Native mobile video advertising looks set to take off based on the upward trend in mobile video ads. eMarketer report that US mobile video advertising spend grew 80.6% last year and will reach nearly $7bn by 2019.
But what exactly is native mobile video advertising? And how can mobile advertisers and publishers take advantage of this new, but rapidly developing, opportunity? We give you the lowdown on this exciting native advertising approach.
What Is Native Mobile Video Advertising?
Traditional mobile video adverts are typically 15-30 second long clips, which will be used in a number of different networks and contexts by developers. They may even be used in a way that forces users to interact with them, such as the unskippable pre-roll advertising you may see before a Youtube video.
Mobile native video adverts, on the other hand, are presented natively within a selected app and will usually autoplay in silence until the user interacts, fitting naturally into the form and function of a mobile app without disturbing the user experience.
This approach benefits video content that tells interesting stories and naturally captures the user’s attention. In turn, this means that brands with clear messaging and inventive creative ideas, such as Facebook themselves, are well placed to use mobile native video ads effectively. Engagement comes as a function of quality content rather than brute force.
Why Use Native Mobile Video Advertising?
Simply put, native mobile video advertising performs better than other video adverts and other mobile adverts on the basis of several factors.
Looking at how native video adverts perform in comparison to other video ads, a report from Sharethrough and Nielsen indicates a clear lift in brand awareness resulting from native video adverts in comparison to formats such as pre-roll.
Furthermore, comScore conclude that consumers are more likely to recall a product, recommend it and purchase it after watching a native mobile video advert than the traditional mobile advertising they use.
The reason why native mobile video advertising does so well is because it is an engaging format. As this example advert from Mobile Strike shows, a native mobile video advert is an interesting, persuasive and natural way of demonstrating why your brand or product is great without resorting to a hard sell.
What Issues Does Native Mobile Video Advertising Face?
Native mobile video ads do encounter a few problems. From a technical perspective, the different ways videos are played on different apps and operating systems can create an inconsistent experience.
For example, the standard iPhone software does not include the capability to play videos non full screen. Therefore the YouTube app available in the Apple Store has built in this functionality independently. Ultimately this means that a user who interacts with a Facebook in feed mobile video advert on an iPhone will see their entire screen filled by the content.
It’s in the interests of mobile native video adverts that the less disruptive approach of the latter becomes the norm. Until it does, in feed options will continue to distract user attention in a way that goes against truly native principles.
Additionally, measuring whether users meaningfully interact with mobile native video advertising campaigns is difficult to do. Seeing and watching an advert are not the same thing. A user scrolls through a video an advert in their feed (an impression) but may not actually engage with the advert (view). Therefore impression based ad models, such as CPM, may skew the current KPIs in use.
On the plus side, the industry is working hard to solve the tracking problems. Instagram have been swift to react to this by introducing video views, whilst Snapchat are enlisting the help of Nielsen to provide performance data on their ad campaigns. These show that it’s a matter of when not if the metrics will adjust to account for native video.
The IAB approved VAST XML schema, which is used to deliver the video asset, also allows advertisers to include tracking pixels to measure meaningful viewing KPIs – such as completions and quartiles – instead of the imprecision of impressions.
What Do I Need To Know About Buying Native Mobile Video Advertising?
The first thing you need to know is how to buy native mobile video ads. And the good news is that you can buy inventory programmatically. Platforms like Google’s recently unveiled native programmatic offering allow you to effectively build audiences and scale your native mobile video campaigns: helping you to reap the benefits of native without sacrificing the benefits of automation.
The second thing you need to know is where to buy native mobile advertising. The obvious place is in the news feeds of social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, each of which also allow you to buy programmatically. You will also be able to purchase mobile native video advertising from networks, but the amount you can buy and the quality of the traffic will depend upon how committed the network is to native video.
And, as one last tip for buyers, you should be expecting eCPMs for mobile video native adverts to be in the region of $5-$15. The price you’ll get will depend on factors such as the quality of the traffic you’re buying, the type of app and who you’re buying from, but that figure should act as a helpful benchmark.
What Are Your Top Tips For Creating Great Native Mobile Video Adverts?
To create great mobile video native adverts, you really need to pay attention to the context of mobile usage. In particular, the smaller size of devices, the shorter attention span and the individual contexts of different apps should play a big part in how you design your creative.
That said, there are four great pointers from Opera about designing great video adverts that apply across mobile native video. Advice such as including over sized call to action text and designing a video to be watched without audio may seem generic, but examples such as this video from the Trainline and the Deadpool game trailer, that those principles can be applied in a number of contexts.
What Does The Future Hold For Native Mobile Video Advertising?
It’s always difficult to predict the future, but a few things will likely shape the path of native mobile video advertising.
The first is new technology. Mobile VR, for example, is driving an uptake in 360 video advertising on the likes of Facebook, which means that advertisers may need to consider creating entirely separate campaigns to cater for a challenging, but potentially enormously immersive, format.
A second factor ket is how new platforms, or the opening up of existing players, will affect the market. Snapchat’s recently announced Discover video advertising may force mobile native video advertisers to adapt content to fit a particular channel, such as IGN or Vice, while services like Periscope offer advertisers the chance to turn live streams into native mobile video ads.
Third, native mobile video advertising will likely flourish as ad blocking increasingly becomes the norm on the mobile web. By embedding within apps, native mobile video advertising will not be restricted by user installed ad blockers or network level blocking – which means it should be able to grow relatively unhindered.
Ultimately, we believe that mobile native video advertising has great potential. At the moment, the difficulty in effectively measuring meaningful video KPIs and a lack of industry knowledge are the barriers. But with social networks such as Facebook backing the format and brands leading the way in creating compelling video content, it looks set to begin performing in the very near future.
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