4 Ways to Improve Your Mobile Video Advertising
More mobile marketers are discovering the possibilities of mobile video advertising to engage with users, but mobile video ads cannot simply be a smaller version of a 30-second TV spot. There are unique opportunities and challenges related to the size of the mobile device screen, the limits of the user’s attention span, and the intimacy of the medium.
Here are a few ideas for how you can improve your mobile video advertising:
Don’t interrupt – invite: The classic model of the 30-second TV ad is based on interrupting people – TV commercial breaks are keeping people from watching the content that they want to see. Many mobile video ads used to be based on this “interruptive” model – forcing the user to watch a video before they could get to the content that they wanted to see. Instead of interrupting and annoying people, look for ways to more subtly engage them and invite them to watch your ad. For example, it’s possible to run silent videos that appear in the banner ad space, but without “forcing” or requiring the user to watch the ad or tap the ad. Instead of taking over the user’s entire device screen, look for ways to extend an invitation for further interaction.
Keep it focused: One of the unique aspects of mobile video advertising is that mobile videos are fully immersive. People tend to stay
intently focus on what is happening on their smart phones and mobile devices – it’s a very personal kind of interaction, more intimate than TV or a desktop monitor. This is another reason why mobile video ads cannot just be a scaled down version of the same video that would run on a TV screen. Look for ways to create small-scale, highly focused videos. You don’t have space or time for a lot of visual clutter and “bells and whistles.” Even a simply designed animation can be more effective on a mobile device than a big, splashy cinematic-style video. You’re not designing for the big screen; you’re designing for small screens.
Run different types of mobile video ads to reach different types of customers (and test their effectiveness): There are three main options for types of mobile video ads: Interactive in-stream video (a video ad played before video content, similar to a TV commercial); Interactive pre-roll (a video ad played within other content such as in between levels of a game or at the launch of an application); and Tap to interactive video, a video ad served after the consumer taps a banner. According to this article from Mobile Marketer, in-stream video is best for reaching broad audiences (with 22% higher CTR when run across an entire network, than with more narrowly targeted in-stream video), and pre-roll is better for brand-building between levels of a game (between-level pre-roll videos have a higher completion rate than pre-roll videos played at the launch of an application).
Use “tap to interactive videos” to further engage your best prospects: Mobile video doesn’t have to be limited to the 15-second video ad. You can get better results by doing a two-part strategy, where users see a short ad, and then get the option to tap through to a longer interactive video ad. For example, you can do a two-part video with a short, 15-second (or less) video ad, and then your users can tap through to a longer 5-minute video with more details. This way you can give more information and more interaction to customers who want to learn more and who are willing to opt in for further communication from you.
Mobile video advertising offers a lot of opportunity but you have to be somewhat familiar with the complexities of this medium as well. Make sure your video design maximizes the small space of the mobile device screen. Keep your videos focused on delivering a good experience for the consumer, without annoying or interrupting them – and be prepared to experiment with a few different formats to make sure you’re reaching the right customers.
What’s your take on this? Which format of mobile video advertising has gotten the best results for you?