Dwell time is vital to marketers looking to build a brand online

I have long been an advocate of dwell time.

If you are advertising anywhere, you need the reader, viewer, listener to be engaged in the content for long enough as to give your advertising message a chance to engage. On the internet however, there are billions of page impressions that last mere seconds, and they are often cheap as chips and still over-priced in my opinion. If the user clicked away from the page before your advertising had even loaded properly then the page impressions was worth nothing. Simple as that in my eyes.

UKOM, the new research tool from Nielsen, released its first set of data for January 2010 earlier this month and I am hopeful that agencies and clients will start to use this data day-to-day. Not only does it allow planners to measure reach and frequency for digital against other media, it enables them to measure dwell time. Not being able to measure the reach and frequency of digital has been a huge barrier to clients investing more money in digital, despite their customers spending more time online, and I hope that UKOM will prove a success at unblocking that pipeline.

If UKOM does encourage clients to spend more brand money online, then video advertising is perfectly placed to capitalise because the dwell time on video pages is usually higher than on pages with no video. With video advertising you can combine the powerful persuasive forces of sight, sound and motion creative with the right audience, and while they are spending some time in one place.

I have worked on countless campaigns where a multiple ad unit roadblock of video pages has delivered a significantly higher click-through rate that the advertising that was running on other parts of the site. Audience + no clutter + dwell time = engagement.

It will also encourage publishers to make richer, more engaging content rather than chasing page impressions because that will have a direct bearing on the bottom line. That can only be good news for readers and brands alike.

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