“Marketers now are able to deliver media in the way they want,” said Jennifer Walsh, digital media director at General Electric Co., which inaugurated an online video campaign last year (see case study on this page). “A well-done video, smartly delivered, will get a level of engagement that'd you'd hope for and expect.”
Savvy media buying is key to high viewer engagement, Walsh said. For example, GE's b-to-b online video campaign appeared on major search engines and news portals only during key business hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. following time zones.
“This allowed us to be efficient in our purchasing, and sophisticated in how people consumed our videos,” Walsh said.
One of the more pressing challenges in measuring online video is incorporating moving pictures into a Web site's overall design.
“The tendency has been to not integrate video with the rest of a Web site,” said Gary Angel, president of Web analytics consultancy Semphonic. “But that tends to isolate the viewer from the rest of the content.”
The challenge here for analytics, Angel said, is that tools may not adequately separate the impact of the video from the impact of other content. He noted that the recent involvement of big Web analytics players such as Omniture should move the bar higher.
Last spring, Omniture launched video tracking technology that analyzes engagement (how much or what part of a video is watched) and effectiveness (what actions the viewers take as a result of watching), as well as measuring how “viral” the video becomes (how it's shared and who links to it).
Meanwhile, smaller players like video analytics company Visible Measures are reaping the benefits of being pioneers in a new but evolving industry.
“We're in the very early days of understanding this stuff, but it's fun because early adopters can exploit the inefficiencies in the market,” Cutler said. M