Digital video series: The role of social in interactive video advertising

What's the role of social in interactive pre-roll?

The Drum catches up with a cross-section of the online video industry to discuss the evolution of online video advertising.

As part of The Drum’s latest digital media supplement, focused on the opportunities of online video, we are publishing a series of articles exploring a range of topics, from the future of online video to the challenges of video real-time bidding.Online video is becoming more engaging, fuelled by technologies allowing marketers to add interactivity to ads. In today’s article, a cross-section of the industry discuss the role of social in interactive pre-roll.The video supplement will be published tomorrow (Friday 25 October) and will contain an in-depth look at the opportunities around interactive video.Rebecca Mahony, CMO, EbuzzingSocial gives advertisers the potential to make their brand campaigns reach even more people. Social sharing tools means that users can share, tweet, comment and pin content to their friends. Therefore the potential uplift in the number of people who see you content and then interact with it hugely increases. Social also provides advocacy, sparking conversation around your content. In our experience the more successful formats for sharing tend to be a semi-expand video units, which include extra interactive content. We’ve also found mobile also offers great opportunities for enhanced sharing as touchscreens more naturally lead to interaction.Gavin Morgan, VP business development, Europe, InnovidThe role of social is key in interactive formats as it allows the viewer to get even further into the brand experience and engage through the social channels, both existing and emerging. It allows brands to present themselves across social platforms and further amplify their message. When interactive ads include social elements, viewers can seamlessly view social components either within the video ad (without ever leaving the video publisher's website) or by transitioning to branded social pages resulting in social functionality uplift.Peter Browse, creative technologist, Beattie McGuinness BungayThe explosion in the social sector in the last couple of years, especially social media agencies, has meant that more and more clients are seeing the 'always on' approach as a vital part of brand communication. Whilst I believe this to be true in certain sectors, it is important to step back and question whether tying social advocacy and interactivity to social is needed. It offers the brand an open communication with its consumers, which does two jobs. Firstly, it opens up a direct line through which brands can be accessed by the consumers, in good times and bad. Secondly, it puts the brand under further public scrutiny. If a brand is going to do social, it needs to be fully involved and respond in a two-way fashion. Incorporating social sharing functionality into interactive formats, is in the same area as creating 'content'. If the consumer has a reason to, they may engage. But let's not pretend consumers are going to start sharing adverts in a surge of organic growth. Social has a chance to allow brands to add consumer voice into their adverts, but it is important to remember it can go both ways, so be prepared. Phil Macauley, EU managing director, QuantcastIt’s still the early days of interactive pre-roll and somewhat hard to assess, as it's not been widely accepted as a standard format yet. It's also not as pervasive through all demographics as regular pre-roll video ads. Still, if the goal of the campaign is to reach a certain kind of audience that does interact in digital social circles, interactive pre-roll may be an option. More work needs to be done to make it non-interruptive and seamless.Steve Doyle, European commercial director, InSkin Media and IAB Video Council chairman This boils down to the KPIs a client sets for any campaign. If social is important to a campaign’s measurement, then of course interactive formats are really useful in helping to build awareness and efficiently drive traffic to social media. But it is important that the creative advertising is the hook that inspires the user to interact socially with a brand. Rob Cootes, director of UK and international business, BrightRollThe role of social is important but it’s ultimately dependent on what the objectives are for the campaign. If sharing videos is your primary objective, then earned media is probably the more effective route to go down. However, collecting social data is important as it can help brands develop new audiences they didn't know they had. This data can then be used for future online campaigns. Of course, there is one proviso that holds true for all social activity: creating conversation is great, as long as it’s positive.The previous instalment of The Drum's digital video series looked at tips for effectiveness in branded content.Video image courtesy of Shutterstock

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