Even the most cautious of mobile projections can't downplay the incredible growth in mobile video consumption, and the ad dollars that follow. By 2017, eMarketer predicts that mobile video ad spend will hit $2.7 billion, or nearly 30% of total digital video ad spend.
But as in any case where the space grows at a breakneck pace, there is a deep information gap about capabilities, limitations and even definitions. Below are some common misconceptions we often hear around mobile video – and the actual truth.
Myth #1: The screen is smaller, so my ad will have less impact
Have you ever seen someone super-engaged as they play a sophisticated, high-resolution video game on their smartphone? Or on a train, using their commute to enjoy "Game of Thrones" on Netflix? Those little screens pack a lot of pixels, and video looks great on them.
Mobile video advertisers can capture consumers’ attention at all times of the day, not just while they’re at their desk at work or at home watching TV. And compared to online, mobile is far less cluttered -- no “banner blindness” means more space for brand recall. In fact, mobile video campaigns have been found to lead a 19X increase in aided awareness, a 4X increase in unaided awareness and a 2X increase in ad awareness, according to InsightExpress. Still don't think your ads will have impact? Think again.
Myth #2: No one is going to watch my video ad all the way though
Oh yes, they will. Nearly half (47.8%) watch mobile video ads to the end, according to Celtra's April report. They also found that having a video option encouraged engagement with an ad; about 14% of viewers interacted with an ad by playing a video.
Myth #3: It's pre-roll or nothing
Granted, pre-rolls do get significantly more impressions, but don't discount the rest. According to this Adobe study, ads placed at the end of a video have a better click-through rate (about 3%) than those placed within it or on the front end. Mid-roll ads have the highest completion rates, while post-rolls work best for direct-response advertisers with a call to action.
Myth #4: Calls to action all "click out" and require a mobile landing page
Not so. You can have activity within the video unit itself. On premium branded mobile video ad units, you'll find overlays that can engage users via swipe, shake, or other mobile-only actions that open up a branded slate that can house multiple videos, product information, and more.
Myth #5: All mobile video is clickable
Sorry, it isn’t. Even by the end of 2012, when mobile ad technology had already come so far, that functionality was not as widely available as you might imagine, especially if the video played directly in the "native player" of the mobile device.
Still, this year we’ve seen a burst of clickable, interactive elements for mobile video. These clicks don’t just lead the user out to a mobile landing page -- they can be customizable to include other types of calls to action. And since they’re non-linear, you can use text, graphical ads, or video overlays to display a message on top of the video content itself.
Myth #6: Video consumption is mainly taking place on tablets
We keep hearing about how much video is being consumed on tablets, and that iPads are taking over from traditional TV viewing. But here's a stat for you, from Flurry: smartphones account for 90% of time spent watching mobile video, with only the remaining 10% of time spent watching video on tablets. This is especially significant given that smartphones only account for 79% of active users.
Myth #7: Mobile video isn't scalable
That may have been true last year, but it’s absolutely not true today. Billions of transparent, premium and brand-safe mobile video impressions are available. It’s so scalable, in fact, that advertisers can layer contextual and demographic targeting on top of it.
Myth #8: You can't really measure the impact of mobile video ads
Of course you can.You can measure clicks and completion rates in quartiles, and also run brand studies and ad effectiveness studies in conjunction with a mobile video campaign to measure its effectiveness. In addition, some ad platforms allow advertiser add survey-based research to measure the impact of their mobile ad video campaigns, which can provide validation that it is positively affecting their brand metrics.
Mobile video advertising is not only here to stay, it's only going to get better as the industry matures. And if the past year is any indication, that innovation will happen extremely fast -- bringing new levels of targeting, transparency, and more efficient ad serving for video ads. Add this to the already personal nature of mobile devices and the inherent opportunity within the video medium for brands to tell stories that attract, engage and emotionally involve their viewers, and we're looking at an enormous opportunity.