The best video advertising is watched by Web users and not perceived as disruptive, but creating that type of content can be a challenge. For years, content publishers have been struggling to establish best practices for deploying ads in video content. As more and more video content becomes available, online marketers have been testing various strategies to see what consumers will tolerate and where ads can deliver strong results.
A big point of concern is ad placement. Ads can be placed before, after or in the middle of a piece of video content. The placement has huge implications for the success of an ad campaign, and marketers need to examine their own case-specific circumstances to decide which ad placement best serves their interests. Fortunately, research can offer some guidance in this decision.
Pre-Roll Builds Brand Awareness
Running a video advertisement ahead of the desired video content seems like a practical move. After all, consumers haven't seen the video yet, so no viewers have been lost to abandonment.
There's always a risk of losing viewers due to pre-roll ad abandonment, but research from YuMe suggests that, over the long run, pre-roll pays off — especially if you're doing it for branding purposes. YuMe found that pre-roll ads are extremely effective across several metrics, including brand association, brand engagement, brand favorability and intent to purchase.
Consumers Are Comfortable With Mid-Roll Ads
By many measurements, mid-roll advertising offers solid returns. Mid-roll ads enjoy a higher completion rate than both pre- and post-roll ads. Viewers have already watched some of the video content; if they make it to a mid-roll ad, it means they have remained engaged through roughly half of the video. Because such a large chunk of video remains, they are more willing to be patient.
Mid-roll ads also fit the general schedule that viewers are accustomed to on TV. They are used to television shows that are interrupted midway through by advertisements. This doesn't bother the viewer in the way other advertisements might.
A Well-Placed Post-Roll Ad Can Offer Value
There are some instances in which post-roll video campaigns can be very effective. For example, if you're using the ad as a call-to-action — especially if it follows branded video content — a post-roll ad can deliver value. If you keep video content streaming by using a hidden playlist, a post-roll ad can be effective when it is aired while the player lines up the next piece of content. If consumers are interested in the upcoming content, they'll stick through the ad to see what follows.
Ideal ad placement for video should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Marketers will make the best use of these campaigns when they have a clear understanding of their target audience behaviors as well as their own advertising strategies and end goals.