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Five Quality Control Best Practices for Video Ad Campaigns

Video is growing from a niche format to a must-have for advertisers, thanks to benefits like more flexibility, better performance data, and significant cost efficiency. But as brands and agencies evolve their creative processes for this new video era, they don’t always use the same quality-control (QC) standards developed during the TV era. That’s a problem because issues during the QC process can cause wasted media dollars, potential rejection of assets by publishers and even poor perception of your client’s brand among consumers. What best practices should advertisers take to avoid these headaches? Here are five tips:

Don’t just “check the box” on the media plan
It’s tempting as an advertiser to assume that once the media plan is approved, all that’s left to be done is make sure the campaign airs as planned. But the user experience of how consumers actually see video creative in situ plays a huge role in how well that ad creative performs. Take advantage of the test pages provided by most publishers to see a preview of what your client’s campaign will look like when it’s live.

Start video campaigns with the original creative master
It’s standard practice to start TV campaigns with the creative master file. However, this doesn’t always happen with video, where it’s easy to assume lower quality assets will be adequate for display on the web and mobile devices. Make sure to start your next campaign with the highest quality ad format, no matter where it’s going to be displayed online or offline. A trusted vendor can help make sure your creative assets meet the right standards.

Make sure to adhere to publisher’s technical specifications
While it might seem obvious that agencies always follow the technical specs shared by publishers, this isn’t always the case. In fact, many publishers like ESPN and Hulu pay as much attention to quality and technical standards of video ads submitted to their ad platforms as they do to TV spots. This can even lead to outright rejection of video assets that don’t meet those standards. Make sure your team gives these specs a full review.

Work with a vendor that offers an automated QC process
It’s often said that the easiest way to form good habits is to make completing them as frictionless and automated as possible. That’s why vendors like Extreme Reach offer an automated QC process for any video creative that’s uploaded into their system, removing any friction that might be involved with doing these types of checks manually. In fact, Extreme Reach even goes so far as to check video using the same 24-point inspection process used for TV campaigns.

Skip email and Dropbox and host all video creative in one secure location
Trafficking video campaigns using email attachments and Dropbox links might seem both simple and efficient, but there are hidden dangers. Not only can the quality of video creative degrade as it’s shared and duplicated, it can also create confusion among agency partners if there are multiple versions of creative or numerous revisions. Hosting all video in a single, password-protected location not only prevents this confusion, it also ensures the optimal QC experience.

There are plenty of landmines when it comes to ensuring a high-quality video ad experience for consumers. But having the right systems and partners in place can significantly reduce the guesswork involved in this process and help ensure your next video campaign truly shines for consumers and for your client.