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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Video Advertising on Mobile- A guide for Marketers | LinkedIn

Video Advertising on Mobile- A guide for Marketers | LinkedIn

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Video Advertising on Mobile- A guide for Marketers

Everybody considers Digital to be the cake that you can have and eat too as a marketer. It's the media of the new era. And mobile is the icing on this cake.
While everyone is gung-ho on mobile, you as a marketer may be wondering what to do amid all this hoopla. Yes, mobile has the reach. Yes, mobile is the future. But, how to make the most of it? Those tiny banners that lurk beneath everything that the user does, or those annoying pop-ups that force the user to hit the close button no sooner than they have appeared? What can possibly be crammed into those 320x50 banners?
You may think: "My brand has a narrative. I have a story to tell. My story has amazing stickiness and pull". Now on TV, you get a full 30 second or more of footage to sing your tune. Does mobile allow that?
Well yes, it does. You can surely do video ads on mobile. So if people are going to watch my video on their mobile phones, I might as well do it well. Isn't it?
So here's a quick checklist to follow before you embark on the first mobile video campaign for your company/product/client:
1. The length of your video: Try and keep it at 30 seconds. Shorter than that and it may not have the desired impact. Anything longer may not keep the viewer interested. However if you have a really short video at 15-20 seconds, go for traditional video ads like pre-rolls to video content. For longer ones, go for innovative and native placements like full fledged video ad SDKs, Facebook's new premium video ads product and the like. Also keep in mind the duration limit offered by the placementMost pre-roll placements do not offer anything longer than 20 seconds.
2. Messaging/Brand placement in the video ad: Unless your video is really awesome and viral, most people may not watch it till the end. So it's important that the logos and other branding, plus the message for the desired action is presented as early as possible.
3. Look for video quartile report as per VAST standard: A video ad is not just another display impression. It offers you the amazing ability to know that the users actually saw it, rather than that it just appeared in some obscure position with no eyeballs. VAST (Video Ad Serving Template) is a global standard for serving and measuring the video play. A standard quartile report will tell you how many people actually watched the video for 25% of its duration, 50%, 75% and completely. It's a powerful tool to determine the effectiveness of your video ad, as well as the efficacy of the channel/publisher you are using. You may even do an A/B testing of multiple videos to see which one is able to hold people's attention for the longest duration.
4. Invest in 3rd party ad tracking: A simple Google Analytics based tracking may not cut ice here, as it won't tell you the two most important metrics, viz., impressions served and VAST quartile report. There's a multitude of high quality 3rd party Ad-tracking solutions available- Mediamind, Doubleclick & Atlas to name just a few.
5. Pay a premium for completed videos if you are a mass brand: If you are P&G or Coke, you want people to really tune in and stay tuned in. Afterall the game is all about Top-of-the-mind recall, and that happens when people consume your content longer. Pay a premium if you have to, but get the best out of your budget by ensuring you get the maximum possible completed views.
6. Measure the impact of the video: That's the classic marketing puzzle. Digital, including mobile, as we know, helps you measure almost everything. However amidst the multitude of data and metrics, it's important to decide what matters the most.
The right targeting in terms of the audience and content, proper display & engagement are the three major checkpoints for mobile video.
a. Audience targeting: It's one thing to put the plan on paper and another to see it through. Often the campaign runs on blind networks. While you do need to mention your required targeting to the publisher/agency/network, it's imperative that you keep a checkpoint too. One of the ways can be to earmark a small portion of the budget for a small survey wherein your landing page is not the usual one but a small survey, which can tell you the user profile as well as the site/app mix. This can also be framed as a classic 'A/B' test wherein one group is not exposed to the campaign and their behaviour is recorded via the survey, and compared to the other group which is shown the ads.
b. Proper Display: Web based video players generally play all the formats that we have got used to over the years. However the mobile ecosystem differs. Android handsets may have different specification requirements as compared to iOS and other Operating Systems. They may have different specs for different versions of the same OS, as well as for handset resolution etc. For example it's important that the codec is changed from Main to Baseline for Android. Also Frame Rates, Bit Rates, Audio codec etc. should be optimized. It's imperative to ensure that the video is encoded/recoded to match these requirements so that they may play on the maximum possible inventory. If not yourself, the end executor (publisher/network) should be made to do it.
c. Engagement: In my opinion, this is the most abused word over the last decade in marketing. However while we are at it, we should understand what is important to us as far as video advertising is concerned. In the video, give out a phone number, Facebook link etc. In the survey we talked about above, ask people how did they like the video, how could you improve their product or ad experience etc. Keep a tab on the calls to that number on visits on the Facebook page. You can give out specific coupons that may be redeemed and thus track the source. Try and separate Passive behaviour vs Active behaviour- for example between Likes and post-click action.
If you as a marketer think I have missed out on anything, do suggest. Would love to have a hearty feedback and discussion on this.
Disclosure: The writer works with Seventynine- a b/u of Networkplay Media Pvt Ltd (A Bertelsmann group company). Seventynine's flagship product is app jacket - a patent pending ad integration and monetization solution for mobile applications, focusing on video ad delivery.

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