The value of mobile advertising has skyrocketed for publishers and brands alike during the COVID-19 pandemic. With physical interactions and entertainment limited, global mobile gaming app installs also soared by 45% and dating apps showed an average 20% surge in usage.
Digital experiences are driving mobile consumer demand
The growing availability of 5G, especially in Asia, is also driving consumer anticipation of a richer mobile experience. The content people consume will vary, within predictable patterns. The ways in which people choose to consume that content, however, has changed for good.
As advertising progressed from print, to broadcast to digital, the consumer demand for better experiences and content has escalated. On average, users check their smartphones 96 times a day, and for sure they don’t want to see repetitive, unchanging ads each time they look at their phone.
On-demand TV means users have the choice to fast-forward through ads, or eliminate them completely by choosing a different channel. The same should be true with mobile advertising. Whether your advertiser chooses native, interstitial, interscroller or other ad formats a few questions remain. And more crucially, are they providing consumers with a choice over how to interact with an ad?
Mobile ads which grade against users’ express preferences stand to damage rather than enhance your brand. For example, in mobile gaming apps, ads can be placed at logical stopping points between levels and take up the entire mobile screen without disrupting play. This offers 100% share of voice and screen, a most impactful approach, even if it isn’t appropriate for all mobile experiences.
Evolving advertising to the mobile landscape
Few TV channels, except shopping channels, expect to convert a sale straight from paid promotion. So why then, would we expect mobile advertising to work any differently when it comes to persuasion than TV ads, which are primarily aimed at increasing awareness as part of an overall brand strategy.
Advertisers need to move away from thinking about mobile video as a lower-funnel opportunity. Mobile empowers advertisers to focus on their branding investment to relevant consumers, exactly where they are, instead of casting a broader net which hopes to catch a relevant individual watching the right content at the right time, such as advertising when the most popular soap opera or a large sporting event is on.
Brands tend to rely on the video completion rate as a metric of success. However, this doesn’t account for viewability, particularly in a mobile environment. For a long time, measuring mobile campaigns ad viewability felt impossible. Now, Open Measurement Interface Definition (OMID) compliant inventory is available across mobile apps and mobile web. This means any video placement on mobile can be measured for viewability.
Advertisers should also consider viewability alongside video completion rate to understand a video’s full impact by multiplying these two elements together. Data shows that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video. This begs the question, what’s the point of the ad if it plays off-screen? If adverts aren’t seen by consumers, they can’t generate user engagement and certainly don’t meet any brand goals. In addition, if brands’ ads aren’t being viewed and engaged with by users, this can have major repercussions for publishers’ engagement and revenue.
Reaching the new ad frontier to stay relevant
While the pandemic has advanced a wide range of digital technology, it’s also amplified user burnout with intrusive digital experiences. Digital fatigue is real, which means it’s critical for publishers to re-centre their focus on meaningful audience experiences. This can be achieved by focusing on delivering the best and most diverse content possible that attracts the widest range of users.