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Has mobile video’s appeal faded?

McDonalds

A recent mobile video from McDonalds

Marketers are increasingly incorporating different channels such as SMS, QR codes and augmented reality into their marketing efforts to drive user engagement. While mobile video was once an immediate go-to, it seems the channel has been put on the back burner.

By no means is mobile video not an effective medium. However, while the channel is still being incorporated in several mobile advertising campaigns, it is not being implemented enough in multichannel efforts and marketers are missing out.

“The marketers who may be dialing back mobile video or questioning performance, may have just had hopes that video works on any mobile ad buy,” said Michael Burke, co-founder/president of adtivity by appssavvy, New York.

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“This is not the case, when reaching someone on the most personal device possible, you really have to understand what they are doing when you are reaching out to them,” he said. “This is the challenge and opportunity for mobile video, and really mobile advertising as a whole.

“Mobile video still represents a huge opportunity for advertisers. When delivered at the right time, again delivered at the right time, videos are very well received on mobile.”

Define your goals
Marketers looking to implement mobile video into their strategy should define what their goal is and how to best effectively reach consumers.

Mobile video, especially when incorporated in advertising campaigns, can be a great way for marketers to offer users a unique experience.

Before, brands would incorporate mobile video into their SMS campaigns or lead consumers to a video after they scanned a QR code.

However, it seems that these types of campaigns have slimmed down.

Industry experts believe that marketers should not be afraid of mobile video, but rather embrace the medium into their efforts.

“As we head into next year, mobile inventory will be thought out more and understood,” Mr. Burke said.

“There are huge differences in reaching someone after they just checked in, are reading articles on the mobile Web or playing a game,” he said.

“The value of this to a marketers’ brand a message needs to be defined, and when we do that, the marketers will move into mobile with full force.”

Force to reckon with
According to Ujjal Kohli, CEO of Rhythm NewMedia, mobile video is not slowing down any time soon.

“Especially as advertisers are realizing that tablet and smartphone video ads are actually more effective than online video ads,” Mr. Kohli said. “Unlike online, mobile video is both full screen and immersive.

“High mobile video ad completion rates prove that mobile video is engaging, premium and valuable to users,” he said.

The executive also believes that advertisers are finding that the combination of mobile video and mobile display ads is synergistic.

While mobile video is a great complement for brand advertising, mobile display is great for direct response.

“In the case of mobile video and display, one plus one equals so much more than two,” Mr. Kohli said. “With the massive increase in available devices, ad-supported premium content, and consumer adoption or usage of both smartphones and tablets, mobile video is just now hitting the steep uptick in its growth curve.

“Mobile video is definitely here to stay,” he said. “More marketers are incorporating mobile video into their marketing efforts.”

Similar to other mediums, there are many challenges in mobile video, one of which is that some vendors are confusing the market with inferior offerings, often dressed up to look like their superior counterparts.

Videos inside display ads, such as banners or rich media, interstitial video ads in games and apps, as well as in-stream video ads before premium video content are very different in their performance.

“There is definitely a good, better, best here,” Mr. Kohli said. “Many vendors that only offer the good – rich media or in-banner video – make it seem like it's the same as the better, like interstitial, or the best, like in-stream.

“It's not, and it confuses marketers,” he said. “There’s a huge difference and varying benefits in these three mobile video styles.

“Marketers who understand these benefits do incorporate mobile video into their marketing efforts. And they're reaping the rewards.”

Fully engaged
Mobile video as both a content vehicle and advertising channel continues to grow rapidly as evidenced by the growth in video content apps across the broader mobile ecosystem, per Nikao Yang, senior vice president of new business development and marketing at AdColony.

Specific to marketers, nothing beats sight, sound and motion when communicating a brand’s value proposition – especially when the mobile consumer is presented with the company’s value proposition via an high definition video ad that plays instantly – which is a core aspect of the advertising experience.

“Mobile video advertising is most effective on apps and sites that focus on delivering long session times where users are most receptive to advertising and hence, have the most appeal to marketers,” Mr. Yang said. “Such inventory includes apps and sites that are editorial-focused, social or gaming, as well as co-viewing or second-screen environments.

According to Mr. Yang, video investment in 2013 will take cue from 2012 and continue to grow rapidly.

Mobile video, in particular, will be seen as an increasingly effective complement to TV and online video while the gap in mobile usage versus media spend will contract.

“We see a rise in the availability of and consumption of video content apps with co-viewing and second screen experiences, causing publishers and marketers alike to seek out the most effective way to monetize these consumers and advertise to them respectively,” Mr. Yang said.

Video evolution
The mobile video marketplace is certainly in the midst of an important evolutionary step.

“While some aspects of mobile video may be losing appeal, others aspects of the mobile video market are gaining traction,” said Josh Walsh, founder and executive vice president, product at AdTheorent. “With the many options associated with placing video, such as interstitial, pre-roll, in-banner and in-rich media, marketers are becoming more knowledgeable of the different types and ways to place video in the mobile channel.

“Marketers are also starting to ask the right questions about what is the most intelligent and effective way to place that media,” he said.

“While there was a push to get into mobile video environments initially, now there appears to be a movement to become more knowledgeable about the medium before jumping into it. I believe that the more we explore smarter ways to use this medium, the more we will find tangible value here for marketers.”

Marketers are beginning to incorporate video into their mobile efforts in different ways.

More marketers need to implement the channel and continue to test and see what will drive consumer engagement.

“There has been a huge uplift in video-enabled rich media for example,” Mr. Walsh said. “Many marketers are beginning to look at the different options for mobile video ads and how they can be more valuable for their specific initiatives.

“We are seeing a large move toward enabled video inventory for real-time bidding platforms,” he said. “More then ever, we are having conversations with mobile partners that seek to learn more about what RTB can do for their video inventory.

“This movement of using intelligent technology, coupled with video-specific data providers such as Veenome, will enable marketers to make even smarter decisions when placing video inventory. Ultimately, these decisions will become more appealing to marketers. The technology and data is here; we just need to wait for the knowledge to perforate.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York

Associate Editor Rimma Kats covers media, television, research and social networks. Reach her at rimma@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Video, Mobile video, mobile marketing, mobile advertising, mobile

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