If you are a digital publisher who produces content, it’s important that you know how to create the best possible environment that will appeal to a maximum amount of media buyers. This includes fully optimizing your video ad inventory.
There are two significant parts of this video inventory optimization assessment: ad player optimization and the overall user experience. Many publishers fail to consider how the design and organization of their websites and video players affect their ability to monetize. And examining the information about your video player included in the bid request to marketers is a simple place to start, but there are more steps you can take. Video advertising can be tricky terrain, but with the right guidance, you’ll be an expert in no time.
Here are some ways to optimize your video ad inventory:
User Experience and Layout
Having a clean and accessible layout is essential to user experience. No one wants to view a webpage that’s already complicated to navigate at first glance. Since user experience is important across the board, it’s common for advertisers to prioritize this kind of content and web design. When you’re developing your website, consider a layout that decreases the amount of effort the audience has to expend. Clear calls to action are simple and effective ways to draw the viewer to your content, as they increase the number of conversions for advertisers. This form of accessibility ultimately makes your website more appealing to everyone.
Media buyers want to ensure they’ll get the greatest value for their money, and they want a guarantee that people will view their video ads. Ask yourself if the video player is the appropriate size. Is it above or below the fold?
One great way to ensure viewability is by employing sticky units. These ads scroll with the user and dock themselves on the page. These types of ads are particularly effective on mobile which is a huge benefit because so many people are accustomed to consuming content across multiple screens and devices. In fact, about 60% of content is viewed on mobile devices, according to statista.com.
It’s important to note, however, that finding a balance between creating and maintaining an ideal user experience and increasing video viewability can be challenging. Ultimately, you’ll want to find a way to increase viewability without sacrificing UX.
According to Google Ads, at least 50% of player pixels must be visible for a minimum of two seconds in order for the ad to qualify as viewable. As a digital publisher, you can also increase the viewability of your ads by understanding the users that various media buyers might cater to. Learn to recognize their behavior on your particular website. And pay attention to the pages to the areas generating the greatest engagement. You should also be sure that your video player is hosted on these pages.
Our ebook on viewability is a great guide. To learn more about viewability, check out our recent ebook here.
Automatic Ads and User-Initiated Ads
There are two types of players that feature both ads and content. These two types are referred to as user-initiated players and “automatic” players, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The benefit of user-initiated players is that because the user is taking clear action to start the video, sound is on by default. Because you’re making an active choice to watch a video, the sound will start as soon as it launches. These user-initiated video experiences are more rare, so there is limited ad inventory of this type available, which makes scaling a challenge.
The other type of content-rich player, known as an automatic player, starts when you open a page, or when you eventually scroll down to another area of the page. Based on the nature of how the video starts, there is far more scale. In contrast to user-initiated ads, these videos begin with the volume muted to avoid disrupting the user experience with unwanted audio. In order to hear the content or advertising within these players, the user must click to play sound.
While user-initiated players deliver less opportunities for monetization, they typically receive higher CPMs and could also be seen as less intrusive. However, even at lower rates, many publishers find that automatic video players deliver significantly higher overall revenue while also enhancing the user’s visit by exposing them to more content.
Content optimization is the practice of writing your content in such a way that it will reach the largest possible target audience. This method builds the framework for search engine optimization (SEO), which aims to convert keyword research into content that affects how well your site ranks in organic search results. The more traffic and impressions your site earns, the more money media buyers will pay to advertise there.
Using specific keywords in your title, meta description, and video transcript also makes your video more likely to be found in search. Pages that feature video(s) are more likely to rank higher than pages without. And while you’re at it, make sure the page itself is using SEO best practices, which can include having a minimum of 300 words on the page and prioritizing keywords throughout the copy and headings.
Ensure your website is safe for advertisers. Brand safety is crucial for digital publishers in order to safeguard their revenue stream from potential losses brought on by bad actors, fraud, or inappropriate content. If a publisher starts publishing material that an advertiser believes is unsuitable for the audience it’s trying to reach (for example: content about politics or guns), the advertiser may pull their ads and cease working with them. This can lead to a sufficient loss in revenue.
Once you understand your audience, you’ll be able to customize your content to fit their interests, which will make it easier to create efficient marketing plans and video strategies. The more you improve your content strategy, the more your audience will grow and the more advertisers will want their ads to appear there.
Relevancy: What Makes Sense
Have you partnered with a tech company that can provide relevant ads to your audience? EX.CO uses artificial intelligence and machine-learning to provide targeted adverts to audiences based on their surfing habits, location, and contextual relevance, among other considerations.
Placing advertisements on a website relevant to the page’s real content is known as contextual advertising. For instance, you might see an advertisement for a Capital One travel credit card if you read an article on Travel + Leisure about the best islands in the world. Similarly, readers of The Wall Street Journal’s Style section may frequently see advertisements for the luxury Italian company Bulgari, which is well-known for its fragrances, accessories, and other fashion-forward products.
SPO (Supply Path Optimization)
Supply Path Optimization (SPO) refers to buyers finding the best connections and prices to enhance the inventory-buying process. The objective is to stop purchasing through ineffective or expensive supply routes. Media buyers use supply path optimization to specifically target the supply paths that are the most effective, scalable, and transparent for their bids. Advertisers must be able to find your ad inventory without much difficulty, and you must optimize the inventory to ensure this.
These eight ways to optimize your video ad inventory can effectively attract a range of media buyers. However, open and honest communication with the client is essential because it may improve how well publishers and media buyers comprehend one another’s requirements and potential. Remember that each advertiser or media outlet has unique criteria that must be satisfied, and the publisher’s programmatic offer should be limited to each customer.
Want to appeal to media buyers?