In our previous post, we looked at four secret ingredients to get a video experience right. We talked about how call to action buttons, ads auto-playing on mute and optimized for different screen sizes go a long way in creating the perfect video ad experience for the user. In this second and final part of this series, we continue to look at best practices that can help marketers ensure greater engagement for their video ad campaigns on mobile.
- Native player support for video ads
It is good to use a fancy, next-generation technology when your target audience base is controlled and you know that the video ads you create will run on their devices. However, your ads will reach out to a wider audience with mobile advertising. Chances are that some devices and operating system environments will force the video to play on its native player, which can be restrictive – many ignore the interactive layer of a video, even with HTML5. Therefore, be flexible and still serve HTML5 where you can, but downgrade to VAST when the ad is served on devices that require native players. This will not just ensure a hassle-free video ad experience the user, but also lower costs for you.
- Bandwidth friendly video ads
A 2016 Ericsson report suggests that a 2 second delay in loading a YouTube video can increase stress levels by 3 percentage points. This stress could further increase by 15 percentage points even if there is a single pause after the video begins. Nothing says a bad ad experience like a choppy video ad. The acceptable video load time range is between 0.10 to 1.5 seconds. Since bandwidth varies across mobile devices, technologies such as HTTP Live Stream (HLS) – an adaptive streaming communications protocol developed by Apple – and MPEG-DASH – an adaptive bitrate streaming technique that enables high-quality streaming of content on conventional HTTP Web servers – are a must. These tools serve the video in lower bit rates, enabling the user's device to automatically adjust the consumption rate for smoother delivery and an overall quality ad experience.
- Short and sweet
The power that video offers is that you can say a lot more in lot less time. In fact, according to Vuclip's Global Video Insights report, 85% of viewers in India consume short-format video content (run-time less than 10 minutes) on smartphones. Therefore, short 15-second spots are better-suited for short-format content and 30-second spots are better for long-format content on smartphones.
Remember, as engaging as video ads can be, video ads not done the right way can work in the exact opposite way for users. In this age of instant consumption, users do not have the patience for a video ad experience that's not optimized and won't bat an eyelid before skipping it and moving on with whatever it is that they were doing on their smartphone. Get your video ads right and enjoy the fruits of offering your audience a great mobile marketing experience.