Marketers are Shifting Toward View Through Conversions, Autoplay Video and Engagement

Marketers are Shifting Toward View Through Conversions, Autoplay Video and Engagement

This quarter for the Q4 2017 Native Intelligence Report Bidtellect Q4 2017 Native Intelligence Report, we took a deeper look at how marketers on our platform are utilizing view through conversions, video formats and engagement metrics. We decided to take a deeper look at view through conversions because of the role they play in the consumer’s path to purchase, specifically for brand awareness and top-funnel consumer relationships. Additionally, we analyzed video trends on our platform year over year to see how the trends have evolved over the course of the year. Lastly, even though we look at engagement metrics and all goal types every quarter, Q4 2017 proved to be particularly interesting.

Here is a brief overview of the trends revealed in this quarter’s report:

Trend #1: Growth in View-Through Conversions

View through conversions provide a more holistic picture of a consumer’s entire path to purchase. Advertising is about seeing and engaging with a brand through content, enhancing the relationship and making purchase behavior more likely during a future engagement with your brand down the funnel. Measuring and tracking view through conversions enables marketers to quantify top-funnel engagements more precisely, helping them understand their advertising budgets better, leading to more efficient spend and greater ROI for future budgets.

As a technology company with tremendous reach, Bidtellect’s platform accesses a wide audience and massively scales prospecting opportunities for brands. By exposing people to content that they wouldn’t normally see and tracking these engagements with view-through conversions, brands are expanding pathways to deeper engagement. Capturing these initial touchpoints is critical for brands to identify new potential audiences, drive that first engagement and ultimately push them through the funnel.  Although this seems obvious, there will always be a direct correlation between the branding you do and the conversions that you get.

Trend # 2: Shift Toward Autoplay Video Formats

2017 was a year of significant change for digital advertising and its key stakeholders. One of the most important developments was the industry-wide movement toward ad formats that provide a better experience for the end user. On the Bidtellect platform, and through the experience of our advertiser partners, we have found that in-content video is highly engaging, preferred by the consumer and ultimately performs better for campaigns. Comparatively, pre-roll video disrupts the consumer experience, lacks real user engagement, often leaves the viewer with a negative perspective on the brand and is usually ignored.  

Digging a bit deeper into in-content video formats, year-over-year we found that video budgets moved away from user-initiated formats toward autoplay formats. Performance metrics show better consumer engagement with the autoplay formats as this inventory is highly viewable, and integrated with the consumer journey. One thing to note is that the Bidtellect platform only offers autoplay that DO NOT have automatic sound, as this was one of the characteristics that were highly rejected by consumers, according to the Coalition for Better Ads.

Trend #3: Brands are Seeking Engagement Metrics to Understand Campaign Success

Year over year from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017 we have observed advertisers shifting focus from click-through rate toward engagement metrics when it comes to measuring their content distribution campaigns. This time last year, CTR was the dominant KPI, but now the numbers have changed drastically and marketers are equally using Engagement Metrics and CTR as indicators of campaign success.

For a long time, we have predicted that the tides would turn this way, which is why we developed a proprietary metric to measure post-click activity on content called Engagement Score. This metric looks at actions like bounce rate, time on site and page views per visit. When it comes to content, marketers simply cannot measure success the same way they do for traditional display ads, and as they realize this to be the case they are integrating more advanced, meaningful insights and analytics into their strategies.
Bidtellect Q4 2017 Native Intelligence Report to learn more about these trends. 

Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention – Contributing to a Better User Experience

Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention – Contributing to a Better User Experience

Making it Make Sense

While there’s a lot of buzz and concern around what Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) does, Bidtellect sees it as a positive development for advertisers and, if anything, views it as Apple fixing what we believe to have been a loophole in their Safari browser. For starters, here’s what you should know:

  • Apple’s newest version of Safari now includes Intelligent Tracking Prevention
  • This only impacts web, not in-app inventory.
  • This is designed to block advertisers’ ability to trick browsers into treating a third party cookie as a first party cookie, allowing them to treat the data as their own.
    • This means that publishers, third-party tracking providers and even ad tech companies can self-servingly use a click to set a cookie on the user before they even reach the landing page of the ad they clicked on. This information can be used to track users cross-site, letting them know that you’re interested in tennis sneakers and coffee tables, as you surf the internet. This is used to later retarget you based on your interests.
    • The window within which advertisers can now use this to collect information is limited to just 24 hours, with this release.
    • Additionally, after 30 days website data and cookies are purged, as is any new data.

What this means for Bidtellect?

Engagement Codes

  • These are placed on a site to track a single user across a single session.
  • Metrics that are collected include time on site and bounce rate
  • Engagement Codes will remain largely unaffected as, typically, a user session lasts until 30 minutes of inactivity have elapsed.
  • Most importantly, this is placed by a client on their own landing page. This means this information is first party and collected on behalf of the content owners. This information is never used outside of an advertisers’ campaigns.

Conversion Codes

  • These are placed on a site to track conversions, based on impressions or clicks.
  • Bidtellect’s maximum retention window for conversions is 30 days.
  • Conversion codes are placed by a client on their own landing page. This does not act as a cookie and is only intended to notify our nDSP of conversion events. This information is never used outside of an advertisers’ campaigns.

Retargeting Codes

  • We currently work with advertisers to place our retargeting pixels directly on client landing pages. This means that it is a first party cookie and unaffected by this release.
  • We do not allow for retargeting pixels or first party DMP pixels to be placed on click events
  • Additionally, Bidtellect cookies have a retention window of 30 days. This information is never used outside of an advertisers campaigns.

Bidtellect’s Use of Pixels

Data collected by Bidtellect on behalf of our advertisers, whether it be an engagement code, a conversion code, or a retargeting code, is never used for any purposes other than that particular advertisers campaigns. The engagement codes record single sessions in order to provide clients detailed metrics about their campaigns. Conversion codes are used to tie impression and click events back to conversion events. Retargeting codes are built on behalf of the advertiser in order to empower them to retarget users who have visited their site. This information is all encrypted and only identifiable to the appropriate advertiser.

First and Third Party Data Providers

First party data collected on a client’s own landing page remains unaffected. In Safari, first party trackers placed on impression and click events will only collect data for a 24 hour window. 

Know Your Numbers!

For 2017, in the US alone, Safari had:

  • 12% of the total Desktop browser market share
  • 51% of the total Mobile browser market share
  • 70% of the total Tablet browser market share

Source: Statcounter

In December of 2017, Bidtellect delivered:

  • 51% of its total impressions on Desktop
    • 14% of these impressions were served on Safari
  • 39% of its total impressions on Mobile
    • 36% of these impressions were served on Safari
  • 10% of its total impressions on Tablet
    • 57% of these impressions were served on Safari