Don’t Fall Behind in Mobile Video
Online video on mobile is now one of the most – if not the leading – influential marketing channels.
In the US, research from eMarketer reveals that consumers spend almost an hour, on average, watching digital video every day – that’s up from just six minutes in 2010 and it forecasts that the US consumer electronics industry will spend one-third of its $3.8 billion digital ad-spending budget on mobile ads. And in the UK, advertisers are spending £316 million this year on digital video ads – a figure which is expected to double within four years.
The Growth of Mobile Video
Surfing on mobile is increasing and it’s clear that mobile – and video consumption – is driving consumer behaviour. BuzzCity’s study of Mobile Video Consumption shows that 84% of mobile surfers watch videos on their handsets.
Better telecoms infrastructure accounts for much of the growth. In the UK, within the space of one year, the number of active 4G mobile subscribers jumped nearly 19-fold from 318,000 in the first quarter of 2013 to over 6 million in March 2014.
Infrastructure is not the only factor behind the rise of mobile video. Carriers are offering better rates. Independent video sharing sites are running major membership drives. Smartphones have bigger screens and faster processors. So it’s no surprise that social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Flickr etc., which started with photos, have expanded successfully to include video.
Just as photos defined an earlier generation of mobile usage, on-demand anytime anywhere video has quickly become part of our media consumption habit.
What opportunities are there?
The marketing opportunities come from the extensive penetration that digital has thanks to mobile. The empowering tool is the power of sound and moving pictures; these appeals to many of our senses and creates an emotional quality that is highly engaging.
The opportunity is of course not new, and many have taken advantage of this together with the growth of Internet usage in general. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty for example, has run for 10 years now and, for 8 of these, was driven by viral videos.
As with many other brands, Dove has used the medium to tell ‘the brand story’ and not just a promotional campaign to sell products. In Honda Stage, the brand uses music videos to build its presence and behaves more like media. The Harley Davidson YouTube channel may appear on the surface as a successful deployment of user generated videos, but is also clever engagement with customers who not use their products but who, as influencers, advocate the bikes.
In many ways though, these brands follow traditional ‘branding on TV’ – once that brand awareness and emotional connection have been established, the brand runs retail marketing campaigns that encourage consumers to take a test drive or get a promotional discount.
Digital video on the other hand promises the same emotional response with the practicality of direct response. Advertisers can potentially, track spending directly to purchase in a way not possible with TV and inspire engagement with mobile surfers.
Data and analytics will of course be important. But advertisers also need to be mindful that the user experience of video is subjective – an emotional quality made more personal by the intimate nature of mobiles. The only way to secure engagement is to actually create content that people care about or are interested in. This is more of an art than a science and not something that can be quantified and measured from every aspect.
By Dr Lai, CEO of BuzzCity.