Increasing numbers of people are consuming branded content on their mobile devices, according to new data from Polar.
The company, a tech provider for publishers of branded content, found that in the third quarter, click-through rates (CTR) on mobile outperformed desktop by 2x. In addition, mobile achieved a CTR of 0.42% in the third quarter, which was 113% higher than on desktop and 27% higher than the overall global average.
The data comes from an analysis of branded content that ran through Polar’s platform. The company found the majority of views to branded content occur on mobile, and that the third quarter marked the first time in the last two years that mobile drove more than half of the views to branded content: 51%.
In addition, Polar found that desktop views are decreasing quarter-over-quarter. This can be attributed partly to the improvement in ad units for branded content and publishers’ adoption of mobile best practices, which is leading to more content views, according to Greg Bella, director of marketing.Another reason for increasing mobile views is Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages Project) and Facebook’s Instant Articles platforms, which are generating more views of branded content.
In a blog post that extrapolates key points in Polar’s Q3 Benchmark’s Report, Bella wrote: “For publishers, the key takeaway here is to create content experiences that can be consumed in 2 minutes or less. We now live in a headline-driven world, and this is most true when it comes to content consumption while ‘on-the-move’.”
Bella emphasized a mobile-first approach to branded content, noting that simply replicating the desktop experience on mobile screens won’t cut it. One reason is that a consumer’s attention span tends to peak at around two minutes on mobile devices.
The data showed that regions outside the U.S. and Canada are catching up in the use of branded content. For example, in Q3 last year, 70% of branded content views were coming from North America, vs. 60% for the third quarter of this year. The EMEA and APAC regions are now the fastest-growing for branded content views and adoption, according to Mark Cluett, content marketing manager. Tech vendors’ expansion into these areas is also helping drive growth.
In continental Europe (excluding the U.K.), Polar saw click-through rates on branded content of 0.55% in Q3 — 66% higher than the global average and 77% higher than the prior quarter. In Q3, the Middle East, Northern Africa (MENA) region saw growth in engagement with branded content; three minutes and 33 seconds was the average time spent (or dwell time) for branded content in the region. That’s 52% higher than the global average, with almost 50% growth from the previous quarter.
This column was previously published in the Native Insider on November 9, 2016.