Mobile video is growing like wildfire, and what constitutes “video” is changing just as fast. The format, the way video is consumed, and how it fits into a consumer’s life overall is evolving. YouTube reports that mobile video consumption rises by 100% year after year.  

 

To keep up with the rapidly evolving video landscape, it’s time to start testing your video creative in new ways. Boost Media provides some food for thought.

 

Creative considerations in the new video advertising landscape

To capitalize on the growing mobile video audience, you must first understand how the digital video landscape is changing. When developing video ad creative, consider these factors:

  • With 50% of all digital media time now being spent within mobile apps, it’s critical to optimize video ads for a great in-app mobile viewing experience.
  • Video is consumed in different formats. For example, on YouTube, users watch the first few seconds of a video ad and have the option to skip it. Whereas in the social media context, such as on a mobile Facebook feed, users see videos auto-playing while swiping past. Swiping creates both a kinesthetic interaction with the video ad (even when the user doesn’t click to watch the whole video) and it creates a sense of control over the video viewership.
  • On mobile, depending on the user and the platform, video might be viewed either vertically or horizontally.
  • The sound might automatically be muted or played.
  • Users might see a thumbnail image preview of the video or the video might auto-play.
  • From a user standpoint, what constitutes a video is evolving—from timelapse photos to live streaming—the definition of a “video” is broadening.
  • Video is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in everyday life. Users are increasingly comfortable interacting with videos and generating their own videos. Platforms like Snapchat are accelerating this trend—and with Snapchat expecting to grow to $1billion in ad revenue next year, we can expect video adoption growth to continue.
  • Video is almost like a living entity. It’s no longer about the original video—it’s about the reaction videos to the video; the parities and memes generated from the video.

 

Once you’ve developed video content that takes today’s video landscape and user experience into account, it’s time to start testing. Here are three avenues Boost suggests exploring:

1. Test this: Multiple video formats and ad networks

Test different formats for video across a variety of platforms. For example, test a Cinemagraphic Pin (a picture that moves as you scroll) against the newly available promoted video Pin on Pinterest to understand how different video formats perform on the same platform.

 

Also, test the same videos across different platforms. What works in the context of a social media feed where the sound is muted and the user is scrolling through is likely not the same thing that will work in the context of a platform like YouTube where the sound is on and the user has to wait several seconds to skip the video.

 

2. Test this: Flashy versus simple

The general best practice for grabbing attention with video used to be to use as much flash, bang, and boom as possible. But how much information can the brain process while watching a video they are scrolling past in their social feed? Try testing flashy fast action against slower, simpler content in your opening frames, being sure to preview the videos as they would look to a user swiping past with the video autoplaying. Perhaps users are more likely to opt into watching the whole video when they can process more of the opening frames.

 

3. Test this: Experiment with impression caps

When users have a sense of control over ad viewership—as in the case of swiping past auto-playing videos in a mobile social feed—are they more or less tolerant of seeing the same ads multiple times? When evaluating ad fatigue, look at how performance varies between platforms taking into account the different user experiences of “opting in” versus “opting out.”

 

Where to go from here

Advertisers can’t simply take a high-production value TV commercial and adapt it for the Internet anymore. Creative needs to take the changing user experience for video ads into account. “Mobile experience” isn’t really one thing anymore either; it’s important to design testing to accommodate a variety of contexts.
If you get stuck developing video creative for today’s user context, don’t worry. Boost is here to help!