Our Top Mobile Video Tips for Developers
The secret is out: mobile video ad spending is skyrocketing. Our 2014 Year in Review S.M.A.R.T. report revealed that engagement rates are exceptionally high – more than 800% higher in some verticals – for video ads compared to standard banner ads.
If you’re a developer looking to boost revenues from your apps by exploring ad formats that are more embedded within the user's overall experience of your content, look no further than video. Advertisers love the improved user engagement video ads offer, and they are willing to pay for that engagement (i.e. video translates into higher eCPMs). But before you jump into video ad monetization head first we’d like to set you up with a few tips to ensure your success:
- Take advantage of natural breaks. Mobile video is best when it doesn’t interrupt the user’s natural flow within an app or game. Video ad experiences should appear at natural breaking points within your app: between levels, before video content, or while another user is taking his turn in a multi-player game.
- Exercise balance and manage frequency. You’re in the business of creating engaging consumer experiences so you know the relationship with your users is an ongoing, delicate balance. Hitting them with too many video ads in a short succession can cause users to close your app or even uninstall it. Time your video ad placement appropriately based on the way users normally interact with your app to make sure you’re engaging rather than distracting or annoying them. A good rule of thumb is to employ video frequency caps – as with any other ad format and placement, publishers should continuously review and analyze the best video frequency to deliver an optimal user experience for their app or site.
- Keep it short and give the user control. Brevity is a virtue in mobile. For this reason, fifteen seconds is best practice, as a fifteen-second video has a much higher likelihood of gaining engagement than a 30-second placement*, yet it is long enough for the advertiser to get its message across. In addition, consumers who have control over their ads report significantly better overall app experiences. It’s important to provide options to view, silence, or even skip the ad, or it begins to feel forced. That being said, many buyers seek non-skip placements, so publishers who allow non-skip videos are often at an advantage. Simply including a volume dial or a countdown timer on the video can do wonders in facilitating positive consumer engagement for non-skip placements.
- Ensure a sound integration. A healthy integration is the foundation for executing a successful mobile advertising strategy. That foundation considers the proper handling and display of ad markup, timeouts, data parameters, ad placement and support for ad formats. This is especially important when serving video, as the format is more robust than standard banners and the premium it commands results in higher expectations for delivery from buyers. As such, opt for the most sound integration option with your buyer(s). In most cases, the recommended integration option is an SDK. Specifically, SDKs help optimize the delivery of video formats in-app – this includes the rendering of video files, decisioning criteria to determine if an ad is valid, selection of media files (if the VAST document is used for both mobile and desktop), and bitrate/bandwidth logic based on the phone’s operating system. The SDK also helps ensure proper user engagement tracking, which is a crucial component of campaign success measurement for buyers.
- Support the latest video formats and industry standards. Industry standards are constantly evolving to simplify the buying and selling of mobile video, so it’s crucial to maintain support for the latest industry guidelines, specifications, and ad formats (ie: VAST and MRAID standards; Linear, Non-Linear, and Companion ad formats, etc).
Whether you’re new to mobile advertising or just looking to give your mobile monetization strategy a boost, these important video ad tips will help ensure three things: a positive user experience, high engagement rates for your advertisers, and more revenue for you.
*According to the IAB Digital Video Ad Effectiveness Case Study, 15 second ads were deemed to have the highest level of engagement, be the easiest understood, have the highest brand association and be the most efficient in terms of cost vs. creative results. They were also credited to be the most effective for pre-roll.
More from Bonnie Hommeyer
Millennial Media is the leading mobile ad marketplace, making mobile simple for the world’s top brands, app developers, and mobile web publishers. The company's data and technology assets enable advertisers to connect with target audiences at scale, while driving monetization for publisher and developer partners. AOL acquired Millennial Media on October 23, 2015. Millennial Media boosts AOL's global, mobile capabilities and scale across ONE by AOL for advertisers and agencies, and offers the most attractive monetization platform for app developers.