Why Video Advertising is a Must for Your Mobile App or Game

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Video has long proven its value as a powerful and compelling way to deliver interesting content and turn consumers into loyal fans. So it’s no surprise to find out that video advertising is doing the same for mobile marketers across the world.

Recent research reveals that video advertising is increasingly growing and used to drive interest, buzz and downloads in the mobile app economy.

But why is that the case? With the help of the Growmobile team and Andrew French, general manager of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at AdColony, we picked out four reasons why video advertising is on the rise.

1) Video is important in the mobile economy as a whole

Why is video advertising becoming such a big part of the mobile advertising industry? To understand that, we need to understand the growth in mobile video across the app economy as a whole.

And the reason for that growth is simple: technological development combined with audience growth. Super fast smartphones boasting 4G mobile connectivity and ever increasing screen quality are perfect canvasses for delivering high quality video on devices. And when you consider that these devices are in the hands of hundreds of millions of people worldwide, it means video has an unparalleled opportunity to grow as a whole.

This is borne out by demographic data. According to a study by multiplatform video services company Vubiquity, 44 percent of all users said they watched viral videos on their phones. And for younger consumers (aged 13-17) the smartphone ranks only behind the TV for video viewing, with 37 percent using it to watch video daily.

Video advertising isn’t a big thing simply because of marketing returns then; it’s a big because it taps into the broader trend which has seen YouTube, Vine and auto-playing Facebook videos capture the interest of mobile users across the world.

2) The format of video ads encourages engagement

It’s within this market context that video advertising is able to grow.

According to a study published by eMarketer earlier this year, advertising professionals predict that mobile video ad spending in the U.S. will see the highest growth rate in the coming years, compared to other formats studied.

But the reason video it is outstripping the growth of most other mobile advertising and likely to be a multi-billion dollar industry within the year is how engaging the format is.

Rather than rely on a static interstitial pop up that reveals little of the game or even a nicely designed, but dull, Facebook install ad, video ads work well for two reasons in particular.

The first is what French calls “the sneak peek” factor. Whether the video ad simply displays gameplay in the energetic manner of Trials Frontier or subtly sells lifestyle changes such as Airbnb’s TV campaign, the mixture of audio, video and text produces a richer flavor of what experience that app will provide.

Second, and equally important, is that video ads save the user time, French said:

Video campaigns also cut down on wasted efforts and spend because users know precisely what they are getting into. [When they see a video ad] they know what to expect and they genuinely want the app for that reason.

And ultimately, that means anyone who does decide to install is likely to be more engaged in the long run. As French explained, video advertising creates a “preconceived idea in people around what the user experience can be and so users are more likely to play or interact with the app until they get that experience.”

Not only is video an interesting format then, it’s one that actively sparks user interest beyond the moment of install.

3) Video ads can be used effectively outside of ad networks

What’s the secret to Clash of Clans‘ TV advertising success? Is it that solely that their ads, such as the Liam Neeson Super Bowl spot, prove popular with a massive TV audience? No – it’s that they have social reach too.

If you check out the game’s YouTube channel, you’ll see that many of their TV ads boast tens of millions of views. There are even fan-made videos with hundreds of thousands of views, which spoof their campaigns – as shown in this Hog Rider tribute video.

And the reason why this is the case is that video as a format, and video ads by proxy, have real potential to deliver value outside of the confines of an ad network.

A well designed video ad can easily go viral on a social video site such as Twitter or Facebook and drive users to your app or YouTube channel, which benefits from having a billion users as well as one of the best search engines in the world.

You can even use a video adt within your overall app marketing efforts. The arrival of app trailers on the App Store last year and the longer term embedding of YouTube videos into Google Play means that a video ad can sell on a store as well as in an ad slot.

Video ads aren’t just a pretty format that’ll help out the acquisition team; they have serious usage advantages across social and product marketing teams as well.

4) Video ads reward quality

Finally, and reassuringly for most marketers worth their salt, video ads reward quality.

Out of all the formats, a video ad is the format which users demand the most from, French said:

Generally speaking, users have downtime and they want to be entertained. They are in a ‘need-state’ where they need entertainment.

As a result, the quality bar for a video ad needs to be higher than a simple graphic-driven counterpart like a banner or an interstitial. Generating a compelling 30-second narrative, capturing the appropriate footage, editing it together professionally and sound-tracking it well is a tricky challenge.

But, as we’ve seen in this piece, doing it well delivers clear rewards. Rovio’s investment in an animation studio has helped its gameplay video trailer for Angry Birds 2 stand out; Kabam’s trailer for Star Wars Uprising has helped establish the game as a key part of the Star Wars Episode 7 hype machine; ustwo’s zen announce trailer for Monument Valley helped to establish it as a mobile game to watch ahead of its meteoric rise.

Obviously, not every studio or developer will be able to create videos of that standard straight away. But by putting time, money and effort into video ads, your company can benefit from an engaging format that delivers returns for UA experts, social marketers and for the brand of the company as a whole in the long term.

Shai Gottesdiener is the general manager of Growmobile by Perion. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.