How to Engage Consumers With Mobile Video


Pop quiz: What is the first thing most people do when they wake up?

Grab a glass of water? Brush their teeth? Nope — they check their phones.

It’s no secret that mobile device usage is one of the most popular and fastest-growing tech activities out there. Now, as recent data shows that more than half of online video is viewed on smartphones, video is taking mobile engagement to a new level.

Below, we’ll explore what the surge in mobile video popularity means for marketers and how they can take advantage of this trend with more impactful mobile video advertising campaigns.

Why Mobile Video?

Mobile video viewing is expected to account for 78% of mobile data traffic by 2021. Both mobile and video usage are growing because mobile and video complement each other perfectly. Some of the most popular activities on mobile — like social networking and catching up on the news — involve video.

This spells opportunity for advertisers. If a consumer is watching a video on her phone, it’s unlikely she is paying attention to anything else. This is a stark contrast to TV ads, where ironically, people usually ignore them while scrolling through their phones. With mobile video, advertisers can connect with consumers with less competition for their attention than with other mediums.

In addition, mobile is anywhere and everywhere. People constantly have their phones on them, which means mobile advertisers can reach consumers whether they’re in line at the coffee shop or when they are second screening during their favorite TV shows. This level of engagement offers more opportunities to deliver relevant, complex, and tailored messages to your consumers.

One more reason you should consider mobile in your media mix: Mobile video is simply more effective at impacting core KPI’s than other methods of advertising.

A recent study looked into a campaign for a food company that was meant to elevate brand awareness among younger consumers. The study showed that the use of video ads on mobile contributed to a 47% rise in brand awareness, compared to the desktop ads, which drove a 29% increase.

Improving Your Mobile Video Ads

Consider these tips in your next mobile video advertising campaigns in order to take advantage of all that this medium has to offer.

1) Optimize for Vertical Video

Nowadays, Americans spend 29% of their time watching vertical video on mobile, compared to 5% in 2010. Both technology changes and consumer taste are behind this trend, as new mobile apps like Snapchat, Periscope, and WeChat offer vertical video as their native format. YouTube and Facebook now support vertical video as well.

To capitalize on consumers’ growing preference for vertical video, re-think horizontal ad concepts. Optimize them for vertical orientation and employ features like text overlays to tell your story. Think holistically about campaigns from beginning to end and consider the environment the end user will ultimately view the video on. Avoid deploying TV campaigns in vertical environments, and if you need to re-purpose the content, convert it for vertical first.

2) Engage Users Throughout the Buyer Journey

In the mobile environment, video is often used as just an awareness tactic. Thanks to more advanced technology, the data gathering and targeting capabilities in mobile advertising have provided the opportunity for more sophisticated campaigns. Marketers can now serve potential buyers with relevant content throughout the entire purchase cycle.

For instance, after delivering an awareness message, brands can collect purchase intent data with a ViralGains Survey Engagement Card and deliver custom experiences based on user responses. For instance, this airline could exclude 1-3 star raters from the campaign and send 4-5 star raters to a mobile app where they can shop for flights — targeting advertising spend on viewers who are serious about shopping with the brand.


3) Create App-like Experiences

Real estate on mobile devices has increased as screen sizes have gone up, so marketers have more options now to build engaging experiences right into their ads. In addition to Survey Engagement Cards, ViralGains also offers HTML5 Rich Media Engagement Cards. With these, you can offer interactive experiences like a build-a-car module or credit card signup. Rather than diverting users away from the ad to an external app or landing page, you can improve the effectiveness of the ad by having it act as an extension of your native mobile experience.

4) Incorporate Mobile Coupons

Mobile coupons are a great way to engage shoppers directly from mobile video ads. They show far higher redemption rates than other types of coupons and can be integrated with mobile wallet solutions like Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay. Mobile wallets — and coupons — are widely accepted by both in-store and online retailers, reducing friction to purchase for your customers and delivering more potential value from your mobile video ads.


Mobile video advertising growth shows no sign of slowing down. With so many types of ads to explore, there is no shortage of ways to engage consumers through this channel. 

When testing new mobile video advertising ideas, be your own consumer. Would you watch this? Would you interact with this experience? If the answer is no, course correct.

Finally, remember that mobile video isn’t just an awareness tactic. It can be useful at all stages of the buyer journey. Television advertising laid the foundation by leveraging the power of sight, sound, and motion to tell a story and create an emotional connection with consumers. Now, with digital advertising, we have better targeting options and more opportunities to marry the message with context. Take advantage of all the ways technology helps you create compelling experiences and effectively connect with customers using video in all stages of the buyer journey.

Want to dive deeper into the world of mobile video? Download our free Ebook. 


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