The Four Optimization Tips You Need to Know for Mobile Video Ads

By Diksha Sahni | March 27th, 2017

Mobile video has emerged as one of the hottest topics in mobile advertising, growing three times as fast as spending on desktop video. The video ad format on mobile is seen as highly relevant for performance marketers focused on engagement. With its high recall value and ability to be integrated into the content of the publisher, advertisers are rushing to grab mobile video ad spots and the inventory is skyrocketing.

App advertisers may be rushing to be on top of this hot trend, but how can they really maximize the advantages of mobile video ad campaigns?

We give you a few must-know tips that advertisers need to know to optimize their mobile video ad campaigns for success:

Spice Up Your Creatives

The reason video ads perform better, in general, as compared to other formats is essentially because the very nature of videos is highly interactive and engaging. Ensure that the messaging is gripping and interesting for the viewers. One of the ways in which app marketers can play with creatives is by adding elements that motivate users to interact with the ad. A simple social share or touch gestures could be one way to do this.

Another, often important element for video ads, is a Call to Action (CTA) that tend to engage the viewers. Try working with different CTAs such as a clickable URL within the video ad, download or install button, or an end CTA that takes the viewer directly to app page. Written CTAs such as “Shop Now” for an mCommerce app or “Book Now” for a travel app are some ways in which you can do this.

Snip it Short

The screens may have got bigger but that doesn’t mean the ads have to be longer as well! It is important to remember that video ads on mobile work the best when limited to short spots. A general rule of the thumb to remember is to keep the video ads to under 30 seconds. A report by IAB suggested the ideal length as 10 second videos for maximum impact among the Millennials.

It is also crucial to keep the platform in mind while optimizing campaigns as smartphones and tablets work differently.

Be Interactive, But Not Disruptive

Auto-play video ads that automatically begin with sound tend to catch the user unaware and can come across as disruptive and annoy them. A recent report by The Coalition for Better Ads found that auto-play video was among the most “annoying" ad formats.

While designing a video ad, think of an experience that’s interactive and not intrusive. And we already see that happening. In a 2015 news report, The Wall Street Journal reported that marketers and creative ad execs are trying to adjust to video ads with no auto-play sounds, and often no sound at all: Mark D’Arcy, chief creative officer of Facebook’s Creative Shop, told the Wall Street Journal, “We are definitely moving away from disruption to discovery in video ads. The burden of interest is on the creator.” (Facebook is one of the primary places where ad makers encounter the muted scenario.)

Go Vertical

Most mobile content is consumed in the vertical format, so why should your ads be horizontal? A common practice for video ads on mobile has been to operate horizontally and often full-screen, often disrupting the viewing experience and more so with in-app. Often, horizontal view ads suffer from a skewed aspect ratio if the phone is held vertically.

Now, more and more brands are realizing that vertical is the way to go if they want to get higher CTRs. Snapchat, for instance, is one of the first brands to go vertical with their video ads and is also pushing brands to adopt this. According to Snapchat, vertical ads are viewed to the end nine times more frequently than horizontal ones because the user is already using their phone in a vertical position.

Which mobile video ad optimization tips do you swear by? Let us know in the Comments section!

Diksha Sahni
Diksha is a Content Marketing Manager at AppLift and is based out of our Bangalore office. When she is not behind her computer writing, you can find her binge watching her favorite movies, finding her happy place at a dance studio, and checking off places on her bucket list.

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