Revenue Optimization

7 Tips To Increase Programmatic Video Ad Revenue

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Outstream video advertising changed the monetization strategy for many publishers—allowing them to show video ads on non-video content.

Following the trend, Google enabled outstream video ads for its partnered publishers opening multiple demand channels for video inventory. 

Since then, publishers of different sizes have started experimenting with video advertising.

But when it comes to making a profit, many publishers lack a robust strategy. If you are looking for tips to increase video ad revenue, then we have the right ones for you.

Optimize for Placement

Placement of video ads plays a very important role when it comes to getting users’ attention. If a user can’t find the video ad, how would they see it? Hence, you need to optimally find a location and place a video ad unit.

For instance, viewability of video ads above the fold is 73% and below the fold is 45%. Above fold video ads should bring on better viewability but that doesn’t mean below the fold placement should be ruled out.

Identify the average time spent by users on your webpage and the placements explored more by them. Next, you can also try moving the video player higher on your webpage and app to record any changes in the viewability rate.

Similarly, you should consider dynamic play viewports that autoplay videos only when an ad unit is active on the user’s viewport. This saves advertisers from wasting their money on non-viewable ads. This also reduces page load time by stopping webpages from rendering videos that are not seen by anyone. 

Test Out Video Players

Large video players are easily noticed by users. For example, 2560 x 1440 player sizes get attention of 95% users. Other large sizes like 667 x 375, 1024 x 768, and 1280 x 720 are noticed by 90% and more users. Clearly, larger sized video ad units are more viewable.

As a video player strategy experiment with click-to-play to improve CTR for video ads. Basically, if a user clicks on the video ad to see it, advertisers will get a clear signal of user interest. This, in return, should improve the value of your inventory making it easy for advertisers to further target the user.

Be careful if you are using autoplay ads. Better Ad Standards had made this clear that autoplay video ads with sound on is one of the most disruptive ad formats. Hence, it is advised to try muted video ads for the purpose of video ads that play in line with Chrome autoplay policy.

Perform Periodic Video Ad Audits

Publishers are advised to be wary of poor user experience. This includes bad placements and unmet viewability standards. In such a case, publishers not only lose the users’ attention but also advertisers’ bids and hence, see a decrease in ad revenue.

It is recommended to schedule periodic audits to check the performance of the video inventory and make necessary fixes. Here are few things you need to consider:

  • Look for latency issues: Video files are large in size and add to the page loading speed. 53% mobile users don’t wait for more than 3 seconds for a webpage to load and bounce to a different site. Best practices for video ads include lazy loading and placing video ads below the fold.
  • Check prefetching opportunities: Prefetching allows webpages to start getting the details of video ads from the server before the ad starts to load on the user’s browser. This allows appropriate loading time to video ads considering these are large in size.
  • Audit for VAST error: VAST error stops ad request and ads from playing on screen. If you use Google Ad Manager, then keep an eye on VAST performance for video ads. Fix the listed VAST errors and make it a periodic practice.

Get Started with Video Header Bidding

Try selling your video inventory via video header bidding. Video header bidding is a great method for publishers to increase demand on their inventory by adding demand outside Google.

Prebid, an open source header bidding wrapper, allows video ads (instream and outstream). For outstream videos, the implementation is easy—adding wrapper (Prebid.js) to the website head code. If you already have a wrapper added to your site, then enable ‘video’ media format and add video demand (like AppNexus).

Instream implementation is a bit complicated for header bidding. Hence, only a few video players allow header bidding options. 

Video header bidding ensures greater demand and control over the inventory. If competed with Google Ad Exchange, this should result in more demand, bid pressure, and better profit for publishers.

Try Video Ad Solution Offered by Google Ad Manager

Google Ad Manager supports three types of video ads: Linear Ads (Pre-roll, Mid-roll, and Post-roll), Non-linear Ads (Overlay, and Non-overlay), and Companion Ads.

The automation and reporting provided by Google is better than any other platform out there. Here are some featured by GAM video solution:

  • Create video video inventory
  • Generate video ad tag
  • Create video line item
  • Generate video reports

The intelligent viewability feature for Google Ad Manager calculates the following viewability metrics: 

  • Active View: The overall viewability tracker
  • Active View Measurable Impression: Number of times ads appeared in Active View
  • Active View Viewable Impressions: Number of times ads considered as viewable
  • Active View Measurable Rate: Ratio of viewable impressions by total impressions (viewable + non-viewable)
  • Active View Viewable Rate: Ad viewability rate—percentage of time the ads appeared on site and were viewable.

Since video advertising is different from display advertising, GAM asks publishers to integrate Interactive Media Ads (IMA) SDK. This is to use Google ad serving platform and to access Google Ad Exchange demand and dynamic ad insertion.

Focus on First-party Data Planning and Targeting

Data privacy laws are getting more strict. Make sure you use the user’s data responsibly.

The success of advertisers campaigns depend on user data offered by you. However, you need to have user’s permission to use their data for targeting (as noted in GDPR, CCPA, and LGPD).

Coming back to advertiser’s campaign, video ads creation takes more time and money. And in return, advertisers expect a better user engagement on them. It puts pressure on publishers to keep up with targeting and user engagement while maintaining user privacy.

Only optimal use of first-party data can help publishers. Here is how you should plan it out:

  • First-party data for publishers is user information collected by their website. Before you start using it, make sure you have user’s consent for the same.
  • Consent includes permission to share users’ data, track their online behaviour, show them ads and many more. It is advisable to adhere to IAB’s advertising guidelines.
  • It is recommended to get started with data management platforms and/or consent management platforms.

Doing this should avoid data leakage, improve user experience and effectiveness of ad campaigns.

Watch Out for Video Advertising Trends

Data shows advertisers are willing to spend more on video advertising in coming years. For publishers, video advertising is a hot market to make good money out of it.

When starting with video advertising make sure you have following things in mind:

  • Balance between display and video inventory: Both inventory types have their own pros and cons, hence while assigning inventory to display and video, make sure you understand the potential of each for your inventory.
  • Track popular placements and size: Placements and sizes that get most bids from advertisers are the popular ones. Putting these placements and sizes ensure interest (bids) of more advertisers on your video inventory.
  • Video ad viewability: Ad viewability metrics are volatile and keep on changing. Hence, it is recommended to track the industry trend to avoid showing intrusive ads to users.
  • Optimize for desktop and mobile, separately: The screen and user intent for these devices are very different. For instance, vertical video ads are hit on mobile devices, however, might not work as well on desktop devices.

With more demand and higher bid rate, video advertising is ruling over display. Now is the best time for publishers to get started with video advertising and make higher revenue.


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