With the world having more than two billion smartphone subscribers, it is no wonder that mobile video ads are also rapidly growing. According to data from eMarketer, mobile video ad spending in the United States jumped from $720 million in 2013 to $1.5 billion in 2014 – doubling in value in just a year.
But the growth does not stop there: By 2018, mobile video ad spending is set to quadruple to a whopping $6 billion.
Mobile video is booming because it works. In fact, Millennial Media found that mobile video ads were five times more engaging than traditional standard banners. What this means is that every mobile marketer should at least explore video advertising. This article could be a good place to start.
Mobile video advertising on social media
Mobile and social are a match made in heaven. Everyone seems to be on Facebook, Twitter, or some other kind of social media network these days – especially when they are using their mobile devices, as the following pie chart shows:
When it comes to advertising, a study conducted by Opera MediaWorks and comScore revealed that viewing mobile video ads on native environments (where ads look like the regular content in terms of content, format and style – like on social) improves performance metrics such as mobile ad recall, purchase intent, and favorability. This explains why many social platforms are upping their video ad offerings lately.
The following networks dominate the scene.
Here’s what they have to offer:
Mobile advertising accounted for around 76 percent of Facebook’s revenue during the second quarter of 2015. Facebook has already run successful brand campaigns for companies like Under Armour and Procter & Gamble.
When running a mobile video campaign on Facebook, you can choose between Facebook’s Standard Video Ads, which are targeted the same way as regular Facebook ads, and Premium Video Ads, which allow advertisers to drive branding objectives while reaching a large audience – in the hope of unlocking big advertiser spend from top brands.
Premium video starts playing without sound but when tapped, it expands into a full-screen view and sound will start. These ads are bought like spots on television as they are based on TRPs (Targeted Gross Rating Points) to reach a specific audience over a short period of time.
You can target people based on location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections. Just recently, Facebook announced its support of the auto-play video ad format, as well as multi-image carousel ads and dynamic product ads. Videos can go as long as 45 minutes.
Facebook follows a flexible payment scheme that suits your daily budget, starting at a minimum of $5 per day. Ultimately, average CPI (cost per install) figures vary greatly depending on gender, age, interests, OS, and country.
YouTube is the undisputed king of video content, so it makes a lot of sense to advertise on the platform. It boasts one billion unique users per month on mobile, with the average YouTube viewing session lasting a stunning 40 minutes. Viewers are targeted using the same AdWords Interface being used by Google.
YouTube has several ad formats, which include Mobile Roadblock, InStream Video Ads, and Brand Channel. Roadblocks allow you to see how many people viewed your ad on YouTube mobile for one day. InStream ads run when users play a video from a premium inventory partner on the Android YouTube app. Brand Channels are great in promoting brand engagement for both Android and iOS users. Video ad formats include skippable and non-skippable video ads.
Videos can run up to 45 minutes and performance can be measured using a built-in YouTube Analytics system. It has an average cost-per-view ranging from 10 to 30 cents.
Since Twitter has always been a mobile-first platform, ad revenues from mobile advertising climbed as much as 88 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. With a total of 700 million monthly users, the company can target users based on geography, gender, language, keyword, interest and username. You can also modify targeting settings according to mobile plan carrier, OS, and users on WiFi.
Brands can upload and distribute their own video ads by using Twitter’s Promoted Video, which appear in a user’s Twitter timeline. Some video clips appear as pre-roll or mid-roll ads. They can also auto-play. In July, the social network allowed advertisers to drive app installs directly from promoted videos.
When it comes to cost, Twitter uses a cost-per-view buying model, which means you will only get charged when a user plays your video.
Instagram enjoyed huge success when it introduced its video program in mid-2013, and it is expected to pull in $2 billion in mobile ad revenue next year, thanks to its 200 million monthly users. It makes use of native video ads that pretty much look the same as user-posted videos, which can now be viewed as landscape for a more cinematic feel.
The only difference is that it contains a “Sponsored” tag on the upper right corner. With a new video length of 30 seconds, you can adjust targeting according to various demographics like age, country, and gender.
One of the brands that first used Instagram’s video ads is Fox, which used the Marquee ad type to promote its newest horror series, “Scream Queens.” Marquee pushes the promos in front of a large number of users, helping advertisers reach a huge number of users quickly.
Mobile video ads in Instagram are not yet widely available, though the platform is currently working towards an ads API and tying up with Facebook’s ad buying interfaces. Marketers who have already tried the video advertising program say that they’re paying as little as 2 to 3 cents per view.
Mobile Analytics for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube campaigns
There are only two ways to measure your mobile video campaigns – whether app install or re-engagement – on the above social networks: you can either go in-house as all offer built-in analytics tools, or work with official mobile measurement partners that are used mainly to get deeper attribution and marketing analytics, and to compare all marketing channels, ad networks and campaigns in a central dashboard.
Boasting over 100 million monthly active users – the vast majority of whom are millennials – Snapchat uses the “disappearing model,” in which photos and videos uploaded by users vanish within a set limit of time.
Snapchat video ads appear in a user’s friends list under the Recent Updates section. Just like a normal Snapchat message, users need to tap the ad to play the video in full. This unique method of holding to play can help you know exactly at which point a user stops watching the ad.
Another way to run a video ad on Snapchat is through Discover, its news section. Ads automatically play as the user swipes to view the next piece of Discover content, although they can easily be swiped away if the user doesn’t want to watch the ad.
At present, targeting is limited to country, age and gender. It has a standard price of two cents for a 10-second video, but premium ads can run longer.
Instead of videos, photo sharing platform Pinterest uses Cinematic Pins, which are GIF-like animations that play backwards and forwards every time the user scrolls up and down. These are around 30 to 50 frames long – short enough to be played before the user scrolls past the ad.
At present, Cinematic Pins are not yet fully available for advertisers, although it is currently testing with select ad partners. It will be releasing a pricing model that allows marketers to pay for Promoted Pins based on engagement. Pinterest also has its own analytics platform, but it has not yet been upgraded for Cinematic Pins.
Mobile video advertising on mobile ad networks
In order to maximize reach and diversify your advertising efforts, you should always try to find a mix of social and “standard” mobile ad networks to work with. There are many networks out there that include video ads in their offering.
Here a few leading ones:
Dubbed as “the leader of in-app video advertising,” Vungle is the top choice for web developers like Zeptolab and Mobjo. It uses programmatic advertising technology that automates buying, placement, and optimization of media inventory.
Vungle Premium is the company’s latest offering when it comes to mobile video ads. It has two main features: Vungle Score, which acts as a quality indicator that allows you to identify popular apps for advertising opportunities; and Vungle Billboard, which helps you find desired target audiences.
Owned by mobile ad company Opera, AdColony is a leading mobile video advertising and monetization platform. According to the company, its instant-play video ad technology means that unlike other networks, there’s virtually no load time regardless of connection strength or device type.
With video making up about 35 percent of its business, the ad network is embracing data and real time programmatic advertising. The company claims that its algorithm allows for better targeting, increased conversion and reaching about 70 percent of your customers within just a week.
To sum up, mobile video advertising is red hot. It’s where a lot of marketing attention is going to these days, with more and more news about its effectiveness – particularly on mobile – coming out. To remain competitive in a hyper-competitive environment, it appears video is a must-have weapon in today’s app marketer arsenal.
Guest Author: Shani Rosenfelder is a senior marketing manager at AppsFlyer. He has over 10 years of experience in key content and marketing roles across a variety of leading online companies and startups. Combining creativity, analytical prowess and a strategic mindset, Shani is passionate about building a brand’s reputation and visibility through innovative, content-driven projects.