What’s New in Mobile Video?

Last month, Facebook launched a mobile app for advertisers that allows brands to create and manage campaigns from their smartphones. It’s the latest development in a universal effort among social sites, content publishers, and marketers to harness the potential of mobile. A recent CMO survey out of Duke University found that while mobile currently represents just more than 3 percent of marketing budgets, its share will nearly triple over the next three years.

What’s more, after completing a study on the economic value of mobile compared with traditional marketing channels, the Mobile Marketing Association reports that “marketers would significantly increase their overall campaign ROI, without increasing budget, by simply adjusting mobile spend upwards.”

Is Video the Future of Mobile?

But exactly how should brands spend? Based on data compiled from some 200 billion visits to some 10,000 U.S. sites in 2014, Adobe recently released its top digital predictions for 2015. Among them: Apple devices are the top choice for video consumption. Adobe says that the iPhone 6/6+ will “increase the value of advertising significantly,” as well as drive higher completion rates.

In general, says Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst, Adobe Digital Index, video consumption is increasing due to larger iPhone screens. Last year, large-screen smartphone users spent 24 percent more time per visit viewing videos. Digital video starts on smartphones have doubled year-over-year.

Mobile Storytelling

Toyota is one brand that has embraced mobile video, launching a new campaign in Spain earlier this month. In conjunction with Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi Madrid, and in an effort to emphasize the reliability of its cars, the automaker developed an app that merges interactivity with brand stories. When used to take a photo of a customer’s Toyota, the app renders the vehicle in virtual form and delivers a “mysterious story” about what goes on under the hood of the car. It’s part of a cross-channel campaign that includes TV, print, outdoor, and digital. “We turned all the Toyotas in Spain into a new media,” the campaign trailer says, “and all the streets into the largest showroom ever.”

A Video Supplement Made to Tap Sales

One of the biggest challenges associated with mobile marketing is generating direct sales. In its Omnichannel Trends 2015 report, which looked at trends in retail, eMarketer found that although there are now more than 145 million mobile shoppers in the U.S., only half of them will make a purchase on their phones. Instead, consumers are using their mobile devices to conduct research, check product availability, and search for coupons before buying in-store. This year, eMarketer forecasts that mobile will account for less than 2 percent of total retail sales in the U.S.

To circumvent this concern and “establish a direct connection” between brand advertising and on-demand product delivery, Budweiser recruited alcohol delivery app Minibar. During this year’s Super Bowl, Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” ad triggered a synchronized push notification sent by Minibar to its multi-city network. The message encouraged Super Bowl viewers to purchase Budweiser products on their smartphones, on the spot.

As a result of the campaign, Budweiser orders increased by 500 percent over the previous week and dollar sales were up 650 percent. While Budweiser had worked with Minibar before, the effort marked the highest single sales day on the app to date.

In our omnichannel, on-the-go environment, marketers are well advised to engage with video. Consumers are watching.

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