Commentary

Mobile Video: Are Marketers Missing The Boat?

By just about any measure, marketers are missing the boat on the mobile video opportunity. Mobile provides an incredible revenue-generating and brand-building lever, yet most of the best marketers out there are simply not leveraging the channel to the extent that they should.  I don’t even work for a company specializing in mobile, but as someone who’s been in the video space for a long time, the case for mobile is compelling. 

Nielsen completed a study in 2012 (giving marketers plenty of time to jump on the bandwagon), concluding that mobile video delivered superior results in comparison to online video and TV across all key brand and ad measures, favorability, and interest in purchasing. The study went on to say that mobile can drive ROI and merits greater investment in cross-screen marketing campaigns.

The Nielsen study was based upon the consumer packaged goods category and the results were pretty darn impressive.  So what have marketers capitalized on so far? Well, not all that much.

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But rather than agonize over why marketers haven’t really taken advantage of the promise of mobile video, here’s a quick look at ways to address the mobile video opportunity:

Create custom video for mobile: Mobile is perfect for custom communications targeting people on the move, specifically addressing those “on the go” products that proliferate the market.  Instead of repurposing TV videos for mobile airtime, marketers should be creating unique creative that really addresses our mobile world.

For example, consider the power of demo videos on a mobile device. As shoppers travel the aisles of their big box retailers, why aren’t marketers redirecting them to a more descriptive and informational video on the very products lining the shelves? The technology has been created, with QR Codes, Microsoft Tags, NFC Tags, or even simple bar code redirects.

Do more than a website: When marketers are sending customers to mobile screens for information, why do we continue to direct them to old-fashioned 2ebsites?  Instead, let’s send them directly to a video that communicates the advantages of the product and services being viewed! Video needs to be the end location for the redirect, so the days of simply pointing consumers to Web sites should be numbered.

Provide mobile video instructions: Here’s another classic opportunity for mobile videos: a quick visual portrayal of assembly.  One of the biggest turn-offs for consumers is to see those infamous words, “some assembly required” on the product they are about to buy. But if we can quickly link (from the box or package) to a short video that shows prospective customers how easy the product is to assemble, then one of the final big barriers to purchase has been eliminated.

Take advantage of timing parameters: The length of videos for mobile screens is NOT the same limiting factor that is usually is for TV and other deployments.  eMarketer recently released a study showing that more than 50% of all mobile videos viewed are 3-5 minutes in length, while comScore shows an even higher average length of viewing (see immediately below). So now marketers have the channel vehicle available to tell a more complete story than the sometimes impossible 15- or 30-second restrictions of “traditional” video allow.

On a related front, comScore reported that the average length of videos viewed added 0.3 minutes to the most recent average of 6.8 minutes.

Bigger picture, marketers need to embrace the mobile video opportunity today, or risk really being left behind.  In previous articles, we’ve discussed some creative ways of obtaining videos for all of these new channels and screens, such as taking productions in-house, crowdsourcing, and batch shooting of multiple videos in one film session.  There are simply no excuses left.

Mobile video is in position to drive sales and brand awareness, perhaps more than any other form of video to-date.  It’s time for marketers to really take notice.

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