The digital world has catapulted off our desktops and into our pockets. According to the IAB UK, total digital ad spend grew 13.4% to £4 billion in the first half of 2015, whilst mobile ad spend increased 51%, accounting for a nearly 80% share of the rise in digital ad revenues. By 2019, there will be 5.2 billion global mobile phone users – representing more than 72% of the world’s population.
Advertiser interest in mobile video is growing fast. Compared to display advertising, which includes both video and banner, mobile video offers greater creative possibilities, more opportunities to engage viewers with relevant, entertaining content and a more immersive experience due to the touch capabilities.
As a result, mobile video advertising commands significantly higher CPMs than standard online ads, and more precise targeting and measurable ROI when compared to TV advertising.
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The value of mobile video advertising is clear for both publishers and brands, but before the digital publishing industry can take full advantage of this emerging advertising platform, challenges need to be addressed so that its full potential can be realised.
Making relevance king
While content is always going to be crucial, like every other engagement opportunity, when it comes to advertising in today’s digital publishing landscape, it is relevance that is challenging for the crown.
Relevance determines the perceived quality of ad content and the impact it will have on a mobile video audience. Like every other part of the digital world, consumer interest is limited and fickle – everyone is just one click away from something else – so the experience has to be just right. So in a digital world, relevance will soon reign supreme over content.
Publishers now have access to foundational technology platforms that can serve and manage a wide (and growing) variety of ad formats. They can create high-quality, personalised mobile video experiences that attract and keep consumers’ attention.
The content that people want to watch should be aligned with appropriate ads that entertain and inform rather than intrude. It is also crucial this content is delivered and measured in a way that derives true value for publishers and advertisers.
Publishers that are embracing this opportunity are seeing average cost-per-thousand impressions (CPMs) for mobile optimised inventory rising 48% year-over-year in Q3 this year.
Improving customer experience
A hyper-personal content experience, such as that delivered through a mobile device, has a much higher bar when it comes to quality. Smaller screen sizes, shorter engagement periods and the personal nature of mobile devices all mean that tailored advertisements that might work effectively on a desktop device, can fail miserably on smaller devices. Users can be driven away by pages that fail to load quickly, functionality that doesn’t work and advertising that’s intrusive or irrelevant.
Publishers that wish to thrive on mobile must pay extra attention to the quality of the experience. However, to reach that seamless mobile video journey for the end user, creatives, buyers and publishers are all responsible for doing their part to achieve the ideal consumer experience.
Video content should also not only be entertaining and compelling for viewers, but also be supplemented by data that can help improve relevance and audience targeting. According to recent research, mobile publishers who can provide latitude and longitude data can realise CPMs 124% higher than average.
Every piece of metadata counts: first- and third-party data that can tell advertisers more about who’s watching what, where and how can have a measurable positive impact on CPMs.
Evolving towards standards
Due to the relatively new nature of mobile video, disparities exist in standards, including formats and what constitutes an actual video ad. Mobile video formats extend beyond pre and post-roll clips on webpages to include in-app ads, auto-play ads within newsfeeds, and new formats that might emerge tomorrow.
Mobile video also opens up a number of new possibilities – not every video ad needs to live inside a video player as a pre-roll clip. What about ads that live not on a web page, but inside an app? What about video ads that auto-play in news feeds? As publishers and advertisers continue to innovate on this platform, standards will have to evolve.
Mobile video is also driving growth in the programmatic space. According to the IAB UK, programmatic’s share of mobile ad sales has nearly doubled from 37% in 2013 to 64% in 2014 – with almost half of online display ads in 2014 worth just under £1 billion being bought through ‘programmatic’ technologies.
While effective standards are holding back mobile video from reaching its optimum potential, within programmatic, there is significant opportunity for continued growth.
Much of the appeal of digital advertising lies in the ability to execute cross-platform campaigns. These campaigns allow advertisers to tell a compelling, consistent story across desktop and mobile, through video and display ads, even extending to outdoor, connected TV, audio, or the Internet of Things.
These types of campaigns open up new creative possibilities, while also capturing consumers’ attention in an impression-saturated world.
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As advertising formats continue to grow and diversify across all channels, not just mobile video, there is a need for publishers and buyers to move away from siloed tools and toward marketing automation platforms.
This will result in a more unified view of the consumer and audience for brands, and publishers’ ability to analyse, package and uncover hidden value in their inventory.
Mobile video advertising is still developing, which means that the time is now to address the challenges. By delivering premium, ad-supported mobile video content, developing a better understanding of the audience through the use of data, and working towards standardised metrics and measurement tools, publishers and buyers can tap into the full potential of this channel and better prepare themselves for a mobile-first future.
Sourced from Bill Swanson, VP of EMEA, PubMatic