What’s your brand’s dwell time?

In my blog, “Your brand is under attack, will you save it,” I talked about the potential downside to online advertising—that downside being that when you place online advertising with aggregators, you can’t always be sure that you brand message and image won’t be under attack from the ads and stories surrounding it.  So, in this blog I thought I would give you a bit of the upside with respect to how online advertising can be effective if done right—with a little bit of metrics thrown in for good measure.

The usual measures of success for online advertising are click-through and conversion rates.  These are obviously very important to the visibility of your brand and your bottom line.  But, there is one additional measure you might not have considered that can help with both of these metrics—“dwell” rates.    According to Eyeblaster, dwell time is a unique metric that measures user engagement with large branding campaigns without relying on clicks and constant mouse activity.  So, basically it’s the amount of time someone puts their cursor (arrow) over your online ad regardless of whether they actively engage with the online ad.

Here’s why dwell times/rates are important:

  • Eyeblaster’s “Global Benchmark 2010” report analyzed dwell metrics for billions of rich media impressions served in 2009 and found that high dwell correlated with high engagement, brand-related searches and ultimately conversion (data via eMarketer).
    • An increase in dwell rate from 5% to 15% translated to an increase in conversion from 0.4% to 0.6%, up 45%.
    • Joint research conducted by Eyeblaster with Microsoft Advertising and comScore also found that high-dwell campaigns led to a 39% increase in brand-related keyword searches on the part of exposed users.

Now you know that dwell time is important, your next question should be how can I increase my online ad’s dwell time?  The answer appears to be video according to the Global Benchmark Report 2010. 

Dwell Rate and Dwell Time Worldwide, Nonvideo Ads vs. Video Ads, 2009


So, having video is important, but ad placement (as always) is also key. As the chart shows below, ads on pages with editorial content achieved better dwell metrics. And, ad formats, such as commercial breaks and floating ads, perform better than standard banners.

US Online Advertising Metrics, by Rich Media Format*, 2009


Dwell time can be important for your brand equity/image and your bottom line, but be careful—the Garbage In Garbage Out rules apply.  And your brand image, click-through rates and conversion rates can be negatively impacted by an online ad/video that is off topic/message, off target, too hard to make the story/brand connection and/or (my favorite) too over the top to convey the appropriate message about your brand.

Happy marketing!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Terrific article Sharon. Very data driven and valuable information. Thanks.



  2. Posted by sharonmarkovsky on May 6, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Thank you for the kind words! I hadn’t considered dwell time before and I bet others haven’t either.

    Have a great day!


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