August 7, 2018: Facebook updates video ad metrics, Google’s solution to capturing consumers’ attention, Amazon’s combines ad offerings into singular platform, Snapchat launches speech recognition lenses, and WhatsApp introduces new business API
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:
Facebook Updates Video Ad Metrics
Facebook is making some updates to video view metrics to provide more clarity on performance and better align with evolving consumption behaviors.
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The ways in which people interact with video are constantly changing, making a marketer’s ability to understand the impact of their video ads hard AF – you know this, I know this, and Facebook knows this. It’s for this reason that Zuck & Co. have updated some of their video ad metrics to focus more on consumption (i.e. the number of unrepeated seconds people watch) to better serve you, the marketer.
Here’s the 411 on the major changes:
- Measuring unrepeated seconds – FB is updating the way it measures 3-second and 10-second video views by discounting those views that may come as an accumulation of re-watched time.
- Introducing Video Plays – FB notes that News Feed videos play 70% of the time – so most users do see your video ads – but there are occasions where this is not the case due to low connectivity, low battery, etc. Through Video Plays, marketers will be able to measure the actual number of video ads that start to play.
- Removing redundant and infrequently used video metrics – The most significant change here is the switch to the ‘Milestone Metrics’ exclusively – rather than telling you what specific percentage of your video each user has viewed, Milestone Metrics cluster viewers based key points in your content.
What Does This Mean?
Does the removal of the 30 second video view as a key metric signal the death of the 30 second spot for online? It would appear so. With Instagram Stories + Snapchat, the only time-based reporting is merely seconds (2,3,10) – which also indicate that 30 seconds is simply too long for people to tune in (people are watching that long, regardless). Additionally, FB’s updates to its video ad metrics further indicates that marketers, and platforms, are finally adjusting content and measurement strategies for how people actually behave online. Slow clap.
In the era of shrinking attention spans, the shorter the better – for ads, that is. Not only can shorter videos deliver nearly 10 times the impact per second, but with Facebook making strides to remove the 30 second spot from its ad arsenal, marketers will have an easier time seamlessly repurposing ads across multiple channels. To make the most of this new ad format, involve influencers in the creative process to learn how they’d tell your story in fifteen seconds or less, and if you’re planning to repurpose influencer-generated video content – make sure your briefs make fifteen-second (or less) video shorts mandatory.
Google’s Solution: How To Capture Consumer Attention
Google has found a way to break through the noise and capture consumers’ attention: how-to videos. According to the Googs, how-to videos earn the most attention of any content category on YouTube and are one of the main reasons people navigate to YouTube.
The key metric Google/YouTube has always focused on is not views or subscribers – it’s engagement. And as it turns out, a lot of times engagement comes from seemingly less than perfect content, like live video. YouTube reports that its one weekly live video generates more comments – as many as 15,000 – than all other videos from the week combined. Not only does live video allow you to connect with your audience in a more authentic way, but it can also help you understand what types of content they’d like to see more of – which is a win-win for both sides.
Where content is commoditized – what are consumers actually engaging with and what do they actually want? This is a case for a consumer-sourced/influencer-sourced research strategy. Utility is a great driver for engagement – especially when they’re crowd sourced; as well as the case for rapid iteration vs. pitch-perfect video… less-than-perfect, high-volume video enables marketers to quickly understand what works, and what doesn’t, and able to faster double-down on the content trends and themes actually resonating with their core audience.
Amazon’s Centralized Ad Offering
Amazon has merged its ad offerings into one platform so that advertisers, whether they are first-party or third-party sellers, will be able to buy campaigns from one, centralized place.
The retailer has tried to remove the differences between how first- and third-party sellers manage campaigns for some time, but now its going a step further. It’s rumored that Amazon is working on a consolidated platform that will bring all campaign reporting and advertising products from the Amazon Media Group, Amazon Marketing Services and Amazon Advertising Products divisions into one place.
What’s Amazon’s End-Game?
For all the hype around Amazon’s ad business, it still lives in the shadow of its rivals. Amazon generated $2.2 billion in its latest quarter, a measly number compared to its rivals Google and Facebook who posted $28 billion and $13.3 billion, respectively. Amazon hopes that by streamlining its ad business, advertisers will buy more ads from one place, shortening the distance between itself and its rivals.
Right now, there is a fierce competition between Google, Facebook and Amazon. The winner will likely be the one who gives marketers and advertisers the most access to consumer data and ad performance, makes the process the easiest/most automated, and gives the highest ROI story while capturing the most ad dollars. Stay tuned…
Snapchat’s Speech Recognition Play
Snapchat has launched new lenses that respond to voice commands. Now, when users speak simple, English words like “hi,” “love,” “yes,” “no,” and “wow,” the lenses will animate.
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This isn’t the first time Snap has offered lenses that involve audio; however, this is the first time it the platform has created lenses that actually recognize words, then use its understanding of what was said as a marker that kicks off the lens animation. One of Snapchat’s biggest differentiators has always been the platforms unique lenses that help to keep Snapchat users and its creators engaged.
Is Snap’s latest audio play the future of voice-optimized advertising? Not only do voice-triggered lenses have the ability to set the foundation for interesting new ad units, but they’re also a differentiator for Snapchat creators who understand the voice-activation mechanics that trigger the new lenses.
What’s Up With WhatsApp?
Last week, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is introduced a new Business API that allows businesses to manage and send non-promotional messages to customers — like appointment reminders, shipping info, or event tickets — for a fixed rate. On the same day, Facebook also announced that advertisers will soon be able to use the Facebook Ads Manager to add a click-to-chat button to Facebook advertisements.
It is possible that the future of marketing communication is through one-to-one messaging with consumers. This allows for faster replies to questions about a product or service, keeping a consumer’s attention and preventing them from losing interest. This also gives consumers a feel for a business with personalized, real time connections being made. This new feature also holds potential for a new revenue model for Facebook.