We all know that our time spent on mobile phones is increasing, but this year, for the first time, our time spent on mobile overtook TV. That’s more hours checking social media, watching content and viewing ads on our phones, than watching television, or on desktop. It may have been a long time coming, but surpassing that tipping point is a momentous shift for brands.
Customers are more likely to be viewing your ad during the three hours and 43 minutes they spend on their mobile phones than anywhere else. Watching on a small screen, probably while multitasking, perhaps on the move. They may be on battery saving mode, which means a darker screen, or sneaking a glance while at their desks on silent mode. Advertisers can no longer count on a captive TV audience watching in full size, sound and colour.
This shift demands an adapted strategy. The traditional process of creating above-the-line creative, then using versions those assets for the rest of your marketing collateral, doesn’t allow for the customer’s evolved experience.
To combat this, marketers have been seeking mobile optimised content; thinking ‘mobile-first’ to ensure their ads continue to perform. Marketers are well aware that branded content shared on social should be different to the content shared elsewhere. It needs to be bitesize, interesting and actionable as well as relatable and custom-made for the platform. But the savviest marketers are going a step further, with double mobile optimised content.
Expert social creators
How? Well firstly, they are enlisting expert social creators to generate their assets. Influencers are specialists in making content for mobile. They’ve spent years testing formats to see what can stop a scrolling thumb in a millisecond. Their success and strong social followings are testament to their ability to create content that performs. They know how to capture a social user’s attention.
Still life photography for example has always been popular, but content creators on Instagram have made the #flatlay trend go mainstream. There is something about the simple and oh-so visually pleasing flatlay which really lends itself to a Instagram grid – its simplicity standing out in a sea of selfies. But then, just as quickly as a trend has caught on, influencers are busy innovating to find the next big thing. Staying at the cutting edge of social content trends is how they stay relevant in a quickly evolving space.
Marketers can leverage this by using these social tastemakers to create their branded assets. This creates a solid foundation for the second part of their mobile optimisation.
There are tried and tested creative elements that can be added to an image or video to help it perform well on social media. Take Instagram Stories. Although users are consuming Story content faster than any other mobile format, tips and tricks can make them stop and take notice.
- Fast-paced edits, which capture attention from the very first frame is one successful technique. Facebook’s advice is to keep an ad 'As short as it can be and as long as it needs to be’. A fast pace is not only attention-grabbing, but mindful of your time-poor consumer. Communicate your message quickly and clearly
- Even static images can be transformed into more eye-catching moving images with animated elements. An already engaging influencer-generated flatlay, edited to show a product rolling in and out of shot, is a great example of double mobile optimisation
- Adding sound is another effective tactic. While you can’t be sure that your customer is watching with sound, you should be prepared if they are. The more senses an ad engages, the harder it is to ignore. According to Facebook, 80% of Stories with voice-over or music drove better lower-funnel results than ads without
- There are also plenty of Instagram features available that help drive conversion. Maximise the potential of social ads by adding calls to action, the ‘swipe up’ function, or shoppable tags to encourage users to take action the moment inspiration strikes. These elements will streamline the path to purchase, making your ads more effective.
Consider influencers an expert recourse for social content creation. They know how to create branded content that feels native, not like a hard sell. Then optimise their engaging assets with techniques that make a truly effective ad. This double optimisation is already putting brands a step ahead of those who take assets created for another channel and cut and shut them into mobile formats. It will give your content the best chance of success.
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