The following is an exclusive guest contributed post to MAW from Ian Wu, Head of Programmatic Demand for Cheetah Mobile.
As people are spending much more time on mobile than on desktop, mobile video advertising has become a hot topic among brand marketers. The spending on mobile video is increasing at a faster speed than any other digital advertising format. According to Statista, it is projected that mobile video ad spend would reach 13.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, up from 3.5 billion in 2015.
The following two important reasons make mobile video such an attractive option for brand marketers
Mobile video has the ability to reach highly engaged users—people that are using their mobile phone to watch videos in bed, on the toilet, or during their daily commutes. These are all scenarios where people are more engaged than when watching TV, or using their desktop computer. Advertising to such a captive audience can build brand awareness, ad recall, and can even increase the user’s intention of purchasing a product—more so than with any other ad format.
Highly viewable placements
Video played on mobile devices tend to take up 100% of the mobile screen, leading to really engaged users that are not distracted by other on-screen content, while video ads on desktop are often placed on the bottom of the site and often go unseen. If the user doesn’t scroll to the end of the screen, the video was actually never viewed, leading to a loss for brand marketers. After all, no one wants to spend advertising dollars on ads that no one actually sees.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to mobile video advertising, especially the measurements in order to build a successful campaign. Here is a breakdown of the things to consider before deciding what video advertising option is best for you.
Mobile web vs Mobile in-app
There is a tremendous amount of video inventory on the mobile web, which usually comes in two forms, pre-roll ads and in-read video. Pre-roll ads often appear on video platforms such as Youtube, and play just before the video content selected by the user. In-read video usually appear within an article between paragraphs as a smaller size video player. Mobile in-app ads can take many forms, including, appearing in your Facebook feed or as an incentivized video ad in games. These types of ads tends to have better viewability rates compared to video ads on the mobile web; which have low viewability. The low viewability is caused by the low placement of the ad and the user not scrolling down to it.
Pre-roll vs Native Video
Pre-roll ads have dominated the market for quite a while. Native video ads are part of the site’s content. Native video ads blend into the other content and users are not aware that the video they are watching is in fact an ad-just like the videos ads we see on Facebook—they look and feel just like other Facebook posts, while pre-rolls sometimes give users feel that they were forced to watch a video ad, resulting in a bad user experience.
Audience vs context
Programmatic is a big industry buzzword these days. While programmatic automates the buying process and help marketers reach their target audience in the right place and right time with scale, it is more important that the ad reach the right user with the right content in an efficient way. This is very different from the view of traditional advertisers that only care about buying media based solely on the context of where the ad is placed—sports ads placed in sports magazine, financial ads placed in business magazines, etc. This somehow became a great debate among advertisers, whether it’s the accurate audience or the best media with the most suitable context that matters the most to meet the needs of brand advertisers.
Skippable vs un-skippable
Un-skippable content is the video that you have to watch and can’t skip. It can be in a form of pre-roll, forcing the user to finish the video before going on to the user selected content, or in incentivized ads, which give gamers rewards for finishing a video. Either way it’s compulsory for the user. Meanwhile, skippable ads are looking for users to finish the video voluntarily. Completion rate are now one of the most important metric that the brand marketers are looking for. Skippable ads usually have a lower completion rate than un-skippable ads.
With so many options how do you decide which kind of video ad is right for you? There is no easy answer—it depends on what you as a brand marketer are looking for. Do you want to advertise in a cool and trending media like really hot apps or websites? Or are you looking for users to finish watching your video ads as much as possible regardless of whether it’s compulsory or not?
A lot of marketers are buying mobile in-app video ads in the pricing model of CPCV (Cost per completed view) in the programmatic marketplace, but in the programmatic marketplace, marketer have a low understanding of what they are really buying. They are deciding what to buy based simply on the name of the publisher, their performance, and completion rates. There is a lot of information that these numbers don’t tell you.
Therefore, it’s important to understand what your brand really needs, and identify the most important KPIs that you wish to have in the campaign. You will need insight into the inventories that you want to buy, and set up PMPs or guaranteed deals with publishers that have premium inventory. By doing this, you can be more efficient on your media buying cost, and more accurate on what you are buying. Taking these measures is going to be essential for programmatic buyers that desire to drive their brand awareness with mobile video advertising.