Seven years into the mobile revolution, and it has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, the use of mobile has continually grown year over year, with a 58 percent increase in 2015 alone.
By now, we are all familiar with mobile's momentum and the many reasons people pick up their devices other than to simply make a call -- but there's still the matter of how brands can reach them and what type of content will provide the most engagement. The answer to this lies in the numbers. In 2015, the number of smartphone consumers using the small screen to access video spiked 35 percent higher than 2014. Much like mobile's growth itself, it's not showing a loss of speed: It's projected to grow by another 35 percent this year.
It's not simply the visual allure of video that's pulling in mobile viewers -- the number of average TV viewers is predicted to drop for the first time in its history in 2016. This represents a huge opportunity for brands to rethink their distribution strategy. By 2017, mobile is likely to account for over 58 percent of viewing for online videos.
Distribution matters to marketers
With consumers turning to their handheld mobile device for more of their everyday needs, this also includes shopping habits. Lifestyle and shopping on mobile grew over 80 percent from 2014 to 2015. This amount of growth makes ignoring the mobile platform, and not developing an innovative mobile first content marketing strategy with video, a brand's virtual death sentence. The good news is that many marketers are already starting to fight for their brand's relevance. A recent IAB study entitled "2016 Video Ad Spend" revealed that marketers are spending more than $10 million annually on digital video content.
Any marketer today knows the importance of content marketing versus traditional push ads, but in order to make branded content the most effective, it also has to be in the right format and distributed appropriately in order to successfully engage with consumers. Which is far from easy. The problem a lot of marketers are experiencing today, is that the branded content they're producing is fragmented -- spread out across various platforms and channels. In most cases, branded video remains in silos on YouTube or Vimeo. But marketers should consider the potential of these videos as a larger part of the customer journey.
Driving the customer journey through mobile video
A big component of video's success is its engagement properties. Not only is video attention-grabbing, but it has also proven to be attention-holding as well -- over a third of smartphone users watched mobile video content lasting over five minutes or longer at least once a day in 2015. This presents the opportunity for marketers to leverage long form content to tell their stories in exciting new ways.
Creating loyalty among consumers -- the key to a brand's success -- can be complicated, particularly as consumer interest seems to change as quickly as the latest favorite viral video. The one constant is that consumers want personalized messages, unique content, and a sense of familiarity from preferred brands. This is where the core customer journey comes into play. Through curating branded content such as video, social media, and other content channels in one location on mobile, brands are able to cohesively tell their story and provide an enjoyable experience for their customers. This journey will increase both ROI and viewer engagement across content types -- with video being a key driver.
The end goal for marketers is to facilitate the customer journey from acquisition to activation and ultimately solidify brand loyalty. With nearly half of ad views across the U.S. occurring outside of desktop/laptop environments, and the second largest share of views going specifically to smartphones, the connection of mobile to video content marketing is now a seamless one.