Courtney McKlveen (pictured) is the Head of US Field Sales at Oath where she leads a media sales team focused on serving the company’s top advertisers. Mcklveen has over a decade of experience in sales management, sales strategy and partnerships. She joined Yahoo in 2009, leading regional and national advertising sales teams with a focus on top brands in the US. Most recently, Courtney was Vice President and Industry Lead for the retail, travel and QSR categories at Yahoo.
In this week’s “5Qs with..” the industry veteran discusses the challenges brands face when breaking into live video, the secret ingredients that make a branded video successful, and what creators should avoid when producing one.
What are the biggest challenges a brand faces when breaking into live video and what steps should they take to overcome these obstacles?
For brands looking to engage with live video, it’s all about authenticity and the power of the creative. In today’s crowded landscape, marketers are under increased pressure to create a real connection with their customers. That means ensuring they align with the right live video programming to build engagement and consideration, and deliver a creative ad experience that fits within it. Ultimately, being part of the right video experience can help consumers better understand the brand and its mission, which can help develop loyalty for the long run. Live video is an immersive format that is just beginning to test the creative boundaries. It provides a massive opportunity to reach passionate consumers who are tuning in to their must-see news and entertainment. Brands need to make sure their advertising enhances this experience to really win.
What does live video mean for advertisers?
Live video represents a huge opportunity for advertisers. It’s no longer confined to the television screen, and can now be accessed on tablets, desktops, mobile phones and Smart TVs. Whether it’s breaking news, music festivals or sports around the world, live video lets consumers experience those can’t-miss moments on any device they choose. And while it’s clear that more people are tuning into live video, what’s even more valuable for advertisers is the fact that live video viewers are highly engaged and emotionally connected to what they’re watching. This gives advertisers the opportunity to reach consumers in a more powerful way. Brands from Prudential to Toyota have capitalized on this trend, around major passion points from finance to music festival programming respectively.
What are the main ingredients found in a successful branded video? And what should creators stay away from when producing one?
Branded video is top of mind for many marketers! At Oath, we recently announced RYOT Studio as our global creative studio for brands and agencies. It’s safe to say that with continued mobile growth, advertisers will bet on content marketing in the year ahead to successfully build their brands. RYOT Studio now has a presence in 14 countries across five continents, with a content marketing solution that brings brands’ stories to life through branded video and other innovative formats. Our award-winning team has worked on campaigns for major brands around the world like Jack Daniel’s, Sleep Number and more.
First, lean in to data. Consumers today have higher expectations for advertising than ever before: branded video content needs to be relevant, meaningful, educational or useful in some way for it to resonate. Marketers now have access to many different data signals–ranging from search behavior to content consumption patterns–which makes it not only possible but imperative to deliver a more relevant ad experience. Leveraging data to inform the strategy for your branded video content and ensuring it’s what your target audience is looking for will help you reach the right consumers at the right time.
Next, brands need to ensure they are thinking cross-screen. Consumers are always one-the-go, and they’re often watching content on multiple devices, starting on their desktops, and then moving to tablets and mobile phones. Creating a consistent message across screens ensures you’re reaching consumers through multiple touch points.
Finally, establish an emotional connection. The ability to successfully connect with a consumer is the holy grail of digital engagement, and research shows that consumers want content and ads that drive emotion. If you’re looking to increase brand familiarity, consider ads with a comedic, witty tone. For brand affinity, try something that tugs at their heart strings, and to drive purchases, informational ads are the most effective.
How much time and money should brands invest in immersive video, if at all, and why?
Video and native video ads have gone mainstream. They’re a critical part of a brand’s media mix. New formats including AR, VR and 360 video are growing quickly. They’re opening up doors for marketers to get more creative with video and how they inspire consumers to take action. It’s been exciting to see the different ways brands are partnering with RYOT Studio and using these new technologies to reach their audiences. At Oath, we’ve been really excited about the possibilities to leverage more immersive video, and it’s changing the way brands do digital storytelling.
What is the best platform for a brand to live stream on in terms of reach and monetization?
Consumer expectations are high. No matter what device they’re on, viewers expect flawless access and delivery, no buffering or delays that interrupt the experience. So brands need to make sure their partners can help them maximize reach and deliver a high quality live experience. For example, Prudential recently sponsored the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit, which was live streamed around the world, to reach a global audience. CPG brands often sponsor live streams of sporting events to reach sports fans while they are watching the game. Finding the right platform is crucial to ensuring your ads land well and resonate with viewers.