The best video advertising apps to reach—and grow—your audience

The best video advertising apps to reach—and grow—your audience

A good video advertising app doesn’t just create brand awareness, it also converts viewing into interest in your brand—and eventually turns viewers into buyers. At one time, apps were games or simple side features on a mobile phone. Now, they’re the primary way that consumers use their phones, with 52% of time on digital media being spent on mobile apps. Video is a popular feature on these apps, and brands can leverage this tool to grow their audience. The key to growing an audience with a video advertising app is following the consumers to the platforms they use and becoming a part of those apps.

Brands need to get involved now if they’re going to continue to gain the greatest advantage from a mobile advertising program. There are a few categories of apps that incorporate video, including social media and shopping and rewards apps, that present opportunities for brands to convert consumers. By choosing apps that offer what consumers are looking for, these brands can reach and grow their audience.

Growing Consumer Demand for Shopping Apps

Use of shopping apps is growing. In fact, from 2016 to 2017 these types of apps saw 54% activity growth. This was much higher than the average for all apps, at just 6%. There are several reasons that shopping app usage has grown, including:

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Perceived value:

Consumers receive rewards from shopping apps which they can often trade for gift cards or gift certificates. The consumer’s perception of value is often greater than the simple dollar amount for these points as there is an emotional return in both earning the reward and in using the resulting points to save for another item. Rewards are one of the primary reasons consumers choose retail mobile shopping apps, so offering them provides a chance to gain greater brand affinity.

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Consumers frequently use shopping apps as a means of ordering items online. It’s anticipated that mCommerce will account for 45% of all online purchases in the US by 2020. Because they often promote both in-store and digital purchases, shopping apps are uniquely positioned to capitalize on this trend toward using mobile devices for online purchases.

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While games are among the most popular apps, many other apps are taking on game-like attributes to gain consumer awareness. This is the case with the Shopkick app, which creates a digital scavenger hunt that allows consumers to use the app in-store to find and collect rewards (known as kicks) on items. The gamification of shopping apps keeps consumers engaged by consistently challenging them, and then rewarding them for meeting those challenges, much as in a game.

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Increased complexity:

Shopping apps have grown more sophisticated since they were initially developed. Many have added options like digital wallets and geotracking, which makes these apps better able to travel with consumers. The increasing intelligence of shopping apps has made them far more appealing, and they’re no longer just sources of discounts. Consumers are able to use mobile apps to plan out their whole shopping trip ahead of time or simply access them as they’re in the shopping aisle. Their versatility is driven mainly by the complexity of these apps.

One thing that some shopping apps have incorporated is the use of video. Brands can use video advertisements to gain awareness of their products directly within these platforms. As consumers using these apps are already in a purchase mindset, this is a prime opportunity. Another opportunity to be found is with rewarded video.

Using a Rewarded Video Advertising App

Various app platforms, from games to social media, are now offering rewarded video as an option to consumers. This isn’t a standalone feature, as rewarded video is usually added onto an existing platform, but it’s a highly lucrative one for both app developers and brands. In one study, it was noted that 33% of mobile revenue was delivered by rewarded video ads. The reason this is such a lucrative option is its popularity with consumers. Consumers prefer rewarded video for many reasons:

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Immediate rewards:

For consumers, rewarded video offers an immediate return on the time they spend viewing a video. For 15 to 30 seconds of their time, they’re able to gain rewards like points for free merchandise or in-game items. For marketers, the overhead is also low, as the brand sets the reward they choose to give and can scale the program as needed.

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Minimal disruptions:

Banner ads and pop-ups are known to be disruptive, with many consumers finding them irritating enough to uninstall apps entirely. On the other hand, rewarded video improves app retention. One study noted that rewarded video could increase app retention by as much as 4 times. Rewarded video gives consumers more control over the advertising process and, as a result, minimizes the disruption felt when ads are displayed. Because consumers have invited the advertisement to their screen, they’re more likely to keep the app installed.

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Low time commitment:

When watching television, the average commercial interruption is several minutes long. This makes viewers likely to change the channel, fast forward, or just ignore the commercial. Rewarded videos on mobile apps are much shorter, often less than 30 seconds. As a result, consumers will stay to watch the ad. This shorter format also benefits the brand, as the consumer is far more likely to watch the video and thus retain the brand’s message.

Rewarded video is not just for gaming apps. Instead, it’s becoming a major part of apps industry-wide, as marketers see an increased consumer demand. One place we’re seeing massive growth in rewarded video opportunities is through social media apps. However, social media isn’t just an ideal platform for rewarded video, it’s also an optimal spot for a growing trend: branded live video content.

Leveraging Live Video on Social Media Apps

Social media is indisputably a good place for brands to interact with consumers. About 50 million small businesses report using social media pages to connect with audiences. However, this leads to an issue of brand fatigue. Consumers have grown weary of advertisements on social media, which is why brands must find new ways to stand out.

One thing that has been growing on these platforms is the use of live video. In one survey, researchers found that 80% of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog post, while 82% would prefer it over a social media text update. Live video from brands feels more genuine and, as a result, increases the consumer connection. Here are just a few ways that branded live video can be used on social media:

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New product announcements:

Brands can film their announcements of new products and services and post them on social media as a way to gain immediate attention. It’s best to combine this method with other options to gain the most engagement.

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Customer Q&As:

A great way to hold a Q&A is via live video feeds. Have customers post their questions in the comments, and then your brand’s representative can answer them in real time in the live video. This direct connection creates engagement with the video and increases the likelihood that it will be shared among consumers.

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Partnered events:

When a brand partners with a company for an event, they can live stream the event on social media. This gives the consumers the perception of insider access to the company, which increases brand affinity.

Live video works well on social media because it allows brands to get consumers involved in the conversation about their products in real time. As social media is designed to encourage interaction, this is an ideal way to build brand awareness which can later be leveraged into brand affinity. It spreads your brand’s message in a genuine and immediate way.

Monetized Ads With Mobile Publishers

Mobile publishers with high performing platforms make about 55% of their revenue through ad sales, as monetized video ads within third-party apps are proven converters. Brands know that these publishers can get their ads in front of the right people, at the right time. While many of these publishers are in the gaming sector, there are other options outside of this sector that brands can use to share their video ads.

Partnering with a mobile publisher simply means advertising your product on someone else’s platform. Here are just a few segments outside of gaming where this is a possibility:

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Video streaming:

Apps like Netflix and Hulu are probably the first ones that come to mind when one is thinking about video streaming platforms. However, there are smaller niche options that could be available if a brand wants to focus on a specific community.

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Fitness apps that offer consumers calorie tracking, exercise regimens, and other health-inspired options can be a good solution for brands with correlating products.

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Dating apps designed for mobile are good tools for restaurants, as those can be used as meet-up spots for first dates and singles events.

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Maps and Weather:

Information apps that provide consumers with weather reports, directions, and other necessary information are great tools for reaching consumers in a specific locality.

When considering buying ad space on a mobile publisher’s app, brands should think beyond gaming to see what other tools their target demographic might choose to use. Often, their target market is better found through apps that offer geolocation-based tools specific to the consumer’s own community. As consumers become more dependent on apps to manage their daily lives, opportunities to advertise on non-gaming apps will grow.

Bringing Together the Best Video Advertising App Features

Ideally, when a brand is looking for video advertising app options, they should seek out the apps that offer several of the above features in one place. Apps that provide more than one service keep consumers engaged with the app, which increases their interaction with the brands that use it.

Social media is a good example of a platform that brings together the best features since many social media apps combine live video, rewarded video, gamification and even payment options that encourage consumers to use these apps for everything. However, a basic social media app has limitations, including the fact that consumers may not be in a buying mindset when using social media. People turn to social media for entertainment. As a result, using these apps for audience growth and brand affinity isn’t necessarily going to work since the message isn’t guaranteed to reach the consumer at the right time.

Shopping apps are the optimal tools for tying all the best features of video advertising apps together. These are the apps that consumers use when they’re prepared to engage with a brand, whether they’re getting ready to go shopping or are already in the store. They also combine components of other popular video advertising platforms like rewarded video, social media, and gamification. By using shopping apps, brands can connect with consumers at the right time. They provide all the features of the best video advertising apps that brands need to connect with an audience and increase market share.

Shopkick’s platform is designed to help our partners build brand awareness by using the most popular app features that consumers demand. For information on adding our platform to your marketing mix, contact us.



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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.