It’s well known that the digital video ecosystem is undergoing explosive growth. The reason? Unlike the world of mass-market world of television, the digital ecosystem brings a new value proposition to the table: the ability to measure ROI with a high degree of precision. And with programmatic tech, advertisers can ensure they are reaching their audiences at the right decision-making moments.

At the heart of every successful outstream video program is engagement. As you aim to reach the right audiences, you need to make sure that you create content that tells a story. The beauty of outstream video is that you’re not creating an ad: you’re creating a narrative and human experience. And as you build out your strategy, you’ll want to keep the following stats in mind:

ShareThis found that reality and music-based TV generates 91 million social signals a month, with 16 percent of online audiences sharing details about the shows that they want on television. Source: AdWeek

Similar to television, your outstream video campaigns have the position to generate an amplification effect—that is, when your audiences see the narrative that you put out into the world, they may be willing to share it with their friends and family. For advertisers, this type of social media behavior is great news: it’s organic, incremental exposure for your marketing message.

But ShareThis’s stat inspires an important takeaway—that you can’t just assume that audiences will share your content. Most likely, it’s going to be a small minority who do share. And this group is likely to vary between brands.

If social shares are important outcomes from your outstream video campaign, you’ll want to take a step back to do some careful pre-planning around your audience segments. At a minimum, you’ll want to identify: (1) who’s likely to share your content and (2) the personality traits of those individuals.

Based on this information, you’ll be in a strong position to create tailored calls to action (CTAs) that direct audiences to share your content. You’ll be able to increase the organic amplification of your outstream video campaigns as a result.

Audiences don’t watch digital videos like they do television—85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Source: ReelSEO

If you’re looking to increase viewership and engagement on your outstream video campaigns, you may need to make a subtle adjustment to your strategy—instead of relying on visuals and sound, similar to traditional TV based media, you’ll want to include subtitles.

ReelSEO’s stat may seem surprising, but if you take time to think about it, you’ll see that it makes sense. The reason? People are watching video in a number of different contexts at work, on trains, in waiting rooms at the doctor’s office, etc. They may not have headphones handy, and they may be in a place where sound his disruptive. Not to mention, they may be multitasking or taking a brain break.

If you want people to pay attention to your outstream videos, add some subtitles to your video. If you already have a strong narrative in place, this process should feel like a natural next step.

According to one forecast, digital video ad revenue will hit close to $5 billion in 2016, up from $2.8 in 2013. Source: BI Intelligence

Advertisers are uncovering significant ROI potential from their video ad spends. But as marketers begin to recognize early results, they’ll want to be mindful of the resulting competition: as the ecosystem becomes more mature, the cost of reaching target audiences will likely increase.

To prepare for this evolution, advertisers will want to take action now. By being early to market, especially in programmatic ecosystems, you can take early steps for longer-term optimizations:

  • Understand who is most likely to respond to your outstream video campaigns.
  • Evaluate potential price points for marketing initiatives, measuring ROI at varying checkpoints.
  • Experiment with different targeting parameters to see which are most influential to the conversion goals that you’re looking to achieve with your campaigns.

Don’t just follow the rush. Take a step back. Ask tough questions. Build storylines and targeting strategies that can give your brand a competitive differentiator in the long-haul. Keeping these ideas close to heart, competition from the rest of the market should never stand in your way.

Final Thoughts

Rather than pushing out ads, in hopes of reaching target audiences, media planners can focus on providing a guided experience to potential customers. If you’re buying outstream video placements, you have a straightforward way to track who’s viewing your ads and what actions they’re taking after the fact. Some savvy marketers are even able to quantify lifetime user value (LTV) and funnels back to sales.

The bottom line from these stats? Your outstream video strategy may be more powerful than what you initially may have realized. Give your campaign planning the time that it deserves.