Consumers are becoming more mobile. Mobile-phone subscriptions outnumber the fixed-line variety by nearly 2-to-1 in the United States as reported by Slate and the New America Foundation. Technology research firm Gartner projects that, by 2015, total mobile advertising revenue will reach $20.6 billion. The opportunity for us marketers is staggering.
Some brands already are seizing opportunities. For example, ESPN recently said it considers mobile the “first screen.” According to Michael Bayle, vice president and general manager of ESPN mobile, mobile is the most effective way to reach an audience “from an international standpoint.”
So, what’s the best way to approach this opportunity? First, we need to see how mobile compares to other screens.
The Mobile Screen vs. Computer Screens
Marketers tend to think of mobile as an extension of the Web. That’s a natural leap to make, considering the sophisticated
functionality of smartphones, tablets, and even some feature phones. But it’s not exactly right.
User behavior is different on a mobile than it is on a laptop. For example, people who multitask at a computer are more distracted and less engaged than mobile users. Say I’m watching a video; I’m likely to check a few emails while the previews roll then go back to the video once they are done. This is less likely to happen on a mobile. During commutes and in-between meetings, the mobile device is my only screen.
Also, users respond differently to media on mobile than they do on the Web. Mobile users remember more. In 2011, Rhythm NewMedia reportedthat the mobile video retention rate is superior to online. The company found that the viewer retention rate after 60 seconds was 81% on its mobile ad network compared to 55% online.
The Mobile Screen vs. the Television Screen
So, how does mobile compare to television? Both are transient mediums that offer rich media experiences and that are controlled by users. Unlike television, however, mobile enables interaction. Mobile isn’t just about reach—it’s about interaction. Plus, mobile users can share preferred video clips instantly via social networking platforms and sharing tools—unlike television viewers can. This kind of sharing drives virality and bonds consumers in a spontaneous community experience.
Why Use Video on the Mobile Screen?
The recent Invisible Children Kony 2012 campaign reveals the power of social media and video—and demonstrates how quickly compelling content can go viral. For consumer branding, such businesses as Corning, T-Mobile and dtac have also benefited from this powerful combination. All placed video ads that went viral globally. The common thread for videos that go viral is an emotional theme with universal appeal and no dependency on dialog or captions. Sometimes, the best creative ideas are the simplest ones.
So, what does this mean for marketers, who already know about television and online advertising? It means marketers should seize the myriad opportunities for their marketing efforts on mobiles.
Here are seven reasons to use video in your mobile marketing.
- Video delivers a higher return on investment than other media, such as banner ads.
- Cisco predicts that video consumption will dominate the mobile experience. (Learn about mobile video now to keep pace with your customers’ viewing habits and to keep your brand relevant.)
- Context is critical. Expect to tailor your communications to a location, handset, or device.
- Fifteen-second videos are the ideal duration. Consumers gravitate towards clips rather than long-form content on mobile.
- All existing media placement rules apply in the mobile video space. It’s just that the grazing consumer tires faster, so plan multiple creative refreshes and space them carefully. Look for a partner or platform that can provide user profiles for segmented campaign targeting.
- In addition to segmentation, use data analytics and consumer insights gathered by quick exit survey polls to help predict what will prove popular for your users.
- Stay nimble. We are just at the beginning of a new world of mobile video consumption.