Mobile and video have been the buzzwords for digital advertising over the last few years. The reason for this is simple: it is a combination of the affordability of mobile data, fueling a change in consumer behavior, coupled with the versatility of video as a format to convey and influence.
India has seen exponential growth in both smartphone penetration and consumer time spent on the mobile in the last 3 years. In fact, according to App Annie, India ranked number 1 (excluding China) in the world in terms of global Android phone time spent topping even the United States. This will only continue to grow with Reliance Jio introducing affordable mobile data price plans to the Indian population. In fact, according to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2017, total monthly wireless data consumption has seen a 9x year-on-year growth between 2016 and 2017 with 80% of web traffic taking place on mobile in 2017. Mobile has essentially replaced TV as consumers’ first screen with Indians spending 28 hours on mobile as compared to TV.
This essentially fuels the consumption of videos on mobile smart devices. For example, the Hotstar mobile app has seen a 4x growth between 2016 and 2017. Social media giant, Facebook, has already started its push to promote video content at least since 2016 on a global basis with its algorithms favoring video content on the platform. To Internet users, consuming video content on the mobile seems all too natural as long as mobile data becomes affordable.
The beauty of video as the most versatile content format to convey and influence cannot be over-emphasized. It combines moving visual and audio to create pieces that move viewers. After all, that is the reason why TV commercials become one of the most effective formats in the world for branding and marketing purposes. Digital and mobile provide unrivalled opportunities for advertisers to track ROI and to effectively reach their target audience. Determining whether a humorous ad or an emotional ad resonates better with your target audience via A/B testing; targeting your video ad to only females; tracking how many sales are actually closed via a click-through is only the tip of the iceberg for what is possible with video advertising on mobile.
What advertisers must be wary of when planning for a mobile video advertising campaign is to consider both the formats of the platform and how consumers behave on these platforms to see better ROIs for their investments. For example, vertical video format convenience consumers by taking away the need to rotate the phone and brings focus to the subject of the ad. On social and content apps, the consumers’ attention span is extremely short thus shorter video forms might work better. However, on an OTT app like Hotstar, consumers might not mind well-crafted video ads that provide huge potential for branding purpose beyond performance marketing typically associated with mobile advertising.
Peng Hsu, General Manager, international advertisement sales team, Cheetah Mobile