can maximize your revenue with higher ad fill rates while maintaining transparency. You should also check out the current trends of video header bidding. You can always contact us in case of any queries or difficulties regarding video ads. We have full stack solutions for your video as well as every other monetization needs.

Automatad Team

At Automatad, we help publishers to monetize better without hampering the user experience. Our products are live across hundreds of publishers, earning them incremental ad revenue with every passing second. You can request a free audit to get an estimated revenue uplift today.

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