15.08.14

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The viewable impression

The viewable impression

Viewability is widely becoming a hot topic within display advertising. ComScore released figures from their 2013 real-world digital campaign, stating that, ‘on average 54% of display ads are not seen’, suggesting that display advertising is not having the desired effect on users that it should, consequently wasting media spend on impressions that have actually not even been seen. However viewability provides marketers with a mean of buying ads in a much more efficient and reliable way, optimising ad spend and maximising campaign performance.

The IAB defines a viewable impression as, ‘50 per cent of pixels in view for a minimum of 1 second’ for a standard display ad. As a result, viewability standards have been launched to provide guidance on greater accountability for brands, giving marketers the ability to start bidding and optimising against viewability metrics such as vCPM, to evaluate and compare the viewability of impressions across the web.

As previously mentioned, one of the biggest advantages this brings to the industry is the potential for better campaign measurement, whether being based on improved engagement, reach, frequency or sales uplift. The move to a world where marketers only pay for display ad impressions that are actually seen by users promises a dramatic and positive change within the industry for 2 main reasons:

1. Improved reliability 

The notion of viewable impressions aids trust in display advertising, assuring brands that they are getting what they pay for, an ad that is actually seen by their target audience. Consequently brands will increase confidence and willingness to invest in digital exponentially. It is important to note that the move towards viewable impressions will also create a natural limiting factor to the amount of viewable inventory available online. The benefit of both trends is that publishers will start to focus on delivering truly great experiences for their users, whilst advertisers will benefit from more of their ads actually being seen.

2. Greater insights

With viewability metrics available, marketers can start to derive insights into campaign performance by ascertaining the impact viewable ads have on their target audience. When marketers obtain a more accurate picture of how creatives are performing, they can then focus on targeting sites that are performing better to generate the best return. Additionally publishers can use the same insights to achieve a better return on inventory by offering higher rates for higher visibility on sites that may have historically been valued as insignificant content (Eg a site with relatively low traffic but high viewability).

Viewability represents a significant change in the way online media is bought and optimised through display advertising, as the viewable impression becomes a standard measure. Marketers will be able to safeguard the quality of their media buys to generate increased response rates while publishers will maximise the value of their inventory. As this comes into play brands can reap the benefits of investing in display with more confidence, and publishers will be rewarded as a result of their investment in high quality content and engaged audiences.

2. Greater insights

With viewability metrics available, marketers can start to derive insights into campaign performance by ascertaining the impact viewable ads have on their target audience. When marketers obtain a more accurate picture of how creatives are performing, they can then focus on targeting sites that are performing better to generate the best return. Additionally publishers can use the same insights to achieve a better return on inventory by offering higher rates for higher visibility on sites that may have historically been valued as insignificant content (Eg a site with relatively low traffic but high viewability).

Viewability represents a significant change in the way online media is bought and optimised through display advertising, as the viewable impression becomes a standard measure. Marketers will be able to safeguard the quality of their media buys to generate increased response rates while publishers will maximise the value of their inventory. As this comes into play brands can reap the benefits of investing in display with more confidence, and publishers will be rewarded as a result of their investment in high quality content and engaged audiences.

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