8+ Video Ad Optimization Tips and Best Practices for Beginners

According to eMarketer’s study, the digital video ad spent in US alone will reach to over 22 billion by 2021 ($15 billion currently).  Over the years, we have seen a growing interest among the advertisers when it comes to quality video inventory for tier 1 traffic. The video ad industry is slowly adapting to this growing demand of quality video supply! Programmatic channels have also fueled the rise of video advertising– as smart marketers are looking to use video as a medium for their marketing campaigns. Marketers are now-a-days targeting popular websites for their reach of their video campaigns as YouTube alone doesn’t seem to suffice their needs.

Choosing the Right Video Ad Platform or SSP

For a publisher, it is very crucial to choose the right video ad platform of SSP since majority of the video ad networks or exchanges are not capable to provide a 100% fill. So, it is always recommended to work with an intermediary and not a network/exchange when it comes to sourcing demand for video inventory. There are a number of leading video SSPs which are again segmented by market.

Getting Started with Video Ad Optimization

Unlike display ad optimization, video ad optimization is more manual and there isn’t companies which are build around optimizing your video ad setup. The entire process is still manual and requires a lot of tweaks within your ad server. I would suggest you choose a good ad server to ensure maximization of your revenue.

Video Ad Optimization Tips and Best Practices for Beginners

Listed below are some of the most common video optimization guidelines which publishers should follow to increase their revenue from video ads.

1)Setting up the Right Waterfall:

For normal to mid sized publishers who are doing less than 100 million viewership per month, video header bidding wouldn’t really make the noise. Video header bidding is still at a very early stage with companies trying to fit their tech to ensure a small header bidding for video. The market is still using waterfall setup to backfill ads from video ad networks and an optimized waterfall should be the way forward, at least for now. It is good to setup line items on price priority to force ADX to pay more if you’ve good demand for your traffic. Additionally, segmenting your audience from a demographic point of view makes more sense when line items are placed on price priority.

2)Looking into the VAST errors that DFP pulls out and see where it can be minimized

DFP provides an option to pull out the VAST errors and see what it is causing it. If you’re seeming majority of the errors are 303s, it means that the network is not able to fill your request. So, you need to come up with some alternative video ad networks which can be passed back to the current network to ensure the opportunities are filled. A VAST report error can be created using the Query Tool.

A video player can trigger some errors, but still play the ad. These errors are considered “non-fatal” warnings. Other “fatal” errors often cause the video ad to stop the request for the failed ad and either request another ad, or resume playback of the video content. Behavior varies by player implementation.

3)Looking into the priorities of the different vendors and see how they fill for what CPM

You need to partner with a number of video ad networks, SSPs, and demand platforms. Normally, the video demand is very regional and most of the demand platforms using exchanges to buy video inventory. So, if you talk with the high vendors and demand platforms and see which are the geographies they are filling well, you can obviously get some sweet takeaways from the interaction.

4)Take a closer look at Time outs

One of the most common errors are caused by timeouts which normally happen when the ad fails to process within the defined time frame. The most common fix to this is to change your timeout settings. However, this can vary from one site to another. A site with more ads, scripts, and image content should keep a higher timeout compared to a less heavy site. I suggest you play around the settings an optimize the setup anything between 8 seconds to 12 seconds depending on the complexity of the setup.  

5)Test Different Players to Choose the Right One

There are a number of players out there in the market and somehow the revenue would slightly be impacted by the player. This is primarily because different players respond differently to ad setting and thus choosing the right player is extremely crucial.

6)Potential partners that can fill your video inventory

You need to analyze your site traffic and then reach out to potential partners who should be able to fill your inventory at premium rates. Before you finalize a partner, make sure they work with an ad server like DFP and is not providing a single SSP tag. Even if they do provide an SSP tag, make sure two same ad networks are not competing against earn other on a price priority setup.

7)Setup Price Priority in DFP

Price priority always seems to perform well if you’ve a strong demand or the worth of your inventory is higher in the RTB. Adding more buyers would force ADX to pay more for every impression and soft floor pricing can also change the auction mechanism.

8)Optimize CPMs for Maximum Fills

One of the most crucial part of video ad optimization is to optimize the fill rates while keeping the CPMs intact. Adding the right partners and setting up a solid waterfall is extremely crucial to ensure than your CPMs aren’t hampered. Additionally, you have to constantly monitor for the logs to maximize the fills across networks.

Most of the publishers are still at a very early stage when it comes to video ad optimization. There are definite ways which can increase your video ad revenue and one of the foremost way to ensure than happen is to find a very good video SSP and place their ad code on top of your waterfall in DFP followed by other players. However, the entire process would require you to have your video content setup, source video ads, play upfront for a OVP, and take care of video hosting. 

VDO.AI (Blognife Recommended)

VDO.AI‘s native units are designed to be non-obtrusive and provide a seamless way for publishers to leverage the power of video. A lot of publishers see more revenue from a single VDO.AI unit compared to multiple banners and traditional native units. VDO.AI is headquartered in Mountain View, CA. With VDO.AI’s native video widget, you can see an increment of almost 50% of your regular earnings on sites which are typically known to perform well with video ads. The setup usually takes less than a day to get started go live once your site gets approved from the demand partners. Listed below are the benefits of joining VDO.AI

  • Easy integration using a single javascript
  • See an additional revenue of almost 50% of your regular earnings
  • One tag that sources the video demand from Google ADX, Appnexus, Sovrn, and other demand platforms.
  • Generate higher CPMs from native video ads
  • No player, video content or ad integration separately. Everything comes bundled in a simple js tag.

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Blognife's Recommended Monetization Partners:

Looking to Increase your Ad Revenue: Get in touch with me for a personalised consultation and increase your ad revenue across native, display, video (instream and outstream), in-app and other verticals. I also assist in customized DFP setup, header bidding, and content creation strategy. My skype id is: ronniedey. Feel free to connect!

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