Speakers: Online Video's Engagement Opens Many Metrics

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"Online video is not about how cheap can we put out video," Dan Goodman, senior partner and managing director at OgilvyInteractive, New York, told the audience at last week's ClickZ Network Online Advertising Forum. "The question is, how can we engage the consumer?"

Mr. Goodman discussed online and interactive video advertising tactics along with co-panelists Organic Inc. vice president James Kim and Freestyle Interactive director of strategy Gary Stein. The forum focused on online video content and brought together industry experts to discuss case studies, metrics, technical innovations and video publishing.

"Video provides deeper touch than an ad," Mr. Stein said. "The consumer is doing something with the brand for a longer time."

Examples of video that engaged users longer and in an open way included user-initiated choices, advergames, original content not seen on television campaigns and tutorials addressing specific issues.

Mr. Kim said video campaigns must include "multiple levels of engagement" that anticipate a variety of viewers.

"You can't choose who comes to your Web site," he said. "The video finds its own audience."

The audience that chooses to watch online video is more engaged with the content than a traditional video audience based on the medium's nature.

"We're not multitasking in the traditional sense of the word," Mr. Kim said. "Users are scanning the Internet for content that interests them and diving into it once relevant information is found."

Mr. Stein agreed. He suggested that all online videos are content in "an interactive wrapper.

"There's a level of interactivity in just choosing what to watch," he said. "We need to be comfortable with the fact that people will sit back and watch."

Also, clients and firms can create a personalized set of metrics for each campaign.

"You can sit down and talk about the way that customers would ideally interact with the video," Mr. Stein said.

In addition to click-through rates and a user's length of time engaged with video, advertisers can measure users' activity after viewing content and monitor whether users download or pirate videos to pass them to friends or post them on forums.

By using various metrics, online video campaigns can promote a specific offer or strengthen or reposition a brand. Mr. Stein advocated a concept he called direct branding.

"If you are going to show them a video, then why not invite them to click?" he said. "The direct medium invites you to think that way. If you don't do it [add click-throughs to video] it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a missed opportunity."

A theme whether considering the technology, strategy, metrics or platform for any video campaign was an advertiser's target outcome.

"The fundamental thing is, what's your objective?" Mr. Kim said. "We don't advocate using video for video's sake."

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