The first mobile phone call in India was placed 18 years ago on July 31, 1995. Only five million mobile subscriptions existed within the following six years. Today, the government reports 867 million mobile subscriptions and people use their devices for far more than phone calls. Mobile video undoubtedly plays a significant role in creating this captive audience.
Between March 2011 and 2013, the number of videos viewed digitally doubled to 3.71 billion according to comScore. Much of this traffic results from mobile views as consumers take in the latest Salman Khan interview, watch movie trailers for the "Chennai Express," and catch up on cricket highlights with friends.
As video becomes the largest driver of global mobile traffic by 2017, brands must position themselves to tap this enormous opportunity and reach their consumers. To do so, brands need to first examine the where, when, what, and how of mobile behavior today:
Where and when are consumers viewing content? Primetime is no longer the best time to hold most consumers' attention. Marketers now face a highly mobile audience that wants content on-demand, in real time. The time of day no longer matters. Viewers determine when, where, and what type of content they want to watch.
What is engaging content? Consumers now have access to a world of tremendous choice. They are not limited to a certain number of television channels. As a result, they view news, videos, and even advertisements that best suit their interests. Brands need to identify and understand the audience group they want to reach and then tailor their strategies accordingly. Relevant and specialized content will win more eyeballs and attention.
How has the role of the consumer changed? Social networks, not media networks, now drive the distribution of content. Consumers create content, share information with, and recommend products to their friends. According to our data, 65 percent of mobile video discovery is a result of social sharing. Every brand wants its video to achieve some level of "going viral," which is only possible through the right content and the active sharing of mobile content, not the passive consumption of TV programming.
Given this landscape, domestic and international brands have a wealth of opportunity to connect with their Asia-Pacific audiences. In particular, marketers looking to "BUILD" successful mobile video ad campaigns should keep the following tips in mind to engage consumers:
· Be specific. Localizing and tailoring your ads is crucial, but so is identifying the type of technology your audience uses. The handset market is highly fragmented in India and Asia; 700 different types of devices run on the Android platform alone. Avoid setting up a campaign to fail from the outset by first weighing the technology needs.
· Unique content is the best content. Originality goes a long way. It's not easy to create unique content, but a strong understanding of your audience dynamic can help. Will a humorous ad like those from Fevicol resonate well? Or is your goal to reach the younger generation and give them a voice through a product as Nokia did with its "Trendify" campaign? Mobile video ads do not need to be an annoyance. They can be refreshing, fun, original content that creates brand recall in the minds of consumers.
· Insight is critical. Knowing your audience is paramount, so use all resources available to collect data about your target group and understand what interests them most. Data analytics and short exit surveys will help guide your ad campaign strategy. At the end of a campaign, use holistic metrics that help determine brand perception, purchase intent, and other factors beyond click-through rates to make your next campaign stronger.
· Length matters. Brevity is certainly a virtue in the world of mobile video. Fifteen-second ads gain the most traction from consumers whose attention span is short and divided among an ocean of content. Time your mobile video ads appropriately and also incorporate several creative refreshes.
· Design for desktop doesn't work for mobile. Many brands consider mobile as an extension of the desktop, but consumers interact differently with both mediums. Mobile video also has a higher "stickiness factor," according to Rhythm New Media. Research showed that retention rates are far stronger for mobile video ads than those viewed on the desktop. Eighty-one percent of mobile viewers remembered an ad as opposed to 55 percent at a desktop after 60 seconds.
Brands all over the world are looking to unlock the power of mobile video advertising. Consumers will be more receptive to content that keeps their interests at the forefront and strikes them as fun and creative. Keep the BUILD best practices in mind, and you too can create successful mobile video ad campaigns.
Image on home page via Shutterstock.
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Based in Delhi, Meera runs Vuclip's global ad business. Prior to joining Vuclip, Meera was the National Sales Head with Times Internet Ltd. She has over a decade of experience in business development and corporate sales having worked with leading media houses such as Networkplay and Komli Media.
March 19, 2014