4 Key Takeaways – iMedia Content Summit: TV, Video & Social

ViralGains’ Chief Relationship Officer Kate Willett recently returned from a lovely trip to Huntington Beach, California, where she had the opportunity to attend this year’s iMedia Content Summit: TV, Video & Social. Check out her four key takeaways from the event below.

I just wrapped up a fantastic couple of days at the iMedia Content Summit in Huntington Beach, CA. They couldn’t have picked a better location, right on the water with the palm trees swaying and the California sun shining—a group of highly regarded media professionals coming together to discuss all things content, with online video stealing the show.  I attended with our advisor Sarah Fay, who is the former CEO of Aegis Media and currently chairs the Board of Governors for iMedia Summmits. Here are my top four learnings, for your viewing pleasure.

Convergence of TV and Online Video

There were many great breakout sessions in which panelists discussed the convergence of TV and online video and what that means for current ad buying models.  This seems to be a particularly interesting subject for agencies; TV is still highly regarded as a top performing medium, but everyone agrees that budgets are shifting more and more every year.

In a panel called “Why Are Ad Buying Behaviors Not Following Viewers”, Jackie Kulesza (Group Director of Video for Starcom USA) zeroed in on measurement and ROI for online video being the biggest hurdle in shifting those dollars. Agencies don’t currently have a good way to measure the ROI for online video, but they’re looking more at specific metrics like completion rates, frequency capping, viewability, and engagement metrics to convey value. She mentioned they are creating models to test how online video buys affect search metrics and vice versa, hoping to tie video back to search in a very measurable way.

Targeting for Online Video

Another recurring theme at this summit was targeting in relation to online video. In a panel with Travis Freeman (leads the content and media groups across many Aegis agencies including Carat, iProspect, and Vizeum), he mentioned that true audience targeting was a big focus across digital teams. How do they become more efficient at targeting the right person, at the right time? Freeman seemed particularly interested in the possibility of building an audience profile based on engagement metrics (completion rates, shares, likes, conversations, subscribers) and then serving the video to ‘look alike’ audiences based on that profile.

The ‘Next Big Thing’ in Online Video

Jackie Kulesza, who heads up all video and emerging technologies for Starcom, said the biggest single thing keeping her up at night was the thought that she might have missed the ‘next big thing in video.’ She mentioned they were an extremely data driven company and if an innovative solution presents itself, the biggest selling point will be how that technology uses data to make more targeted decisions and creates a feedback loop for their brands to build even better, more emotional content. This was a sentiment shared by many a high level industry professionals, proving that everyone is still indeed looking for the latest and greatest in video technology.

Evolution of Content for TV

Another exciting development is talk around the evolution of content for TV. I had the opportunity to sit at a round table open discussion with both brands and agencies discussing a variety of topics. This conversation centered around the way agencies think about creative; they admitted the first thing that pops to mind when seeing a brief for new product or brand launch is what kind of TV spot they will create for it.

Traditionally they then try to work that TV spot for digital and it seems to fall flat in terms of engagement. We all know pre-roll doesn’t inspire sharing and conversation. An evolution of this thinking is starting with creative for digital—it’s much easier to create an engaging spot for digital on TV than vice versa.

Bonus! I got to meet this guy: Quinton Aaron from The Blind Side! He crashed the last dinner and partied with a bunch of media geeks all night long.

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