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PreRoll Marketing Performance Indicators

Pre-Roll Video Marketing Performance Indicators

Video Pre-Roll Marketing is effective! So why don’t the metrics reflect that?

Video Will Account for Almost Half of Programmatic Spend This Year

$29.24 billion will be spent on programmatic video in 2019, which accounts for 49.2% of all US programmatic digital display ad spending.



Yet over the years, I’ve had clients run pre-roll campaigns, cancel them, get back on (due to our urging) only to cancel again. It’s difficult for some to see the value in pre-roll/video advertising, and perhaps you hold this opinion as well.

When viewing Google analytics, video pre-roll results appear to be much more expensive and less effective than your display campaigns. It’s often a much higher bounce rate with less time on site.

Therefore, looking at Google analytics alone leads some dealers to believe it’s not worth doing.

In my opinion, video is king. But in actuality, it’s not just my opinion…video has always been king, and the amount of video we consume on average keeps rising. However, video in not just on live TV anymore. According to last quarters measurements, live TV watching is down ANOTHER 17% with 18-34 year-olds and 6% with Adults 35-49. What you have to remember about “Live” TV statistics is that it counts all the delayed viewing as “live”. That includes the time spent skimming through commercials, which happens most of the time.


We consume millions of hours of video online. Therefore, the best and most effective “TV” for a car dealer is pre-roll advertising on YouTube and off YouTube. I recommend utilizing both because we know that 2/3rds of all video consumed on mobile is on YouTube, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. The reason I recommend doing both is that we want to reach the millions of viewers consuming video OFF YouTube as well, because it’s a much lower CPM (Cost Per Thousand), so we can reach far more people off YouTube for the same amount of money.

We want to reach the millions of viewers consuming video OFF YouTube as well.

So what metrics should we be analyzing? That depends on who you ask and what they are selling. Most sales people will only analyze the metrics that make them look attractive. I once heard a vendor say to a client, “Well, we’re all fighting for the same budget.” I thought to myself, “Really? Who’s fighting? I thought we were here to sell cars.” This is why it’s paramount to have a non-biased partner help you with your marketing. Their sole interest must be to get you results. But I digress…

Many vendors will inundate you with various terms to identify individual metrics. When it comes to Pre-Roll, they throw around many KPI’s: CTR’s, VTR’s, and so on. Which ones matter? Does any of it matter? And why do we have so many three-letter acronyms in marketing? Let’s start with KPI, which stands for “Key Performance Indicator”. In relation to pre-roll, the KPI’s that matter and the criterion that we set have subjective answers. These answers come from different perspectives and different goals. The bottom line is, we just want to help you sell cars. So we test and split test and keep testing and split testing in order to get the best results possible for each campaign.

The one key factor that you won’t hear from a vendor is the network that you use. They only use one network, and the results vary drastically. We’ve done thousands of campaigns on several different networks and compiled the following averages:

CTR (Click Through Rate)

Video Pre-Roll traffic doesn’t typically have a strong CTR, and it’s not a KPI some people would tell you to even focus on. We want to get as many people to your site as possible because all clicks matter. 93% of your traffic is NOT in the market today. The more people we get to you TODAY, the better chance we have to get them back when they are in the market TOMORROW. To get more than 1% to click through compared to .22-0.71, is a big difference and could mean thousands of additional sessions to your site.

CTR Pre-Roll Video Marketing


VTR (View Through Rate)

The VTR is the average percent of the video watched. These are important, however what we’ve seen, especially with this KPI, is massive fluctuation. It’s hard to gain any rhyme or reason. It’s like asking why sales and traffic fluctuate so drastically. The time of year, the popularity of the vehicle we’re offering, the message and the creative, the rebates, the financing, the rates available, the season…there are a MILLION variables. So we look at all of it while it fluctuates, but if one campaign has a consistently low VTR, then we make adjustments and split test. But Network #3 always categorically yields a higher View Through Rate.

VTR Video Pre-Roll Marketing


Time Spent on Site

Time spent on the site didn’t have massive differences. Even though the time spent is less than a minute on all three, the traffic from the Network 3 campaign spent on average 68% longer than other networks.

Video Marketing Pre-Roll Statistics


Pages Viewed

This reflects the number of pages that were viewed on average, from the click-through traffic from that particular video. The results are very similar here. It is hard to generalize because everyone’s websites are completely different and the Google Analytics have a variety of different goals set. However, Network 3 still yields the best results.

Video Pre-Roll Auto Marketing


*Sources: Emarketer.com / Marketingcharts.com

If you’re wondering whether video pre-roll is the right marketing option for you, or you’d simply like to get better results and more traffic from your campaigns, please call or email Brooks Automotive Advertising and see what we may be able to do for you!

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