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What are attention metrics and why are they crucial for digital advertising?
August 25, 2022
We are living in an age where consumers are bombarded with ads 24/7 and brands are shouting to be heard. But these days, not every online marketing campaign is about performance and sales. Brand identity campaigns are also important, and that means focusing on creating content that helps consumers rather than sells to them. However, without performance and sales metrics, how can brands measure the success of a brand identity campaign?
One of the best ways is through attention metrics, which measure the impact of ads on the consumer’s attention. And as cookie deprecation continues to affect digital advertising, the use of attention metrics is becoming more popular as the use of impressions and clicks has become a more ambiguous measure of success.
Advertising has always been about attention, and this new method helps brands gauge the impact of their campaign.
What are attention metrics?
Attention metrics are a catch-all term for the way brands can measure their campaign’s success based on audience engagement, including:
- Attention – data such as video views, page views, bounce rate, or time spent on the site
- Engagement – includes link clicks, content shares, shares per post, email response rate, and comments
- Retention – the measure of how long people stay on the site before either returning, leaving permanently or abandoning shopping carts
These metrics give brands insight into:
- How well content is performing and whether it’s achieving its intended goals
- How much time consumers spend looking at the content
This knowledge can then be used to predict how well content will perform in the future and help guide decisions about things like design or layout changes that could improve the user experience while also increasing conversions or sales, if necessary.
Attention metrics can also be used to determine whether the audience is engaged with a brand’s content or not.
The main types of attention metrics for brand campaigns are:
- In-view time
- Exposure time
- Hover rate
- Touch rate (mobile)
- Screen real estate
What is in-view time?
In-view time is a powerful metric as it can help gauge whether a brand’s ads are reaching their target audience, how various ads are performing against each other, and what type of ads work best.
Essentially, it’s how long a consumer spends viewing an ad once at least 50% of its pixels are in view. A high in-view time gives brands more exposure, as more consumers are likely to see the message, meaning they are more likely to be remembered and at the forefront of a consumer's mind. For brand awareness campaigns, the focus for programmatic bidding should be toward high in-view placements, aiming for a viewability rate of 60% to 70%.
What is exposure time?
Exposure time is the amount of time a consumer sees an ad on a web page and includes:
- Site engagement metrics – how long they stay on the site
- Onsite user behaviour metrics – what they do on the site
It can gauge how successful the ad was in getting its message across, how well ads are performing and gives brands an indication of how much voice they had in the internet space.
Brands and advertisers can set exposure time goals and track them against actual exposure times to analyse how well they are reaching their target audience and whether they need to adjust campaigns accordingly.
What does hover rate mean?
This measures how often a consumer hovers over an ad on a desktop display with their mouse before moving away from it. It is a key metric because it shows whether consumers are interested in ads or not and which ads are performing best.
Because eyeball movements are closely correlated with mouse movements, the higher the hover rate the more likely it is that users were actively watching the ad and paying attention to it. Similarly, a low hover rate indicates little interest, suggesting that tweaks to the ad may be needed.
What does touch rate (mobile) mean?
Touch rate is the mobile equivalent of the desktop hover rate and measures the percentage of impressions touched.
It can provide brands with information about the touch points in marketing campaigns, i.e., which ads have been touched most. A good touch rate indicates consumers are interested enough to engage with the content, whereas a low touch rate may mean the ad is not relevant or sufficiently interesting.
What is screen real estate?
Screen real estate is the amount of space available for display on a site, including where on the page space is available and the size of the ad relative to the screen. For example, a large ad placed on a mobile device will have less competition for the consumer’s attention.
It measures the share of space the brand was present in against the entire screen. The larger the percentage the more likely users will notice and pay attention to the ad.
Attention metrics and digital advertising
One of the most important aspects of digital advertising is capturing audience attention, and a recent report by Oracle Moat reveals that for an ad or campaign to be successful, a combination of metrics will give brands a holistic view of performance. Additionally, each metric should be measured against industry benchmarks and the brand’s own business goals.
For desktop and mobile content, the industry benchmarks for in-view time, exposure time, hover rate and touch rate are:
- In-view time: desktop – 28.8 seconds; mobile – 28.8 seconds
- Interaction time (desktop) – 7.5 seconds
- Hover rate (desktop) – 3.4%
- Touch rate (mobile) – 11.8%
Using these metrics can give brands a clear picture of how well consumers are engaging with the content and adapt campaigns as necessary.
When it comes to video, which is the most common content type used in branding campaigns, the Oracle Moat report states that a mix of sight, sound, and motion signals are important to assessing the quality of the ad exposures. This includes the percentage of:
- Video played in-view – industry benchmark 78.7% (approximately 79 seconds)
- Video completions in-view with audio enabled – completion quality, industry benchmark 29.56% (approximately 29.6 seconds)
- Impressions where ad was audible for any period of time – audible rate, industry benchmark 37.97% (approximately 38.0 seconds)
- Impressions where video was played to completion – completion rate, industry benchmark 69.4%
Ads optimized for attention can increase recall and more attention than a traditional advertising campaign.
If brands want their audience to engage with them, they need to start paying attention to their audience’s attention! After all, consumer attention is the most valuable asset a brand can have. That’s why it’s vital to plan and execute branding and awareness campaigns in the right way.
Attention metrics show how much time a user is spending on any given piece of content, which then help brands determine whether their ads are effective at getting users to watch videos or read articles. By tracking how many people are engaging with their ads they can also measure how well ads perform compared to competing products or services.
Additionally, a trusted partner, like RTB House, can help brands and advertisers get the most from their advertising budgets at the top of the sales funnel, which can lead to more effective ad spending and overall marketing budget optimization.