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Retailers Should Embrace Mobile Video For a Holly Jolly Holiday Season

  |  December 3, 2013   |  Comments

Especially during the holiday shopping season, the retail brands with the wisest, coolest, most innovative mobile strategies are the ones who will reap the biggest rewards.

gifts-presents-christmasThis promises to be a top holiday shopping season, with consumers more mobile and more social than any seasons prior. Retailers are embracing the trend by investing in innovative apps, mobile friendly websites, and mobile-optimized tools like wish lists, gift registries, and instant coupons.

While these mobile tools are great, the first task, as brands compete for share amid all the noise, is driving consumers to these mobile sites in the first place. To do this, brands will need to employ especially powerful visual engagement and calls to action.

Taking from this playbook, we see that many retailers, from Macy's and Old Navy to Kohl's and Best Buy, have harnessed the reach and appeal of premium mobile video advertising to build their brands, subsequently driving traffic to physical stores. But we all know physical stores are only part of the equation. As part of their digital strategy, these retailers are also harnessing the interactive capabilities of premium mobile video to drive traffic directly to their mobile retail channels, which are quickly becoming an instrumental part of retail success.

Nearly half of smartphone owners will buy holiday gifts with their mobile device and 41 percent will buy holiday gifts with their tablets. While the brands mentioned above have been quick to embrace mobile video as part of both their branding and sales efforts, others haven't quite gotten the memo. Remember, it's holly jolly noisy this retail season, making creative visual engagement and calls to action absolutely vital.

Premium Mobile Video Drives Engagement for Retail Brands

It's plain and simple. The average click through rate for online video hovers around 1.03 percent, but for retail campaigns leveraging premium mobile video advertising, the average engagement rate is 3.73 percent*-an overall engagement lift of more than 250 percent. Mobile video engagement leads would-be shoppers to mobile stores, opening up the opportunity for purchases both now and later.

The holidays are a thrilling, exhausting, stressful, happy time for regular Joes, but for retailers, the holidays are often about hitting big numbers. Retailers count on the holiday season for up to 40 percent of total annual revenue, and with 30 percent of online shopping happening on mobile, it only makes sense to engage those potential customers where they are spending the vast majority of their leisure time.

Get Clever with Your Calls to Action inside Video Formats

Premium mobile video advertising allows for immediate engagement and myriad opportunities beyond a simple "tap to website" button.

Get festive. For the holidays, branded buttons, overlays, and end cards look best with a touch of holiday cheer. No need to go overkill or be trite, but it can be fun to incorporate holiday trends, like the ugly Christmas sweater or hilarious elves, into the design.

Go beyond "tap to web." Sometimes the goal for retailers is simple: drive consumers to the mobile website. But a simple goal doesn't call for simple calls to action. Rather than a button that simply says, "Tap to web," try a branded overlay with a call to action that solves shoppers' problems with calls to action like, "Make your holiday wish list," or "Get the deals without the lines." It's more compelling.

Think viral. Mobile video can be shared via social media channels with the tap of a button, bolstering paid campaigns with earned views; all it takes is a great video that gets consumers excited (like this somewhat controversial ‘Show Your Joe' Kmart ad). To make it easy for consumers to share, include a "share on Facebook" or an "email your friends" button to make it super simple.

With premium mobile video, retailers have all the tools they need to create winning campaigns. A combination of engaging video and clever calls to action can and should help brands leverage mobile video year round, to boost sales both in-store and on mobile devices.

Especially during the holiday shopping season, the retail brands with the wisest, coolest, most innovative mobile strategies are the ones who will reap the biggest rewards.

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Paul Bremer

Paul Bremer is an accomplished and well respected expert in digital media. He leads blinkx Mobile, bringing 15 years of successful digital advertising sales and management to his role as general manager.

Before joining Rhythm, Paul co-founded Inflection Point Media in 2008. Inflection Point Media helps marketers reach small and medium sized business decision makers.

In addition to a series of management and sales positions with WebMD, Lycos, and The Wall Street Journal, Paul previously directed national sales teams at Internet Broadcasting and with NBCOlympics.com.

At Internet Broadcasting he oversaw sales initiatives across IB's 80+ TV station partner sites and sales teams in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Leading sales efforts for NBCOlympics.com for the 2004 and 2006 Olympic Games, Paul established relationships with blue chip advertisers that led to record-breaking revenue and first-time profitability for the sites.

Paul is also a co-founding board member of two charities, The Tom Deierlein Foundation that works to improve the lives of Iraqi children and the Rough Riders Foundation that supports better education for underprivileged youth. He earned a B.S. in History and Diplomacy from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Laura, live in Connecticut with their three children.

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