The mobile video advertising industry is still nascent in comparison to other online marketing avenues. As the industry matures and advances, tracking metrics will improve and expand to provide greater insight for advertisers. At the present time, there are limited metrics available to them to track engagement. The two most cited metrics are Click Through Rate (CTR) and View Through Rate (VTR). These metrics can have a big impact on which sites and apps advertisers decide to display their ad units on.
Some publishers do not pay much attention to these metrics and believe they will always have advertisers wanting to display ads on their properties. While there is an ocean of advertisers out there, they want to show their ads on properties where they will have the best chance of engagement with potential customers. Premium advertisers choose to display their ads on properties with specific demographic makeups and high CTR and VTR metrics. If a publisher does not work to optimize their CTR and VTR, then the opportunity to work with premium advertisers will disappear and they will be relegated to showing remnant ads at a much lower price point.
Although, a publisher cannot completely control the CTR and VTR metrics, there are several things they can do to optimize towards higher rates.
Placing the ad units higher on the page and in prominent positions above the fold can help performance. Some publishers choose to place their ad units below the fold where they will only be seen if the user scrolls down. This placement limits the visibility of the ads and thus the CTR.
In order to maximize revenue, sometimes a video player is placed below the fold and set to autoplay. This setup can result in high VTR, but the CTR will be most likely be very low and many advertisers have the ability to identify the placement of ad units on the page and once they realize your video ad is below the fold and using autoplay, they will most likely pull the ad spot.
Besides the placement of the ad unit, the size and number of the ads can also have an impact. If a publisher chooses to display small ad units then they will most likely not be clicked or will be ignored. Studies have already shown that online users quickly establish a blindness to ads, so in order to grab their attention you need ad units with enticing creatives, easy to view ad sizes and prominent placement. In addition, stuffing as many ads onto a page will not help your metrics and will quickly chase away the higher paying advertisers.
Many publishers believe they have very little impact on the fill rate, demand and CPMs of the video ad units displayed on their properties, but this is incorrect. The optimization of ad unit performance needs to be a partnership between the publisher and ad provider. The publisher needs to take an active role in testing and identifying the best location on their properties to place their ad units. If they are engaged in consistently testing and monitoring their video CTR and VTR metrics, it can help to increase their chances of premium advertisers requesting to display their ads on their properties rather than the publisher being limited to showing low priced remnant ads. Premium advertisers also provide higher quality video ads which improves the user experience for your users, so it is a win win all around.