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Video Takes Center Stage at Dmexco

“It’s a living Lumascape”, said CEO of The Exchange Lab, as he described Dmexco 2016. While the amount of ad tech and martech companies at the conference can be overwhelming, the common thread this year is the immense power and possibility of video.  Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all launched products at the event, which shows how entwined digital video and social are becoming. Consumers and marketers are all moving towards a video-first internet with Facebook predicting that 70% of online traffic will be video in five years.

With that in mind, what are the key takeaways from Dmexco that will help marketers to get the best out of video marketing now and in the future?

Embracing Video and Micro-Moments

Micro-moments are those brief instants where the consumer is deciding whether or not to take action on whatever service or product they require, acting immediately, whether by completing a purchase or engaging in another relevant way.

Every moment matters for connected consumers and marketers have an opportunity to capitalise on these instances by delivering meaningful content in a way that will be well received by the individual they are trying to reach.

It’s well known that storytelling elicits emotion and makes the most effective content, however context is becoming more important than ever for the always-on consumer. If an advertiser delivers a video out of context, for example if the user doesn’t have sound on in the app or it is an irrelevant message they feel is disruptive it’ll miss the mark on effectiveness.

Finding the right way to utilise video within your marketing strategy is important as consumers now take in more than three hours of mobile content per day, with video a significant and increasing amount of that. Also, Facebook serves over 100 million hours of video every day. The reason for video’s growth is simple according to William Platt-Higgins, Vice President, Global Client Partnerships at Facebook: “It’s because video’s awesome.”

Short form video content has been extremely popular as video capabilities increase and attention spans decrease. Snapchat has been successful creating an engaging experience that features elements of surprise and amusement missing from most pre-roll and digital banners.

Modern consumers want it to be about experiences with the brand along the journey not as much about the act of purchase itself.

How much value should you place on a video view? – it’s all relative

As Lindsay Pattison, CEO at Maxus said at Wednesday’s Creativity in Media session “not all views are created equal”. When it comes to measurement, it is important for marketers to be really clear on what their performance objectives are as with any campaign; if conversions through views is what is important to you, then it’s crucial to understand what that means. Marketers still feel that video conversion rates as a metric means sales vs. click through rates (CTRs), purchase intent or view through rates (VTRs). It also depends if you are running a top of funnel or direct response campaign. Think of your end goal from the beginning when you are creating the content – and work on both a data and creative brief from the start.

With 15 years’ worth of data being uploaded every day, not all of it is going to get watched or even listened to. The question has been raised as to how effective a silent video played automatically in-feed actually is? Should we be taking a different tack with auto-in feed videos and forced watch pre-roll ads in their entirety? Many methods are also anti-consumer choice, which in today’s society seems dangerous.

This is where people have challenged the effectiveness of programmatic video. However, in this case it simply becomes increasingly critical to find the right programmatic partner who take context into consideration, monitoring and adjusting campaign strategies.

Where methods like programmatic payoff is relevance – data pairs video ads with relevant content and users, something which is unattainable with linear TV on an individual basis. When it comes to content it’s imperative that advertisers get their creative agencies involved from the start and work on a digital strategy together, otherwise the content could be irrelevant when varying by platform.

Fast-forward to the Future of Video

Marketers have more tangible insights into consumer trends and their daily habits than they could possibly use at this point in time. While the sheer amount of information and figuring out how to apply it can be daunting for brands, it also creates an incredible industry environment where testing new ways to apply technology to better connect with consumers is celebrated. Failure is not only ok, it’s expected at some levels. “We get very concerned when things aren’t failing, because it means we’re not innovating enough,” William Platt-Higgins, Global Client Partnerships at Facebook said about the importance of constant improvement.

Although powering 360-degree video on all platforms may be difficult to do now, it’s clearly where video advertising is heading. Blair Witch Project recently released their third installment of the film’s trailer via 360-degree video. While still in its infancy in terms of what it will be able to achieve (the experience feels a little like a part-built video game), these immersive experiences are going to be the way forward for video and many ad experiences of the future. Technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been everywhere at this year’s Dmexco and we’re likely to see much more testing of this technology and formats in the future.

While some may think that these technologies fit with programmatic, it’s important to remember that programmatic is just the automated buying and selling of ad space online – as more premium space gets released, there’s no reason why the segments can’t go hand-in-hand.

The future of digital video depends heavily on revelations similar to tapping into the moments between the highlights. It’s about reacting to what consumers respond positively to in terms of length, context, medium and beyond, while giving them the opportunity to continue generating their own content.