By Hadas Moked, Brightcom
Consumers’ ever-growing preference for mobile over desktop is news to no one. Today, the majority of digital media users, especially Millennials, get their news, engage with social networks, browse apps and view their content and advertising from mobile devices. There’s no doubt: the newer mobile video ad format is the future for expanding — and achieving — audience reach.
Given that this niche is far less developed than the desktop platform, publishers are still learning how to successfully navigate it. Here are four ways that publishers can deliver mobile video at scale:
1. Develop more video ad units and apps. Mobile is the leading digital platform. From the ad-tech perspective, there is currently more demand for video units on mobile than there is supply. To meet growing advertising demand, more ad units need to be developed.
In 2015, total activity on smartphones and tablets accounted for 62% of digital media time spent by U.S. users, with apps alone signifying 54% of overall digital media time, according to comScore. In 2014, says another comScore report, 79% of smartphone owners used apps nearly every day, at least 26 days per month, versus 52% for tablet users. The numbers speak for themselves.
To help deliver mobile video at scale, publishers should develop user-friendly mobile apps. Within the apps, publishers need to offer more mobile video content to engage users and drive traffic back to their (mobile and/or desktop) websites. But keep in mind that it is not enough just to develop apps. Exposure and success of mobile video depends on the apps being downloaded in the first place.
2. Go with the flow — go vertical. With more consumers viewing their videos on mobile, vertical video is becoming the norm. Once dismissed, vertical video now looks as if it is here to stay. Take Snapchat, Periscope and Meerkat, popular apps that feature vertical videos. They all take advantage of the fact that mobile users tend to naturally hold their phones upright when viewing content on them, including videos and video ads.
According to Snapchat, vertical video ads have up to nine times more completed views than horizontal video ads, reports Digiday. In fact, some Snapchat advertisers, including Burger King and Macy’s, have jumped on the vertical bandwagon and have supplied the app with vertical video products. Other brands also stream vertical videos on Periscope and Meerkat, which both solely work in portrait mode. They say the drive behind this decision to go vertical was the fact that viewers typically hold their phones vertically with one hand.
Previous common complaints against vertical videos no longer apply to the mobile platform. First of all, neither vertical nor horizontal videos fit most screens, so both leave black bars on either side of the video. Secondly, with such small screens on mobile devices, it is irrelevant that our horizontal field of vision is broader than our vertical field of vision.
3. Acquire mobile measurement tools. Currently, most publishers lack the technical analytics tools with which to measure and manage data and results to help with mobile optimization. They also need a systematic way to determine the most optimal placement for mobile video ads within each app and internal pages of mobile websites. Also crucial are more ways to measure mobile ad-unit viewability within apps.
4. Create budget just for mobile video. As mobile devices continue to grow in dominance among consumers of digital media, marketers are allocating larger parts of their advertising budgets specifically for mobile. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 62% of marketers plan to increase their budget for mobile video ads, while only 2% noted that they planned on decreasing their spend. Increasingly driven by mobile, digital video budget allocations have grown to 57% this year from 49% in 2014. Publishers should follow suit, investing in creating both mobile video ad units and apps.
As mobile apps continue to drive the majority of digital media consumption, publishers need to keep up with the newer mobile video ad format as it continues to advance. Otherwise, they risk losing audience reach. However, by having a designated budget with which to develop more targeted ad units and apps, join in on the vertical video trend, and acquire the right mobile video measurement tools, publishers can succeed in delivering mobile video at scale.
Hadas Moked has been has been working in Brightcom as a Senior Account Manager for over two years. During this time she managed and developed strategic publishers with the attention on display, video and mobile products. As part of this position, she gained experience in both business and personal relations and learned first handed of the publisher’s pains and needs.