Mobile Marketing

Mobile Video Techniques To Boost ROI

There’s no mistaking the recent meteoric rise of mobile video consumption. In 2015, global mobile data traffic alone grew 74%, with studies predicting that more than half the time people spend watching videos would be on a mobile device by the end of 2016. Consumers are now watching 100 million hours of video content on Facebook every day, and advertisers are falling over themselves to serve up compelling, engaging content to entertain them. But there’s a catch. 85% of mobile video content is being watched with the sound turned off, and if content requires the device to be turned horizontally, it’s enough to turn most consumers away without engaging. Brands are losing conversions because consumers are not sufficiently engaged to click for sound or can’t be bothered tilting their device to watch a video. So how can brands develop content that’s compatible with these emerging behaviours and successfully navigate the mobile video landscape?

Market in Mute Mode

It seems consumers are more than willing to watch content, but unless it really captures their attention, they’re choosing not to listen. On other platforms, emotive soundtracks and powerful voiceovers effectively create engagement and support the visual message, but reliance on sound on mobile devices now puts the entire campaign at risk. Consumers in mute mode are increasingly common for many reasons. For most people, commitments at work, school or meetings mean they have their phone on silent as much as 94% of the day. In addition, the most popular publishers and platforms auto-play videos in mute mode even when the phone’s sound is turned on. What it all boils down to, is that mobile video content designed for sound is designed to fail.

Make the First 3 Seconds Count

Silent video content is not all bad news for advertisers. Hand in hand with mute mode comes auto-play. This is increasingly common in social and feed based environments and gives advertisers a few seconds to grab the customer’s attention as they scroll through, albeit without sound. Unlike video created for TV, where brands can slowly unfold a story or wait til the end for a dramatic product reveal, mobile video has about 3 seconds to hit the mark.  That’s how long you’ve got to convince someone to click and listen.  At it’s simplest, a striking visual message, with supporting text in a caption style can be effective. The most successful brands are being super creative about how to capture attention up front and in silence. Even video that’s not designed for a social or feed based environment is likely to end up there at some point, and your chances of social sharing are limited if you can’t make the 3 second sell with sound turned off.

Unlock ‘Unmute’ With Authenticity

77% of APAC responders to an Unruly study say they would mute video ads. The most effective way to encourage consumers to turn sound on is authenticity that is immediately recognisable and effective – even in silence. Where there’s a perceived visual authenticity, consumers are more likely to unmute the ad.  Capitol Records, Olay, and Mode recently paired up to create ‘behind-the-scenes’ video content featuring a recognisable female role model who was able to genuinely connect with their audience. Creating authentic looking content featuring a real woman whose image resonated with customers earned Olay 10 million video views in 2 weeks.

Don’t Re-use TV Ads

Ads that excel on TV are not only sized inappropriately for mobile, they’re also made in a big blockbuster video style. Due to the intimate status mobile devices hold, high production and entertainment values don’t always stack up on a handheld device. The storytelling medium is more drawn out and relies on customers in a lean back, listening, already engaged state.  TV-formatted ads can alienate consumers who find that style of content presumptive or even arrogant in the mobile format. Increasingly consumers are frustrated with content that doesn’t work well vertically or makes no sense without sound. Visual storytelling via video is integral to mobile campaigns but content is always more effective when developed natively for mobile. Successful mobile video ads are designed for a mobile audience and appropriate for the delivery platform.  They are authentic, direct and relatable – values that are not always a focus for the shared viewing and mass audience nature of TV.

Remove Barriers with Vertical Mobile Video Formatting

Vertical video matters just as much as silent video. Consumers are almost always (98% of the time) holding their smartphones vertically. This is partly because it’s more comfortable for the user and partly because most mobile app and  browsing experiences are designed with a vertical environment in mind. In the past, video content was mainly designed for larger, wider TV screens or desktops, but mobile audiences engages with content on smaller, vertical screens.

Producers familiar with the horizontal canvas of desktop and TV must shift their thinking when designing for mobile video.  Expecting your customers to turn their phone sideways to enjoy your content is increasingly unrealistic. The general consensus from consumers is that they’d rather not have to.  Marketers who use portrait view provide a better mobile experience, yet brands continue to serve up mobile video content in a landscape format.  Portrait or vertically oriented video content also offers the flexibility of more screen real estate below the video to support the creative message and drive conversions.

Marketers who create content specifically for the mobile audience can use video effectively to add a powerful authenticity to their brand, and connect with new customers. Understanding how consumers are engaging with mobile video is key to connecting effectively. In all cases, the top priority is capturing attention up front without reliance on sound for engagement.  Vertical formats and natively designed content with a mobile audience in mind will all add up to success in mobile video advertising.

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