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Measuring Audibility In Video Ads.

Measuring Audibility In Video Ads.

As video content increases its presence in our feeds, it's become more important to look beyond the aggregate metrics and focus on whether the message is actually conveyed or not. Came across a nice article from AdExchanger about audibility being the new viewability

It's quite true and is a serious topic. hmmm...let's take a look at the two biggest platforms: YouTube (Google AdWords) and Facebook. As surprising as it sounds, both platforms don't offer metrics on audibility yet to know what % of ads were watched with sound on.

YouTube/AdWords: As of today, you can't measure what percentage of your In-Stream or Disoveryads had sound on.

Facebook Ad Manager: Sound related metrics aren't available. You need to get this from Facebook Insights (will be combined for both, paid and organic).

How can you find out audibility related metrics from Facebook Insights?

Not exactly easy to spot.

Go to your page > Insights > Posts > Click on the video post. You should see something like this:

Click on 10 Second Views. You should now see this:

ok, you should definitely see more than that :)

Look at the last bit of info, gem right there. Sound On/ Sound Off. This shows the absolute number and %. Start comparing your recent videos and see what the % is like for sound on. If you're producing rather long-ish form content with the main message being conveyed via sound, the sound on metric becomes even more important.

How far can you go back in your timeline to check on this sound: on metric?

Facebook started providing this metric from Feb, 2016 only...hmmm, gotta live with it.

As Facebook tries to take a bigger piece of the video market, video measurement becomes critical. The standard definition for a view is when a user watches for more than 3 sec. That's not quite long and definitely not enough to know if brand messages are being consumed.

In order to tackle this, Facebook introduced the cost-per-10 sec-view bid besides the default option (impressions). Go to Facebook Ad Manager / Power Editor > Ad Set that has the video targeting > Scroll to the bottom > you'll see the option to bid by 10 sec.

This is a good option to test videos ads with. Although you won't be able to separate the sound:on metric for paid vs organic, if your total views are completely dominated by paid metrics, there's a strong possibility that bidding by 10 sec helped get an audience that heard your brand's message. These are the users who started the video on mute (default) and then cared enough to unmute. 

It's also possible that the effective CPV would be much higher in this test but here's where the education aspect comes in getting everyone on-board in understanding video metrics in details. 5M views may not necessarily be better than 2M views if the latter has more views with sound:on, better retention rate and completion rate.

What do you think about testing this approach for Facebook video ads? Any ideas for AdWords?

Update: Found this article in my Feedly. Facebook now testing ads with auto sound-on. Here's the link:


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