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LumenAd’s Video Capabilities
In-stream, out-stream, social and more.
By Eric Thompson

October 24, 2018

15 min read
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LumenAd’s Video Capabilities

Here’s a rundown of LumenAd’s video capabilities along with some thoughts on strategy for each. Not included is Connected TV, which requires a post all its own.

Overall, video ads are generally better for awareness than engagement (with a few exceptions). If you have any questions or would like to know campaign minimums, get in touch.

Overall List

 

In-Stream Video

In-stream video includes pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll placed within short- and long-form content. It’s generally 15- or 30-seconds long.

Targeting capabilities for in-stream ads are very similar to display ads with overlaid first- and third-party data. LumenAd also offers premium content through private marketplace contracts.

Considerations

  • LumenAd focuses on brand safety and viewability in order to define quality content.
  • It’s important not to rely on pre-roll alone as mid-roll and post-roll often receive equally high engagement. For mid-roll and post-roll, the user is already engaged in the content before the ad is shown. Pre-roll, on the other hand, shows an ad where the user is expecting to see content.
  • When considering markets, note that focusing on geotargeting is OK, but the smaller you go, the more you limit your inventory. Small geofenced areas will force more mobile/in-app inventory — a detail which needs to be considered in context of your marketing strategy
  • It’s important to have exact 15- or 30-second time frames for your ad placements because they yield more inventory. See IAB’s best practices for more info.
  • Make sure the video ad is similar to the video content. You don’t want to jar the user’s experience.

Types of Inventory

In-stream inventory includes the open exchange and LumenAd’s private marketplace contracts. Types of content include:

  • News sites
  • Blogs
  • Instructional videos
  • Sporting content

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Native Video (a.k.a. Outstream Video)

Native advertising is the use of paid ads that match the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear. Combined with contextual targeting, native video is a very effective strategy. Use native video if you want to target specific interests and types of content.

Outside of a contextual targeting strategy, native video is not very effective. It’s best when you have money to throw at garnering impressions

Considerations

  • With GDPR and other regulations, contextual targeting is becoming more and more viable. Native video is a good format for contextual targeting.
  • Make sure your video blends in with the content it lives alongside.
  • Native video performs best when it provides value for the user.
  • Fraudulent traffic and bad inventory plague native video, so lean heavily on brand safety partners.

Types of Inventory

  • Publishers define the placement look and feel
  • Click-to-Play Video
  • Instant-Play Video

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

YouTube

Youtube has several advantages over other video platforms. First, users visit YouTube with the intention of watching video content. When a user watches a video, they also see the ad preceding it. This means TrueView can consistently produce 90% or higher viewability.

Second, YouTube TrueView only charges the advertiser when one of three criteria are met.

When the user:

  • Watches the ad in its entirety without skipping
  • Watches at least 30 seconds of the ad before skipping
  • Clicks through the ad onto the landing page

If none of these criteria are met, the advertiser is not charged for the impression.

Considerations

  • TrueView only allows volume to be bought on a Cost per View (CPV) basis, with a $0.01 minimum per view. Charging clients per completed views significantly increases CPM over other video platforms.
  • All YouTube video content contains metadata provided by the content creators and mined from user interactions and comments. This allows for a high level of accuracy and relevancy in audience and content targeting.
  • TrueView in-stream ads run on videos served on YouTube or on a collection of sites and apps in the Google Display Network. These ads may also run on YouTube videos that are embedded on other sites or apps.
  • Companion Ads are display ads that can be served alongside a TrueView in-stream ad. These ads appear next to the video in the top right corner. A banner ad provides a continued presence after the video ad ends.
  • TrueView allows for targeting of specific YouTube videos and channels. This is highly recommended if there are influencers that are relevant and/or popular in a specific brand niche.
  • Six-second bumper ads are YouTube ads that are not technically considered TrueView. The difference is that they are too short (six seconds) to be skipped. Six-second bumper ads are charged off CPM. Six seconds isn’t very long, so only use this inventory if your campaign is built around this time limit. That said, this time limit leads to very impactful awareness ads if your message is unique, engaging and to the point.

Types of Inventory

  • YouTube videos
  • YouTube videos run on sites in the Google Display Network
  • Six-second bumper ads (not technically TrueView)

YouTube TrueView Ad Specs >

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Twitter Video

Twitter is a platform built on honest engagement between users. It is seen as the best social platform to reach out to companies directly to ask for support, provide feedback or just engage.

Video ads on Twitter can put your brand smack-dab in the middle of this robust exchange. If executed well, Twitter video ads can inject your brand into the middle of any conversation your brand wants to join.

Besides retweets, likes, and comments, Twitter video ads are not the best for engagement (i.e. clicks) because links play second fiddle to the video and post copy. If targeted correctly, Twitter video can be very effective at promoting awareness.

Considerations

  • The level of honest, robust exchange on Twitter is a double-edged sword for brands. Be sure you’re engaging in an inclusive, inoffensive way — unless otherwise justified in the campaign strategy.
  • Twitter is a text-heavy platform. Video content can really stand out.

Types of Inventory

  • Promoted in-feed video

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Facebook Video

Facebook video ads appear within the user’s feed alongside updates from friends, family, pages and interests they follow. The amount and type of information Facebook has on users provides unique targeting capabilities.

Leveraging this targeting effectively can give your brand a huge awareness boost and drive conversions among specific groups of people.

Considerations

  • Thumbnail images with more than 20% text will be rejected by Facebook Business Manager.
  • Facebook is walling off its walled garden, so third-party data will become harder and harder to integrate into your campaigns.
  • The shorter the better. Improve completion rates by keeping the video around 6 seconds long.
  • Avoid retrofitting existing assets. Creative that’s tailored to Facebook performs much better.

Types of Inventory

  • In-feed video

Facebook Ad Specs >

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Facebook Story Ads

Facebook Story ads and Instagram Story ads are similar as far as structure and where they appear on their respective platforms. As mentioned for in-feed Facebook and Instagram ads, the audiences and their behavior are different. Also, Facebook Stories has a lower rate of buy-in from users than Instagram Stories because it’s a newer function and is less prominently displayed.

Considerations

  • Facebook Story ads and Instagram Story ads share many similarities but they are not interchangeable inventory. Make sure each is used intentionally in your campaign strategy.
  • While Facebook has the most users, a smaller percentage of users create and view stories than other platforms. Users are just not used to them yet and tend to use Instagram Stories or Snapchat Stories more.

Types of Inventory

  • Stories

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Instagram Video

Instagram video ads are very similar to Facebook ads as far as where they live (in-feed) and their targeting capabilities. The difference is the context and audience behavior — there is a much higher focus on quality, eye-catching visual content on Instagram and the audience tends to skew younger.

Considerations

  • Videos can be up to 60 seconds long, but as with Facebook, shorter is usually better.
  • You can use landscape or square format.
  • Audiences are different between Facebook and Instagram. Decide which platform to use after you define demographics.

Types of Inventory

  • In-feed video

Instagram Video Ad Specs >

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Instagram Story Ads

Story ads on Instagram appear between the stories of accounts users follow. They can be still images with slight animation or more standard video content.

Because it only takes a tap to skip a story ad, they are perhaps the easiest form of video ads for the user to completely bypass. Despite this, they have the potential to drive valuable engagement.

To engage, users simply swipe up or tap the Call to Action (CTA) at the bottom of the story. This necessitates a simple CTA with a direct action the user can take like “Get Offer” or “Shop Now.” From our experience, Instagram Story ads are really effective at selling products.

Considerations

  • Balance the need to grab attention immediately with blending in with stories surrounding the ad (usually by friends, influencers or other brands). This will keep the user from skipping right away.
  • There also needs to be consistency between the ad and the landing page its leading users to. Keep it as seamless an experience as possible.
  • Instagram provides the ability to add text, stickers and slight animation to your ads. The text can link to a landing page.

Types of Inventory

  • Stories

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Snap Ads

Snap Ads are similar to Instagram and Facebook story ads because they appear between the stories of the accounts users follow. They also appear within longer stories accessed through the “Discover” screen.

Users just have to swipe up to engage, which makes Snap Ads excellent for engagement. They are also very easy to skip — all it takes is a tap.

Snap Ads provide a full-screen mobile video experience within the app. The ads have a few different end actions that keep users inside the app while still engaging with your brand:

  1. Drive traffic to a preloaded website accessible right inside the app.
  2. Seamlessly transition to an augmented reality lens.
  3. Lead audiences directly to a long-form video within the app (e.g. movie trailer or how-to video).

Considerations

  • Snap video ads are full-screen, 100% viewable with audio on by default.
  • Vertical videos are preferred, but horizontal videos are permitted.

Types of Inventory

  • Short videos that pop up between the stories of friends.
  • Short video that pop up within longer stories in the “Discover” section.

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Snapchat Story Ads

Despite their name, Snapchat Story Ads are not very similar to Instagram or Facebook Story Ads. They are accessible in the “Discover” view when the user swipes right in Snapchat.

Users first see the ad’s story card with an image, headline and an indication it’s “Sponsored”. They can then tap it to learn more or are brought to it automatically after viewing another story.

Considerations

  • The design of the ad’s card is very important for driving engagement with the ad.
  • A good way to get users to view your Snapchat Story Ad is to focus on creating a video users find useful or entertaining. Driving engagement comes second after this.

Types of Inventory

  • The ad card, which is what the users see first.
  • The Snapchat Story Ad video

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Pinterest Video

Pinterest was once the leading photo sharing social media platform. In recent months, however, Instagram has taken over significant market share. There are still merits to using Pinterest, including robust organic reach and interest-based targeting.

As a platform, Pinterest’s strength is in business to consumer sales. It’s great for showcasing physical and experience-based products — Pinterest video is a fantastic way to show a product in action.

Ads on this platform come in the form of “Promoted” content. They’re first posted on the platform as organic content and the advertiser pays for additional lift. This makes Pinterest a good option to boost organic lift and overall brand awareness. An active social media manager can continue to feel the boost of an ad campaign for weeks or months after the campaign has stopped.

Considerations

  • Ensure this type of promoted organic visibility will be beneficial to your client.

Types of Inventory

  • Promoted Video

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

LinkedIn Video

LinkedIn is a great platform for driving awareness and engagement for business services. With recent innovations to LinkedIn’s self-service platform, an advertiser can quickly build a video campaign with a specific goal.

Considerations

  • LinkedIn is a social network for business professionals, make sure the product or service is relevant.
  • LinkedIn provides very unique targeting capabilities based on the amount of user data required to set up an account.
  • Ads for services perform significantly better than ad for products on LinkedIn.

Types of Inventory

  • 360p to 1080p video
  • 3-second to 30-minute video
  • Promoted Posts

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Pandora Video

Pandora’s Video Everywhere ads provide a full-screen video with a supporting a banner. The video ad plays between songs and the banner appears alongside the music feed after the video has played.

Pandora has been tailoring content to their audiences’ taste for many years and their ad serving capabilities mesh well with this approach. They know what their audience likes and what makes an impact (e.g. serving an ad for a pickup truck in a country music channel).

Considerations

  • Videos are jarring in an audio-focused environment. Be aware of this when crafting creative.
  • Pandora also offers Pandora Video Plus, where users can watch a video ad in exchange for premium features. People’s clicking behavior on Video Plus ads is something to keep an eye on because the main motivation to watch is to get the features.
  • Pandora Video ads are good for awareness KPIs because it makes viewability 100%.
  • Because of Pandora’s heavy awareness focus, impact is hard to see unless you’re using multi-touch attribution.
  • Pandora’s revenue model is based on ads, not just subscriptions. So unlike services like Spotify, their ad targeting isn’t ultimately based on the desire to move as many people to subscriptions as possible. The result is that Pandora likely has a vested interest in making ads on their platform as palatable as possible.

Types of Inventory

  • Pandora Video Everywhere with accompanying banner ad.
  • Pandora Video Plus ads, where the listener gains features normally reserved for subscribers (i.e. skipping songs, replaying tracks, etc.) in exchange for watching the ad all the way through.

Back to Video Capabilities ^

 

Spotify Video

Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming services in the world with a listener base that stays plugged in for long periods of time.

To capitalize on this audience, Spotify offers two versions of video ads — Sponsored Sessions and Video Takeovers. Depending on your goals for the campaign, each one has its merits.

Considerations

  • Spotify is similar to Pandora as far as the context and types of ads served.
  • Spotify’s revenue model is geared towards subscriptions. The audience you’re reaching self-selects as people who don’t want to or can’t pay for the service.
  • Anyone can go in, make an audio ad and plug it in with Spotify’s relatively new self-serve Ad Studio. There is no video ad studio yet, but it may be on the horizon.

Types of Inventory

  • Sponsored Session, where you offer your audience the opportunity to unlock 30 minutes of ad-free listening in exchange for watching your brand’s video. Users receive your brand’s Sponsored Session offer only if the app is in view (e.g. at the start of mobile sessions). After watching your video message, a clickable display unit appears, inviting further engagement and initiating the 30-minute ad-free session.
  • Video Takeover, where your video message is served to listeners between songs during commercial ad breaks and includes a clickable companion display unit. Video Takeover gives your brand access to a premium app experience where all ads are delivered to logged-in users when they’re engaged and while the app is in view.

Back to Video Capabilities ^

Capabilities Features guides Video


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