So everyone wants in on the online video advertising and marketing boom. As well they should. So what’s the hold up? Well, according to a new report from STRATA, it’s all about measuring the ROI. Of course, how can an agency justify the expenditures on social media and online video if they can’t show the clients the bottom line benefit.

I didn’t get my hands on the full report from STRATA so I’m just going off some numbers they reported on their site from it. That means I don’t have any solid information on the methodology. Even then, the numbers seem high enough to show that we need to be able to better calculate the ROI for online video in order to continue to draw more ad dollars into the industry.

We All Scream for Streaming!

While the copy on the STRATA site is so obtuse that I’m not at all exactly sure what it is they do, the numbers in the survey show that there’s massive interest in streaming video with agencies. Ninety-Eight percent (98%) of respondents said they are as interested or more interested in utilizing online video as they were last year. Even with some ridiculous margin of error of like 20% it would still be the vast majority. So there’s obvious interest. Even the 87% that said they are still interested in social media for campaigns is a pretty good percentage, with Facebook leading that group’s interest (81%) and YouTube (57%) and Twitter (48%) remaining popular. Pinterest had a lot of growth; STRATA stated it was at 35% this year, up from 22% the previous survey.

What’s the Hold Up?

The major reason for them not simply diving in and ranting and raving about social media to their clients is simple, the value is not readily apparent (54%). They don’t seem to believe that there are precise measurements available in terms of social media ROI. That is always going to hold up change. Why would anyone start pushing a specific marketing strategy if there’s no proven numbers or way to measure the efficacy of such?

Even more alarming is the fact that, almost half aren’t sure they are getting a good value and 12% think it’s not good at all.

Another major hurdle is, still, ease of use. They also cited more obvious effectiveness and a lower minimum volume. One thing I found shocking in their complaints about it all was, get this, less complex targeting.

Say what? They want to be less effective at targeting but want the overall effectiveness of the campaigns to be higher? I’m not ad man as it were, but that seems utterly counter-intuitive to me. But again, we don’t have the full methodology for the study, so a grain of salt I suppose.

Video Still Gaining Interest Regardless

Even though they believe there’s no good way to measure ROI presently, they still have growing interest in streaming video. 65% said more interested in it this year than last and, here’s the real kicker because clearly they have an idea of the ROI, 60% said an online video impression is worth a TV one. 

YouTube still tops the online video site interest with 81% saying they’d consider placement there. However, Hulu is a big mover with 40% now interested and Netflix with 27% which is laughable since they don’t have ads. I sure hope Netflix doesn’t decide that’s how they’ll offset that fat stack of cash they just handed Comcast for access. Instagram and Vine got 19% and 14% respectively.

Overall, those without interest in online video dropped 10% from last year meaning that just a lowly 5% are still holding out. Perhaps those are the traditional TV ad men that don’t want to step into this new-fangled era of jargon like OTT, IPTV and TV Everywhere, or perhaps they just simply don’t work well with video.

Moving Forward as an Online Video Industry

I have to believe that as an industry we need to consider these numbers and take into account what it is that the agencies want so that we can better serve their needs and increase not only their faith in the products we offer but also increase their belief in the system. That’s going to mean more standardized metrics, better ROI tracking, easier implementation, etc. That’s going to mean educating them better about the whole system, catering to their needs and making them more comfortable with it all. So, let’s get started, shall we?