Knowing the value of digital video ads is hard, and yet, with video a growing and highly engaging form of online content, video advertising can't be ignored. Marketers are forced to accept an imperfect circumstance: They aren't sure they're getting the value they're expecting from digital video ads, but they can't afford to not invest in the channel.
It's not a lost cause, though, largely thanks to the rise of digital ad ratings — but many advertisers don't know how they can be helpful (especially for pre-roll ad campaigns). Here's a quick primer on what digital ad ratings can do for you and your next video advertising campaign.
What Do Ad Ratings Measure?
Digital ad ratings are comprehensive (or close to comprehensive) analyses of the audience available through a given digital ad. There are three basic categories of measurement:
- Cross-Platform Performance
There is a specific performance measurement for each type of device in a campaign. Digital ad ratings may find, for example, that desktop offers far worse performance for a campaign than mobile devices, or vice versa. This affects the ad rating for prospective ads that will deploy to any of these devices.
- On-Target Delivery
This refers to the percentage of viewers who fit the demographic qualities outlined by the advertiser. A higher percentage score means that a higher percentage of viewers fit the description of your target consumer.
This is the newest component of these ratings, and it's very important: It measures how many consumers will actually see your ad. The more consumers ignore or block your ads, the lower the rating.
Nielsen just introduced this feature last summer, and it's regarded as a much better metric for measuring the real audience of relevant viewers for an ad. Pre-roll advertisers in particular can benefit by ensuring their ads find a relevant audience, as they're challenged with convincing viewers not to hit the "skip" button.
How Can They Protect Me?
Viewability measurements can identify ad spots that have a high potential for large percentages of blocked, unviewed and even fraudulent ads. By having access to these ratings, an advertiser can decide against spending for this questionable ad space, and move on.
How Can I Use Them?
Ad ratings are an effective tool to use before an ad campaign launches. By using those ratings as a guide, you can build a profile or your target audience and identify ad spots capable of reaching them. You can also review ad spots to make sure they aren't a high fraud risk, and to make sure your ads will be reliably viewed.
Then, once the campaign is up and running, those ratings will continue to provide insightful data about your ad performance. You can monitor the performance of the ads themselves alongside analytics showing conversion rates and total ROI, and you can make adjustments accordingly, continuing to upgrade ad performance over time.
Predicting the value of a pre-roll ad continues to be an imperfect science, but digital ad ratings make it far less of a risk than it used to be. Use these ratings to make sure you're getting what you pay for online.