Corporate Eye

Biggest Threat to Online Video Advertising Success is User Behavior

mouse click computerAccording to research from Ebuzzing, the biggest threat to online video advertising is not click fraud but rather “click away” user behavior. In other words, users are annoyed by online video ads and click away from them when they load in their video players.

The research revealed that 36% of video ads are not viewable worldwide. Furthermore, 50% of video ads purchased directly from video publishers are not viewable, and 66% of video ads bought programmatically are not viewable. Based on that data, it’s fairly accurate to say that two out of three online video ads that you’ve placed to market your brand were not viewable to all consumers.

In fact, that figure could be even bigger. Ebuzzing counted an online video ad impression when the video ad was viewable in a person’s video player for at least two seconds. That’s not much time. How effective were the ads that were only viewed for two seconds? It’s unlikely that they converted many people into buyers. That would mean that online video ad viewability is even worse.

Ebuzzing created an infographic (shown at the end of this article) that includes the data from its research as well as data from other research initiatives. In the infographic, Ebuzzing notes that improving viewability of online video ads by 45% can increase sales by 75%. Therefore, viewability is critical in order for brand marketers to maximize the returns on their online video advertising investments. Ebuzzing identified four primary reasons why online video ads are not viewable, which you should work to reduce to the extent possible:

  1. Online fraud and bots
  2. Ad blockers
  3. Video plays before it is seen by the user
  4. User gets annoyed and leaves the page

To improve your online video ad viewability and maximize ROI, test ad formats exhaustively and follow the IAB’s online advertising traffic fraud best practices. Certainly, traffic and click fraud are huge problems, but much of your ability to control these types of fraud are out of the typical brand marketer’s control. However, you do need to prioritize those things which you can have some control over. These include creating ads that don’t frustrate users by displaying poorly, being too long, being irrelevant, being too intrusive, and so on.

Furthermore, don’t forget that the problems related to online video advertising viewability and user behavior are exacerbated in the mobile environment. Given the fact that more people are watching online video using their mobile devices every day, the relationship between viewability and user behavior becomes even more complicated and more important.

online video advertising infographic

Image: Mustafa Kilic

The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.