Video is a huge focus for our company this year – which is probably not a surprise for most of you given our acquisition of Joost assets last year and the launch of the Joost Video Network last week. We’re creating the most robust end-to-end online video advertising solution in the marketplace – from video ad serving and distribution to creative services and branded entertainment.
One of the important steps in this process is educating our teams on video. A lot of our employees come from online video backgrounds or branding agencies, but for a long time, Adconion has been focused on performance marketing. With our move “up the funnel” to video advertising, it’s important to us to get all of our employees up to speed on the mechanics of an online video branding campaign.
It was during one of these trainings last week in Santa Monica that I mentioned a concept that lies at the heart of the differences between branding and conversion campaigns.
Most conversion campaigns have a clear call to action, such as “Click here to buy now,” “Sign up now to talk with an agent”…the goal is pretty straightforward: here’s a little bit about our offering, now buy it or use it. So if someone is in the market for an item (which we know because it’s a targeted campaign), and doesn’t jump (or, in this case, click) the first time, and doesn’t click the second time, the traditional school of thought is that you’re better off saving the ad impression for a different user. It’s common to see frequency cap around two impressions for these types of conversion campaigns.
As you move up the marketing funnel, though, these rules change. Campaigns become less about driving an immediate action and more about building brand awareness or provoking evaluation of the product. Building brand awareness requires a different formula between the two key elements: time and exposure. Branding campaigns need to serve a higher volume of ads over a shorter period of time – or at least a higher volume of ads over the same period of time – in order to increase brand recall, brand recognition and/or brand loyalty. For online branding campaigns, it’s common to see frequency cap set to as high as 5 to 10 per creative execution – versus the one or two ads per month per user you see with online conversion campaigns.
Since this disparity exists with frequency capping, a very common and (presumably) straightforward campaign element, imagine the potential disparities for other elements of a performance campaign versus a brand awareness campaign – such as day parting, targeting and reach. Frequency capping is just one indicator of the differences between running successful online branding and performance campaigns.