Here's a big prediction for 2016: consumers are going to continue living connected lives. In fact, they're going to get even more connected in the coming year. Shocking, right?
Hopefully, for most advertisers, the connected world presents tons of opportunity to innovate and find better ways to engage their audiences, because connectivity is here to stay. The real trends and innovations in 2016 emerge from how fast everything is continuing to change as a result of this connectivity, and how quickly consumers are changing their behaviors in pace with this evolution.
Because over-the-top (OTT) content is often central to this connectivity -- essentially allowing consumers to turn laptops, tablets and phones into "TV" devices -- digital video is quickly becoming the all-device connector of consumers and content. And, of course, where there are consumers and content, there are advertisers and brands vying to get their attention. This means that 2016 will undoubtedly see a significant shift in the way video is delivered, what video looks like, and how advertisers will be able to use it like never before to initiate consumer engagement.
Here are six things brands and advertisers can expect going into the new year:
OTT content and digital video will join forces
Since 2010, five million people have cut the cable cord. But breaking up is never easy. And in 2016, OTT content will ultimately let consumers continue to take the TV driver's seat they always wanted -- content on their terms and their time. In fact, 2015 saw audiences streaming 37 million hours of video per week on Roku devices alone. Nearly 80 percent of video ad buyers plan to invest more in connect TV advertising in 2016, which is not surprising given that interactive video delivered on Roku has an average completion rate of 99 percent.
Interactive mobile video will catch fire
According to eMarketer, in July 2015, mobile finally reached its tipping point, with 51 percent of the average adult's total time spent on digital devices going to mobile screen time. And while we're spending half our time on mobile devices, it's still a very noisy and multi-tasking type of device, forcing advertisers to become incredibly savvy when using video on this medium. Viewer-friendly and the perfect complement to TV advertising, there's no doubt mobile video is poised to do big things next year.
The 5-second spot will get its 15 minutes of fame
Snapchat and Vine have paved the way for short-form, visible content, and in 2016, the 5-second video spot will be yet another way consumers can grasp branded content without the commitment. The tricky part for advertisers will be to ensure they are using every video feature at their disposal to transform a 5-second view into a 60-second engagement.
Programmatic video will get creative
It's no secret that more personal content yields better results. 56 percent of marketers cite higher response and engagement rates as the top reason for personalizing ad content. As programmatic strategies enjoyed being the marketing trend of 2015, in 2016, it's no longer enough to simply serve video more efficiently. It's time to couple this strategy with personalized, advanced creative, which customizes messages and content to specific audience segments and behaviors -- and complements programmatic buying strategies already in place. Finally, marketers will get to combine the data they use to targeted and personalize content on other mediums with video, making a powerful visual execution even more relevant.
Video ROI will get a facelift
Viewability dominated the video airwaves in 2015. So much that advertisers actually began using it as a measurement of video success, with 43 percent of ad buyers stating is was an ROI measurement. But as TV goes digital, and ad budgets continue to shift to digital video, establishing a true form of ROI measurement will become crucial for advertisers to understand video's role in their marketing model, and how engagement drives KPIs.
Engagement has long been used as catch-all term for signaling success with a viewer. But the truth is, when video was (only) a passive medium, there was no such thing as direct engagement -- at least not in the sense that would allow an advertiser to attribute direct ROI across key funnel metrics such as brand lift, purchase intent, social media followers, or even sales. As interactive video increasingly becomes the norm, new metrics for video will arise that will far outweigh a "view."
Shoppable video will become a must-have
In the not-so-distant past, shoppable video was merely a novelty for most marketers. But as interactive video capabilities become more accessible and affordable, we see 2016 as the year shoppable video becomes a must-have in the retail marketer's toolbox. It's no surprise, since nearly 60 percent of consumers claim they want real-time promotions and offers. No longer just an awareness vehicle, video can instantly become a direct path to purchase: a hotbed of shopping opportunities, essentially bringing the online shopping experience to the ad itself. Even simple executions such as "Buy It Now" buttons, product recommendations, or store locators can quickly transform a once-passive medium into an in-the-moment e-commerce experience.
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