This week’s guest post is brought to you by business and marketing enthusiast Blair Strasser, the Founder and CEO of eMerchantBroker.
Mobile marketing strategies have traditionally been frugal and toned-down versions of general online marketing strategies. The earlier, small screen size of cell phones made it difficult to incorporate too many details. More importantly, limited bandwidth prevented them from rendering full-fledged websites. This is exactly why mobile video formats saw limited acceptance in the beginning. However, everything changed with the advent of smartphones.
Now, cell phone screens are big enough to offer a complete experience. Playing video on-the-go is no longer an issue with high-speed connectivity.
Naturally, video has now become an important part of mobile marketing strategies. If you are still unsure about it then the following points should help you make up your mind.
A Growing Audience
According to reports, almost half of YouTube visitor are using mobile devices. That means millions of people are watching videos every day using their phones. These mobile visitors are also more likely to share and talk about the same with others. There is no good reason to ignore this opportunity anymore.
Another interesting statistics is that the people are more likely to watch complete advertisements on their phones. This is a bit puzzling to begin with, but there are reasonable explanations. For instance, it can be hard to operate the small buttons on touch screen phones (compared to those on a PC, with a mouse). Forwarding videos or moving in and out of apps is not very convenient. So, many users endure short ads, rather than fiddle with the screen too much.
The other important benefit of mobile marketing is that a viewer’s attention span is not divided while on a phone. While watching TV, you can flip through channels to avoid a commercial break. Even on a PC, you can open a different tab and check your email. Such luxuries are not readily available on mobile. Despite all the developments, most phones are still small and multitasking can be tedious. Repeatedly closing an app and going to another one is still a bit inconvenient. Hence, people normally go through a video in one shot when they open it. This undivided attention is the biggest asset for mobile marketers compared to other devices and mediums.
Since people use smartphones in public places, there is often a social component to the medium. For instance, when one is watching a live football match while travelling on a train, co-passengers can join in the fun. Thus, when a video commercial plays during the break, a lot of extra people get to see it.
Online videos are comparatively less expensive than traditional ads. Television ads require a lot of expertise and equipment to pull off. However, with the right strategy, amateur or semi-professional videos can be made easily and spread across the web. On small, mobile screens, the limitation of low production values does not seem as evident. Mobile video makes maximum use of your financial resources, as well as the screen real estate of the cell phone.
What To Keep In Mind
It is highly advisable that you have a strong video strategy for mobile. Here are a few things you must keep in mind.
- Get the technology right. If you are embedding videos on your site directly, find good HTML5 players that are compatible and responsive with all devices and operating systems.
- Design for the smallest possible screen. Sometimes you do things keeping the PC in mind and they turn out to be difficult to fit on tiny devices.
- Avoid Flash, which was a rage at some point of time but gradually lost the market after Apple stopped supporting this format.
- Do not make your ads too long. Nobody watches promotional videos for long and especially not on mobile. Keep them under a minute and be as crisp and smart as possible.
- Supplement the video with quality text. Many people watch these videos on the noisy streets or moving vehicles. In case they miss the audio, your subtitles can make up for it.
Born in Los Angeles, Blair Strasser (Founder and CEO of eMerchantBroker) enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion about technology through his writing. @BlairStrasser