Did you know we can process visual information much faster than text: 60,000x to be exact? This is because our visual memory is connected to our median temporal lobe, which is also responsible for emotions. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

This means that a brand has a much better chance of generating a favorable response from its audience with a good video ad than it would from a traditional text ad. Video has the ability to open the floodgates to creativity when it comes to mobile marketing which genuinely captivates customers. One of the reasons it has the power to do this is because our visual memory is hardwired to the part of our brain responsible for our emotions, making it much easier to achieve that Holy Grail of marketing – connection – with a video ad than it is via the written word.

Despite the huge opportunities of this burgeoning channel, which is predicted to account for more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019, brands have proven somewhat reluctant to take full advantage. There’s no doubt, however, that marketers need to be much more experimental – not just with content but with the format too –  if they are to reap the lucrative rewards of mobile video ads.

Innovation at your fingertips

Research shows brand reluctance around mobile video is borne of a certain amount of fear and uncertainty: the leading challenges according to respondents include developing compelling creative (44%) and finding properties to effectively deliver video (35%).

For marketers, these concerns underline the realization that repurposing video content from other platforms and pushing it out scattergun-style won’t cut it on mobile. They realize by doing this, they are missing the boat on innovation.

To be innovative, mobile marketers must be much more creative and disruptive – aggressive, even – and put greater time and effort into building multiple creative for different channels. Yes, learning what works for each publishing partner and creating it can be laborious, but it pays because it’s how the magic happens.

With such a focus now on transparency in the market, brands can easily and meticulously track each creative execution on each channel, clearly seeing what is working and why. Similarly, you have a wealth of data at your fingertips on how and where your target audience is actively engaging with content, which you can use to identify those platforms which should form the core of your mobile marketing strategy.

Without the right customers, your mobile strategy will fail, regardless of the quality of your creative. But innovation is necessary, not just for acquiring new customers, but also for re-engaging dormant ones which is critical in mobile marketing as one in five users will open an application only once and then fail to return.

Again, familiarizing yourself with all these metrics and available data may take time but to ignore them – in a market where the average US mobile user spends about 2.3 hours on their device every day – is simply not an option. Neither can you assume you don’t have the budget or resources to do it properly.

Add Imagination

Adding imagination to video format is another area where mobile marketers are missing opportunities. For example, rewarded videos are one of the most lucrative, rapidly growing ad formats in the last few years yet obvious mistakes are being made. Over half of consumers have said, for instance, that they are willing to watch rewarded videos (also known as “opt-in ads”) in order to claim holiday perks, but only a fifth of marketers are using this tactic in their holiday campaigns. That equates to more than one-third of campaigns that are missing a valuable trick.

Research on gamers also shows how powerful the rewarded video format can be, with 71% of mobile gamers choosing to watch video ads as their preferred way to access new game content or earn in-app currency or additional perks. Rewarded video is predicted to continue its rise throughout 2018 and into 2019, with numbers soaring across all app categories, so it’s imperative mobile marketers get their heads around it, rather than putting their heads in the sand.

Other video formats are growing in popularity and are bound to become more mainstream in mobile marketing. In fact, 49% of marketers say machine learning will become a part of their customer journey in 2018 and 36% are using artificial intelligence. Additional technologies marketers will use in the coming year include mobile payments (27%), chatbots (24%), augmented reality (21%) and virtual reality (15%). Indeed, new formats are likely to spring up in the near future, especially as 5G comes to fruition, so marketers need to keep abreast of innovation to ensure they have a diverse range of ad formats to reach their target consumers, regardless of touchpoint.

Encourage Innovation

Encouraging innovation also comes down to KPIs. A surefire way to hinder progress and distract from innovation is by over-complicating how you measure results and going “KPI crazy.”

Our mantra and advice to clients is always to use fewer KPIs and use them more effectively. This way you can save your imagination and brainstorm for creating video ad content and formats which stop consumers in their tracks.

Leo Giel

Leo Giel


Leo Giel, Chief Revenue Officer at YouAppi