Nothing like ending a long day with a few cat videos while you decompress on the couch, right?
If you agree with that statement, you are not alone. In fact, video viewing on mobile devices is projected to account for 66% of all mobile traffic by 2017. It’s no surprise, considering that crazy growth, that advertisers are investing more than ever in this highly coveted channel. Mobile video ad spend is growing faster than any other digital ad format; jumping 25% from 2015 to 2016 and from $7.7 billion in 2015 to $9.59 billion in 2016.
So let’s get down to brass tacks: what are the best tactics for monetizing those video-craving, smartphone-wielding readers of yours?
1. Ditch YouTube – for good
Bet you didn’t see that one coming, huh? Hear me out. Posting your awesome video content to Youtube has killer SEO benefits, but what Youtube doesn’t provide is money in your pocket! Other video players like JWPlayer give you control over advertising on your videos and put money in your pocket for each video play.
A great compromise? Post your videos both on Youtube and within an HTML5 player on your site. You get the reach from Youtube and the moolah from your player.
Now, there is a requirement here for moving your video content into an HTML5 player: your content needs to be HTML5 compatible. Luckily, compatibility is simple. Just make sure that your mobile video files are MP4s or WebM.
2. Select an ad plugin for your player or go rogue
To run mobile video ads you’ll need a HTML5 Player and an advertising plugin. Some companies like JWPlayer combine these two features in a real turnkey solution, but you will have to shell out some cash to get started. Some of our more tech savvy readers can roll up their sleeves and go open source with a player like Video.js and install an ad plugin themselves. Talk about scrappy!
3. Know your video acronyms: VAST, VPAID and MRAID
Every time your videos are played and a video ad is eligible to serve, an auction takes place between multiple advertisers. In the video advertising world, there are three different types of ad tags that determine where that auction actually occurs and the type of video ad that is served.
VAST: “Video Ad Serving Template” is a piece of script that tells video players which video ad creative to play, when, and for how long. VAST script allows publishers to use different ad servers for their video ads without having to totally rearrange their ad stack. The catch? Well for one, many video players haven’t made the jump to support the newest versions of VAST as new video technologies have come along. Also, VAST was really developed for the desktop advertising world.
VPAID: “Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition” is another script that runs within video players and enables interactive features like clickable call to actions to the ad. Advertisers love VPAID ads because they provide more opportunities for user interaction and thus give advertisers more information about how effective their ads are. VPAID code can deliver multiple advertisers to the player and conduct an auction within the player instead of on the ad server, which can cause page latency issues. Again, like VAST, VPAID was really built for a pre-mobile, pre-app world.
MRAID: “Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions” is a standard created by the Interactive Advertising Bureau for rich-media ads that run in mobile apps. In March, the IAB updated MRAID standard to include some of VPAID’s functionality.
4. Partner with at least three demand sources
As with display advertising, building a solid demand partner set up is key to mobile video advertising success. It’s best to start with two to three video advertising partners: a high CPM solution at the top of your stack, a mid-tier partner in the middle, and a high fill partner for backfill. Vet potential video advertising partners by the following criteria:
- Is their serving mechanism compatible with your strategy? Are they serving VAST, VPAID and/or MRAID ads?
- Do they have strong video performance metrics? Look for a partner with high CPMs and one with high fill to round out your stack. Ask about their VPAID error rate as well, as VPAID errors can substantially impact fill and overall revenue.
- Do they have mobile-specific demand? Don’t just hope that your desktop video ad partners will have strong performance with mobile traffic as well. Make sure you have partners that specialize in mobile video ads. You might even have your own separate mobile video ad stack.
- Which video formats do they offer? The most lucrative video strategies are multi-pronged, so explore the various flavors of video formats and make sure your partner can support and help optimize your approach.
Choose Sovrn as one of your video advertising partners for high quality, high CPM video ads.
5. Give Outstream a shot
All of the money flowing into the video advertising space means advertisers and publishers are hungry for new video advertising formats. However, creating custom video content is a big investment, so there are many publishers who simply don’t have the resources or expertise to add video to their strategy.
Enter: Outstream video advertising. Outstream allows any publisher to monetize their website with video ads on desktop and mobile even if they don’t have their own video content or player. Outstream ads are and relevant and high quality, adding interactive ads to the site without sacrificing user experience. This new(ish) format is also highly viewable and is therefore sold a premium to savvy advertisers looking to get the best return on their investment.