The Big Boys are in Mobile Video, are You?

Kyle Buzzell is a Content Manager at Adcash, he draws from his years of experience in psychology and sales to plan, research, and write content. He enjoys content in all forms and is in a constant state of learning to ensure that the content he produces is relevant and entertaining. 

The great migration is underway

With AT&T’s bid for Time Warner, it is now abundantly clear that the big boys smell something in the air. Coupled with a prior IAB report that mobile ad spending has finally overtaken desktop, we know this is no accident and that the great migration to mobile continues.

Eyes are glued to mobile screens for increasingly longer periods of time and 9x more of that time is spent in-app than mobile web. The mobile migration is happening, but its focal point is in-app.

It’s also where mobile has grown 129% and now accounts for 37% of mobile display ad spend: Mobile video. It engages, communicates immediately and memorably, and can add value to the in-app experience.

The verdict? You need to be in-app and you need to be in video…if you want conversions…

It Engages

The law of engagement and conversion is almost as immutable as the law of gravity. Static display ads not only fail to engage, they fail to even catch our glancing attention. Advertisers have countered this by resorting to sticky footers, slide-ins, interstitials, etc.

This is what our grandmother AIDA thinks of their tactics:

A: You have their attention

I: You’ve grabbed their interest

D: They’ve decided…

A: …They’re downloading an ad blocker

Continue leaning your strategy toward those tactics and you’ll remain on AIDA’s bad side. Get on her good side by leaning your strategy toward video and you’ll get low frustration, high engagement, and high conversion.

While the length of the ad should vary depending on your goals, ad placement and client demographic, best practices always include videos that are opt-in, skippable, and/or are not autoroll.

However, if your goal is view through, the optimal time is 30-seconds or less. View-through rates for this time range can reach as high as 88%. The implication? Our attention spans are horrible, but take heart.

Even with our paltry attention spans, almost 90% of your viewers will sit through your ads. If they are willing to sit through an ad, they are engaged. If they are engaged, they will be more likely to convert (see gravity above).

It communicates immediately and memorably

Circling back to our horrible attention spans, add a few seconds and you’ll have a Goldfish. That’s right; our attention is less than that of a Goldfish. You now have less time to engage your users and get your message across.

In terms of engagement, this is where video truly outshines other formats because its primary mode of communication is visual, it supports storylines, and those storylines can arouse emotion.

Visual information travels fast. Specifically, it travels in milliseconds. A millisecond is .001 of a second. You get the picture…it’s fast, Flash Gordon fast. The information that bolts into your brain is processed even after it has been viewed.

This means the video stays with your user even after they have viewed it 

The storylines that videos support take engagement up a notch higher. Storytelling is how we initially passed essential information from one generation to the next. Therefore, we became hardwired to tell, receive and memorize them.

Key to their memorability is their ability to arouse emotion. As with visual information, emotional information (which can be received visually) is processed fast. In fact, it is processed in one-fifth the time it takes to reach conscious awareness.

If your ads can be recalled, you’ll have greater opportunities for latent conversions as well. 

It adds value to the in-app experience

Well-crafted, well-targeted, well-timed videos will help publishers and advertisers alike achieve high conversion rates. This is especially true for the in-app environment. Aside from the targeting that apps provide, videos can be implemented as a natural part of the experience.

Publishers can implement rewarded videos, which are incredibly popular. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t cannibalize in-app purchases. In fact, rewarded videos can actually boost both paid and non-paid user purchases.

If you believe they may be judged as intrusive, this is unfounded as well. Rewarded videos are not on autoroll and require the user to opt-in to view them. To receive the benefit, the user must complete the video.

This provides an additional advantage, you can rest assured that your video is being seen

This format isn’t only for advertisers of games or gaming products. Gamers are people too...and people have multiple interests. What will be interesting to see is how the format matures and spreads to other verticals.

The best laid plans of mice and men

If you plan for where everyone is now, you’re just another player in a soon-to-become overcrowded space. Base your plans from where everyone is, but create them for where everyone will be going.

What less-obvious verticals beyond gaming can publishers use rewarded video for? How can advertisers harness the wealth of user information that apps provide to flesh-out buyer personas even further and target obliquely?

Nonetheless, no matter the sophistication of your plans for video in your monetization and advertising strategy, reliable partners are essential to bringing them to pass. Otherwise, traction will be difficult, if not impossible.

The time is not if, not when, but NOW. Due to their size, corporations are slow to respond to trends. When they do, they flood the space with demand and the first-mover advantage is gone. The question is, what in-app video niche are you going to exploit to gain the edge today?