How to get the best out of video ad campaigns

(c)iStock.com/Martin Dimitrov

The early pioneering days of mobile advertising were inundated with video ads that were unattractive, glitchy, or impractical. Worst of all they were slow to load, pushing EDGE and 3G beyond their limits. When they did load, many mobile phones couldn’t even display them properly.

Fast forward to 2016 and research clearly indicates that mobile video ads are now an extremely smart vehicle that brands and agencies have to consider.

Now, delivered almost instantly and in HD quality, video ads engage users unlike any other advertising format, offering high click-through rates and excellent retention.

Business Insider reports that video ads sport a 1.84% click-through rate, placing them leagues ahead of other ad formats.

Video ads enable consumers to experience products and services in a way that can’t be done with interstitials. They’re powerful mechanisms which can inform and excite consumers about what to expect from an app, product, service or game.

Mobile video doesn’t simply command attention, it’s fast becoming the best way for consumers to discover, research and explore products before buying on mobile platforms.

In the US alone, mobile video ad revenues are set to explode from $3.54bn in 2015 to $13.3bn in 2020 thanks to a 30% annual growth rate. Additionally, revenues from mobile video ads are set to overtake revenue from desktop video ads this for the first time, with projected figures of $5.6bn for mobile and $5.1bn for desktop.

That video ads are important is incontrovertible. Maximise the effectiveness of your mobile video ads campaign with the following best practices.

Employ messaging or storytelling

In order to convey the attributes of a product in detail, graphics (and certainly not banners) may not be able to story tell the full features of a game, app, or brand.

Videos are able to tell you a story rather than a banner, interstitial, or native. This is what the video format does best, so it’s what you should take advantage of. For example, this Foursquare video ad has a simple story that revolves around the app.

Make it watchable

Simplicity, pace, entertainment factor: these are the three pillars of a watchable video ad.

Mobile tech has evolved to a level where marketers can leverage high production quality video into the palms of consumers in seconds

The premise behind your video must be simple, its pace brisk but not dizzying. And entertaining (interesting visuals, music) from top-to-bottom. An ad that doesn’t get watched is a waste of the mobile users’ time, and certainly yours as well.

A good example of a watchable ad is this one from HotelTonight. This video is clear how the app works and entertaining till the end.

Keep it product-centered

More than any other format, it's important to clearly illustrate what makes the product intuitive in video ads. This helps the user educate themselves (15-30sec) what the app or game is about.

What makes mobile apps so engaging is the superior experience they afford the user, due to advantages over web apps in UI and UX. This Wishbone ad purely sticks to the app functions, and educates how potential users could use it themselves.

Employ craft

This is perhaps the most subjective best practice. There is no way to easily define what looks good and why, but video ads that are the most entertaining are the ones that takes are skillfully made, trying something new, and leading the eye. For example, this Heroes Charge ad

Share funnel data with ad partners 

Many advertisers hesitate at the thought of sharing down funnel data with advertising partners, but these data are vital for understanding what’s working well and what needs some work.

Types of data to share can range based on your ROI goals. But passing data on what your users do or how they engage in the app once they’ve installed from the video ad helps you optimise your future ad campaigns.

Things like IAP, purchases, game play, and browsing behavior all help you customise your ads for future installs.

For the exact same reasons, when testing the performance of video ads, mobile marketers should capture and analyse core data to make informed decisions about their mobile video campaign.

Providing your advertising partners with post-install data helps them acquire  new consumers and lets them better know at what rate to acquire them at for you.

Conclusion

Mobile tech has evolved to a level where marketers can leverage high production quality video into the palms of consumers in seconds, making mobile video ads an ideal format for brands, agencies and consumers.

Mobile ads are similar to TV ads in that they increase your brand recognition and overall awareness, but better than TV ads they allow for conversion (and the tracking of it) directly from the ad itself.

You can demonstrate the true potential and value of your products and services and actually track the installs it drives. Furthermore, but testing  and sharing data with your ad platform partners, you can optimize your video ad campaigns and reach your business go

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