Growth in mobile video viewing is game changer for digital advertisers


Changes in consumer behavior from traditional media to online consumption.
Changes in consumer behavior from traditional media to online consumption.

Last year I wrote about the growth in mobile video. This trend has continued throughout the year and is fueling ad spend in mobile.

Video consumption on mobile is also affecting other media channels. Brands therefore need to approach video as a cross-screen application, and consider different strategies to the traditional 30-second reach driving spot.

Brands need to understand changes in consumer behaviour. As technology advances and devices become more engrained in consumers’ lives, every aspect of media consumption is changing.

Opportunities to consume video have exploded with smart televisions, smartphones, games consoles, and tablets all being used to watch content.

There are a number of important trends in behaviour:

  • Increase in video consumption is driven by accessibility to content via online channels, and increased content from consumers, publishers, and brands.

    Traditional TV viewing is also is shifting. Now 19% of time spent watching TV content is spent online (MediaTel Connected Screens report 2015).

  • Increase in “second screening.” Research shows 39% of people now watch TV at the same time as using a smartphone, including 63% of people age 16-24, for whom it is the main companion screen (MediaTel Connected Screens report 2015).

  • Programmatic. In addition, 45% of the display market is programmatic (IAB), however, there is room for growth in programmatic video with just 18% of video bought programmatically in 2014 due to the influence of YouTube and the broadcasters.

  • The shift of traditional media to online consumption will give us a more rounded data footprint of consumers across all media channels, which in turn feeds into better targeting capabilities.

These changes mean brands have needed to adapt their strategy. While TV is still the go-to media to deliver a fast and large reach, it is no longer as effective as it used to be. Brands need to change their approach to take into account the viewing habits of the target audience, which will lead to the placement of video assets across platforms, screens, and environments.

Device-specific considerations (e.g. length of format/placement)

Changes in behaviour mean brands need to consider location and device when thinking about creative. TV ads were ubiquitously delivered, but brands now need to consider the moment and delivery of the ad. With video viewing prolific on mobile, copy should be tailored to how the consumer uses the device.

Sizmek has gathered performance data on various video campaigns and learned that:

  • Spots under 15 seconds are best on mobile.

  • They must grab attention quickly.

  • Brands can’t rely on sound.

As always, consumers need to be at the heart of the media campaign. Understanding how and where they consume and adapting the campaign planning mean brands will be more successful in communicating the desired message.

In summary, it is clear that developments in technology and the digital landscape will continue to have an impact on consumer behaviour. When planning a video campaign, brands need to consider the core concepts:

  • Video length and messaging, and adapt to the device.

  • Targeting and messaging opportunities (e.g. sequential messaging with more product-focused creative should a user have engaged with initial video).

  • How traditional video (TV) can work effectively with mobile/online video.

  • The audience. If the insight shows heavy mobile usage then give more weight to mobile video.
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