Mark Rabkin VP of Core Ads at Facebook revealed a few tips and tricks for advertising in the mobile era. Rabkin pointed out that a mobile phone should not be classified as a tiny TV, just as TV wasn’t visual radio and radio wasn’t an audible newspaper. The company suggests that mobile must be recognized for what it is: a new medium that demands new content grounded in experiences that are native to the platform like speed, choice and relevance.
The big difference between viewing content on a smartphone V.S. television is the freedom. Smartphones are not limited to a room and a power outlet, but instead are free to go wherever its owner travels, and often do. Additionally, people are in full control of what they see, where and when they want to see it. And they’re exercising that ability at all times. Mobile has trained people to choose what’s relevant to them, consume what matters to them and move on.
According to Rabkin, people scroll through mobile News Feed 41% faster than desktop News Feed. And when videos start to autoplay on Facebook people watch them for 16.7 seconds on average. This is similar with video ads, which are watched in News Feed for 5.7 seconds on average.
It makes sense that because people can watch virtually anything at any time, they’re only going to watch ads that grab their attention, reward their time.
So in a new mobile era what’s the best way forward for mobile video ads? How can advertisers take charge of the complexity of this new, fragmented space? Facebook points to some of its most successful advertisers on its site, Nestle to AirBnb to Ubisoft, for examples.
Here are some of their best practices (pulled from a blog post Facebook published this morning):
- Build brand new, short-form, mobile creative. Ensure the video rewards people’s attention and tells its story even if only the first few seconds are watched. Use mobile native tools, techniques, and styles to echo the organic content people like to see.
- Re-organize to test and measure ads on a weekly cycle, not every 6 months. Build organizations that can deliver quality creative inexpensively and on short notice. Align creative, measurement, and media teams to connect and work together as a single team. This can be a formidable challenge, but mobile is evolving too quickly for a traditional, fragmented approach to work well.
- Don’t try to equate disparate platforms. Each new mobile format (e.g. News Feed, Stories, Ad Breaks, TrueView) has different consumer expectations and behaviors. Be careful of false equivalences or standards between them that can blind your organization to their unique nature. For example, a guaranteed 10 second ad break requires different creative than a video in a feed that may be seen for 6 seconds by the average person, but for 30 seconds by 10% of the audience. Facebook isn’t YouTube, YouTube isn’t Search, Search isn’t Snapchat.
- Measure results, not seconds. It’s true that this new world is complex, but it’s worth the investment to map it. To do this digital reconnaissance, it’s crucial to measure business value and results on a per-creative, per-platform, per-audience basis. An advertiser’s ability to measure the right things properly will be the biggest predictor of their mobile advertising success.
- Transparency is paramount. To create fantastic new stories for the complex landscape of mobile formats, marketers must understand every nuance of consumer behavior, with detailed insights provided by the publisher — including Facebook — not just top-line metrics.
- Measurement tools must evolve. Mobile platforms like Facebook must help advertisers compare and very rapidly evaluate the impact of each new mobile format — for brands, direct response, and hybrids of both.