Zumobi has released its results for the mobile component of a four-month branded content campaign. The company tracked a 37 percent engagement rate for the mobile initiative of the Chevrolet Technology Series campaign that ran across Motor Trend’s print magazine and website, as well apps for iOS and Android devices. (The mobile campaign did not include tablets.)
The company says this shows longer-form content can work on mobile screens.
"We were thinking that a smaller device equals shorter content. But a lot of these types of campaigns perform better with long-form content on mobile versus desktop. Users who are trapped at a bus stop or doctor's office, they're an engaged audience," says John SanGiovanni, co-founder and vice president of product design for Zumobi.
The Chevy campaign was comprised of a six-part print and digital advertorial series that was released in chapters from July through October 2012. Article topics ranged from design to the technology behind the Chevrolet Volt power train. Zumobi worked with Chevrolet, Source Interlink Media, Motor Trend’s parent company, and Commonwealth, a Detroit-based agency that's a joint venture between Goodby, Silverstein and McCann-Erickson.
The mobile app opened with a Chevrolet-branded loading screen and a rich-media expandable banner. It included a dashboard-like landing site within the app featuring custom content modules for each of the six brand chapters.
Zumobi partners with media brands to publish applications with integrated advertising. It also operates a premium mobile app network that lets brand advertisers buy campaigns on apps.
SanGiovanni said one of the biggest challenges with mobile campaigns is that the agency often creates the mobile assets last, and often just repurposes a few screen shots. "Users may use the app several times a week," he says. "If they keep seeing the same banner over and over again, fatigue is incredibly high and clickthroughs are low. So we synchronized the chapters to new ad units."
The ZBi platform also includes a footprint feature that lets people save an ad and content module to the home screen so they can revisit it later.
Zumobi's business model is to create and publish branded apps for top-tier media companies in exchange for the ad revenue. SanGiovanni says, "We are incentivized to make these great, long-term apps instead of just firing them off into the wild."
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014