Michael Foster

Ad agencies need to understand the value of online video as a distribution channel as well as the importance of so-called user-generated content distributed solely on desktop and mobile platforms. As more and more video is watched across screens and the distinction between broadcast and online fades away, advertisers will likely shift their attention away from the big four broadcasters and toward the noisier and more complicated world of online video.

That noise remains a concern for advertisers and many would like to see a solution that allows them to broadcast cross-platform campaigns throughout the digital and broadcast ecosystems seamlessly. Several stumbling blocks make this difficult and these were identified and discussed at this year's ad:tech. Lead by Amber Lawson of The Opportunity Management Company, presenters from Rubin Postaer, Definition 6, Giant Media and Aerva talked at length about how advertisers can create a video strategy that works across screens and platforms.

One issue that most advertisers struggle with is comparing ROI from platform to platform. Are click-throughs as important on pre-roll online video campaigns? If so, how do you compare them to ROI on a television campaign where there are no clicks? Or is it more a matter of identifying the ROI of a cohesive campaign instead of segregating platforms and seeing them as independent communication channels?

Another big concern remains how to utilize earned, paid and owned media to produce effective and truly engaging campaigns. Consumers have grown desensitized to ads for decades, so speakers San Tong, Paul McClay, David Segura and Sanjay Manandhar looked at examples of how brilliant creative and effective targeting can re-energize audience engagement and interest by producing premium content, branded content and paid ad units and making them work together.

"Working together" was a common theme at this year's ad:tech and the online video world is no different. While there were only two panels dedicated to online video, both sessions identified the need for highly professional, polished content to make video integrate seamlessly with the other sides of digital media and marketing. As online video consumption grows, expect to see more and more talk of online video at future ad:tech events.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out allvoices.com/adtech for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech New York event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.