Solution At a Glance

CHALLENGE: To promote Wikia’s online gaming trivia competition series with an embedded gameplay video.

SOLUTION: Monitor viewer’s engagement and interaction with the ad unit, focusing on the number of video plays. Iterate on ad unit format to maximize engagement, and roll out the winning format across all Wikia properties instantaneously.

RESULT: Enormous engagement and interaction rate improvements. Tweaking the way videos were run resulted in a staggering 11x increase in video viewings, a 27% increase in engagement, and a 125% increase in interaction.

The Challenge

Wikia operates the world’s largest network of collaboratively-published video game, entertainment, and lifestyle content on the web.

The site had launched a series of webisodes called Qwizards, in which Wikia’s video gaming editor hosts online trivia competitions between gaming experts. Adam Carey, Wikia’s VP of Ad Operations, subsequently used the Flite Platform to create 300x600 half-page ad units embedding ten of the webisodes for promotion across the site’s entire Gaming vertical. Adam’s first ad creative used the (beta) Carousel component to surface all ten video thumbnails, allowing users to choose which webisode to play within the ad unit.

But initial engagement figures proved disappointing. Video plays were low, suggesting that users were unaware that they were able to watch the videos from within the ad unit.

The Solution

Adam quickly responded by making changes to the ad unit, monitoring its reception among users using Flite’s real-time reporting interface. The two key factors that allowed Adam to craft a solution that performed remarkably well were the automatic deployment of ad changes, along with immediate feedback via real-time metrics.

Adam swapped out the Carousel in favor of a single video, then enabled a 30-second autoplay with a clear “Play with Sound” instruction. Interaction and engagement with the ad unit shot up. Adam was able to monitor his ad metrics real time as he commuted by ferry across the San Francisco Bay.

The Results

Interaction and engagement rates soared, as users realized that they could watch videos directly in the ad unit. The reporting data unambiguously—and quickly—demonstrated that Wikia users strongly prefer enabling audio on a video that was already playing, instead of clicking to start a video themselves.

“It became clear within 30 minutes of monitoring Flite’s real-time reporting that changing the ad from a complex carousel of videos to a single video which autoplayed for 30 seconds made a huge difference to the ad’s performance, increasing user engagement, interactions, and video play rate,” said Adam. “Wikia will take this learning and apply it to other video ads we run in the future.”