As we gear up for yet another school year, parents and kids are shopping for books, backpacks, uniforms, and gadgets. Back-to-school is the second largest shopping season of the year with sales expected to total $828.81 billion in 2016, up 2.6 percent year-over-year, according to eMarketer. Previously, this meant heading to a shopping mall. However, the digital age has changed the way we shop, and the adoption of mobile has introduced new ways to research, compare, and buy. It's important that advertisers reach these mobile shoppers to encourage mobile purchases or drive them in-store.
Consumers expect engaging experiences irrespective of the medium they use to shop. eMarketer revealed that, unsurprisingly, smartphones are the device of choice for multitaskers with 146.9 million Americans simultaneously using their phone, while watching TV -- representing more than two-thirds of internet users. With this shift in consumption, it's clear that brands need to allocate marketing budgets towards mobile videos.
Why mobile video?
According to Strategy Analytics, worldwide revenue from mobile video will reach $25 billion by 2021, and mobile video viewers will reach 2 billion users by the end of 2022. Mobile video advertising is dynamic and eye-catching, especially when telling a story. It's fast becoming one of the most popular advertising channels among marketers due to:
Data from DG Media Mind shows the average click-through-rate (CTR) for in-stream video ads was 1.11 percent -- much higher than mobile banner ads with a CTR of 0.88 percent. It's also become apparent that video ads offer better engagement to users and advertisers.
Mobile videos are used to release product teasers, video tours and to help bring a product to life. This highly versatile nature makes video advertising far more dynamic and interactive, and it allows marketers to increase engagement and stimulation with customers.
Higher conversion rates
A survey from Liveclicker revealed that videos on product landing pages on a retailer's website can increase the average order value by 50 percent. Retailers who uploaded videos to their product pages had 80 percent higher conversion rates than those with videos on less than 25 percent of their landing pages.
Mobile video is always available and is viewed without primetime hours like online or TV. Although mobile video consumption is often complimentary to other devices, mobile is often the sole source of media consumption, especially on the go. Due to the multiple short bursts of time spent on mobile, video ads typically range from 10–15 seconds and are viewed one at a time, rather than the back to back ads you see on TV.
According to Invodo, 81 percent of online shoppers will research products before buying, and those who watched a product-related video were 1.6x more likely to buy the product than shoppers who didn't. Additionally, 52 percent of consumers admitted that watching product videos made them more confident in their online purchase decisions.
Back to school: The opportunity
Brands can create excitement and a sense of urgency with mobile video, while also telling a story to engage shoppers. Advertisers can create effective mobile video campaigns through a variety of ways, including:
Video ads on mobile are often repurposed from desktop and TV, and they are filmed in landscape mode. Brands are starting to film content vertically to match the natural position of how users hold their phone. They can deliver a full screen video experience, without expecting users to rotate their phones.
Smartphones have a limited screen size compared to traditional mediums. Mobile video ad creatives should take this into account by making ads crisp and clear while considering bold, visual imagery. Viewers shouldn't struggle to make out what is happening in the video, and any text should stand out and be legible.
Short and crisp
Attention spans on mobile are short lived, creating a need for concise video ads to keep users engaged. The relevance and content also dictates the length of the video, since 70 percent of consumers won't watch an ad longer than 10-15 seconds. Brand impact is strongest within the first few seconds, forcing advertisers to optimize ads with messaging and branding at the start.
Actions and incentives
A direct response component is necessary in all ads to engage users through a call to action (CTA) button such as "Tap to view website," "Tap to share on social media," or "Tap to download more info." The CTA can be a URL, a button or a hashtag that provides additional opportunities to scale campaign reach and measure ROI.
Engage without audio
The popularity of mobile autoplay video ads has increased but there are concerns this can be perceived as too intrusive. Mobile video ad units should include an opt-in button to initiate audio, but the creative should be engaging enough to get the user's attention without sound.
Mobile video: A winning combination
As users become obsessive with their mobile devices and the entire school ecosystem from parents, teachers and students engage in mobile experiences, mobile video ads offer great potential for marketers to stay ahead. The adoption of mobile will continue for school assignments, student-teacher collaboration and feedback.
Every consumer has unique personalities and habits -- marketers should experiment with types, lengths and formats to make campaigns efficient based on responses. Investment in video ads will only increase over the coming years and it's important for marketers to develop sophisticated mobile ad campaigns to drive brand value.