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5 best-practice tips for designing a mobile video campaign

By Ujjal Kohli

Mobile is rapidly becoming the screen of choice for many consumers. With mobile usage projected to increase by a factor of more than 20 in the next five years, marketers no longer ask if they should advertise on mobile, but how and how much.

In a recent IBM survey of marketers, nearly 70 percent said that they have bought mobile advertising or plan to within the next year.

Mobile video is especially attractive to marketers due to its engaging experience and effectiveness.

Mobile video advertising combines full-screen immersion with finely tuned targeting and rapidly growing reach, making it one of the most effective brand mediums ever.

In fact, according to Yahoo, ad recall by people who viewed a mobile ad was 15 percent higher than any other channel, and InsightExpress found that mobile video ads create twice as much ad awareness as online video campaigns.

By the end of 2011, there will be more than 150 million devices ? smartphones, tablets, iPods and other connected devices ? that can deliver interactive video ads. Obviously, mobile video advertising is an ever-growing force for marketers to connect with consumers.

What is the best way for marketers to use mobile video? Here are five best practices to follow when designing a mobile video campaign.

1. Run multiple types of video ads to reach the largest possible audience
There are several ways to serve video ads on a mobile device and not all mobile video ads are created equal: Interactive in-stream video, which is a video ad played before video content; Interactive pre-roll, a video ad played within other content such as in between game levels or at application launch; and Tap to interactive video, a video ad served after the consumer taps a banner. 

Running ads in all of these formats ensures the most extensive audience reach.

In-stream video advertising is more effective when run across broader audiences. In-stream video advertising running across an entire network drives 22 percent higher clickthrough rates (CTR) than more narrowly targeted in-stream campaigns.

Also, in-stream video has a very high 87 percent completion rate.

Interactive pre-roll is more effective at brand building between screens within an app than at the launch of an app. Video completion rates average 36 percent between screens, versus 23 percent at app launch.

Combining mobile video advertising units drives all brand marketing objectives and helps stretch your marketing dollars.

With a multi-format approach, you can effectively target the greatest number of mobile consumers.

2. Combine video and display advertising to increase engagement
A mobile video campaign can supercharge your return on display and rich media ads.

Banner and full-page ads experience a 45 percent and 50 percent increase in CTR, respectively, when paired with in-stream video during a campaign run in the same properties.

Having already experienced brand immersion through the video ad, consumers are more prepared and conditioned to click on banner and full-page ads for the same brand.

Adding a click to video option in display ads can also lead to increased video ad views. For maximum effect, video and display are best run on the same sites or apps.

3. A tap to interactive video option can create a very immersive brand experience with long-form video ads
After the typical 15-second video ad, a tap to interactive video option sends users to a longer, full-length commercial.

These units can be up to eight minutes long and create excellent branding opportunities, offering an extended immersive experience to a willing consumer.

Because of the opt-in nature of these videos, uninterested consumers are not burdened with an extended ad, but consumers seeking more information have an immediate, engaging outlet.

Tap to interactive video can be used throughout an app and has extremely high engagement, with a 21 percent video completion rate and an average CTR of 7.2 percent.

These stats show that this unit finds the most engaged consumers through massive reach. 

4. Custom buttons create a unique, interactive brand experience in video ads
Advertisers can display buttons on a video that prompt a user to take action and extend the marketing experience.

For example, buttons can:

? Tap to Web site
? Tap to share on Facebook
? Tap to buy from the iTunes store
? Tap to add to calendar

Consumers engage at a high rate with these buttons: a 1.27 percent CTR for interactive in-stream video with a standard ?tap to Web site? button.

Additionally, we see a 1.5 percent average CTR for interactive in-stream video with custom buttons.

Beyond these buttons, brands can also create custom buttons for a unique interactive experience.

This interactivity takes advantage of a consumer?s interest in a product and immediately creates an opportunity for viral communication or a purchase.

5. Branding is most effective when ads are displayed alongside premium content
Brands gain the most from advertising alongside premium content, and mobile marketers should seek assurances as to where their ads will be displayed.

Uncertainty around where ads will be served is dangerous ? if displayed along with controversial or less-than-desirable content, a brand?s image can be quickly tarnished.

It is best to seek out a transparent advertising platform that specifies the content with which your ads will be played and associated.

This information should be indicated in the media plan before the campaign and validated in the reporting following the campaign.

MOBILE VIDEO advertising is a uniquely effective brand medium.

The single-task nature of mobile devices creates a uniquely immersive video experience.

Mobile video advertising combines that immersive experience with the ability to immediately take action ? whether that is sharing the video, watching a longer video or buying a product.

It takes more than just a showing a video to reach a consumer. These simple best-practice tips ensure that mobile video advertising campaigns take full advantage of mobile video?s unique ability to build and expand brand relationships with consumers.

Ujjal Kohli is CEO of Rhythm NewMedia, Mountain View, CA. Reach him at .