Demystifying Mobile Video Myths

This year total US media ad spend sees its largest increase in over a decade, according to recent figures from eMarketer. And with more and more brands setting aside significant budget for the handheld medium, mobile will be among the driving forces.

While marketers have less screen real estate on mobile, research from DG MediaMind found that mobile video completion rates were quite healthy, at 47.2 percent overall. In fact, the automotive vertical saw the highest completion rate at 79.8 percent, followed by CPG (65.7 percent), telecom (54.4 percent), financial (43.7 percent), entertainment (36.7 percent) and retail (35.5 percent). With such high rates of mobile video completion across such a diverse group of industry categories, why are some marketers still hesitant to invest in mobile video?

We sat down with Millennial Media’s Chief Revenue Officer Frank Weishaupt to clear up some of the myths that have surfaced about mobile video.


There’s an assumption that mobile video is best suited for the entertainment industry. Do you agree?

Frank Weishaupt: Not necessarily. While mobile video is an obvious extension to the promotion of an entertainment brand’s latest blockbuster hit or a new TV show, audiences across all verticals benefit from the sight, sound and motion of mobile video. In some cases, we’ve seen mobile video ad engagement rates for the retail and automotive categories at more than double that of entertainment.

Everyone from young adults to baby boomers are actively viewing mobile video and taking additional actions post-view. In its US Mobile Video Advertising 2014 report, eMarketer estimates smartphones will reach 50 percent of the total US population this year, with tablet trailing closely at 46 percent. Much like TV, mobile video is not strictly for any one particular audience.

Should marketers re-purpose the same video content they’re distributing online and via TV onto mobile devices?

Frank Weishaupt: A TV video ad repurposed for mobile will never achieve the same level of granular relevance or dynamic experience as if it were specifically created for the mobile medium. It’s not about blanketing creative in an effort to reach someone, somewhere, somehow, but rather taking into consideration each device’s unique characteristics and the behavior consumers exude while on those devices.

For example, mobile video ads created specifically for mobile enable brands to connect shoppers directly to ecommerce sites, supply deeper product information (like a nearby store location), promote social interactivity, and cultivate brand awareness.

Does timing impact the success of mobile video?

Frank Weishaupt: Make sure your video pre-roll matches the succeeding video’s length. No one is going to watch a 30-second video ad before they are even able to click on and watch a shorter 15-second video. Again, it all comes down to what your consumers want and will tolerate. When in doubt, stick to 15-second video pre-rolls.

What are the most important metrics to identify and measure the success of mobile videos?

Frank Weishaupt: Marketers often use CTR and impressions to determine whether a digital campaign was effective. However, to definitively ensure ROI, marketers must tie any metrics back to KPIs and campaign goals.

As such, CTR and impressions may not always be the right fit. Instead, you may benefit from leveraging third-party online and offline data to look at foot traffic to a physical store location, retail spend – like the total purchases, transactions per purchaser, average basket size — and product purchases.

Videology found that CPG brands have seen 35 percent sales bumps from online and mobile video. Is there merit to these stats and the power of mobile video to drive in-store sales?

Frank Weishaupt: Driving foot traffic to a physical store is just one of the things mobile video has the power to accomplish. It can also be used to create brand awareness and drive higher social engagement.

Thanks, Frank!


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