Go Native: The rise of mobile video

Stephen Upstone, CEO & Founder of LoopMe

Stephen Upstone, CEO & Founder of LoopMe

Native advertising is one of those buzz words that just isn’t going away. It first featured on Google Trends in January 2012 and has been picking up steam ever since. Most digital conferences will discuss native in one form or another, but something which hasn’t quite registered on the industry’s radar is native video.

Typically when users, or many advertising professionals, think of video advertising they think of pre-roll. It’s the format which most closely mimics the TV model and, until recently, was more or less the only format which could be used to achieve video ad campaigns at scale.

However the difficulty with pre-roll is there is a finite amount of the stuff. Despite the vast quantities of video online, there is a limited selection of professional, brand-safe videos which are suitable for advertising campaigns. Once these sources are sold out brands either have to limit their campaigns or bite the bullet and place their pre-rolls in less-than-auspicious environments.

It is also important to remember that while mobile video content is hugely popular – we consume on average 39 minutes of video per day on mobile devices, up from three minutes in 2011 – we also spend a lot of time doing other things, checking the football scores, reading headlines, playing games. On average we spend 3 hours 17 minutes per day on a mobile device, which means that for 80% of our online time we cannot be targeted by a pre-roll advert. For brands like Unilever or P&G, who want to achieve high frequency and reach their audiences at every opportunity, this poses a problem.

Native mobile video advertising offers an effective solution to these issues. Native formats position video ads within the content of the app or site, enabling publishers who do not feature video content to implement video advertising, opening up vast amounts of professional inventory. As they do not require video content to run this also means advertisers are able to target their audience when they are viewing different types of content, expanding the opportunity to reach users to the entire time the user is online.

As well as delivering scale and frequency, native mobile video is also an extremely effective format. It’s high impact and targets users while in a receptive state of mind, as they are engaging with content around the advert. Native mobile video is also user-friendly, the user is not forced to watch the advert, ensuring brands are targeting people who are genuinely interested in the ad, not just waiting for their content to begin.

So how does native mobile video fit with brands wider advertising campaigns? By producing a complementary native mobile video and pre-roll campaign advertisers can maximise the impact of their TV investment, ensuring they target users throughout the day, no matter what content they are viewing. For brands looking to reach their customers consistently with powerful brand messages, the combination of mobile video and TV is a match made in heaven.

Native mobile video advertising may be in its infancy, but it should play a fundamental role in all video advertising campaigns. User-friendly, positioned within premium environments and the perfect complement to TV advertising, there’s no doubting native mobile video will be a key driver of native advertising growth.

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