Video is going through a significant transitional phase as emerging video advertising trends are set to change the way advertisers approach this medium. While traditional video marketing has always had strong sales conversion potential, new formats like 360-degree campaigns, rewarded video, and live features may offer an even better benefit. That benefit is the ability for a brand to gain attention with video, even as the traditional marketing space for videos becomes a crowded and challenging area in which to compete.
Most of these new features in video advertising trends come as a result of improved mobile technology and the platforms these consumers use on their devices. With increased access to smartphones, consumers can interact with brands in immersive environments, receive incentives for watching content, or participate in events remotely as they happen. Today’s video advertising trends show us that brands must be prepared to deliver innovative marketing content as consumers’ demand for incentives, live features, and immersive experiences grow.
Going Live on Social Media
Live streaming is such a favorite feature among consumers it's even been called “the future of social media.” Most popular social platforms offer live streaming features as part of their apps, allowing consumers to film and share simultaneously. This is an area of which brand leaders can take advantage to help their content stand out.
Live video offers content without the expense often associated with creating it. Consumers tend to have lower expectations for the quality of live streams than traditional formats such as professionally-produced commercials. Live streaming allows someone to create a short, in the moment video that can be shared immediately. Some live videos can even be saved and stored, for future accessibility.
Live Internet video is expected to account for 13% of all Internet video traffic by 2021. This boost in live traffic will continue as brands start creating live campaigns as part of new product launch plans or other branded events. Those who understand the power of live content will be best poised to deliver it.
Rewarding Consumers for Watching Videos
One of the most significant challenges in video advertising is not in attracting viewers but in keeping them engaged from beginning to end. The longer a video is watched, the more likely the consumer is to retain the brand’s message or even buy its product, making full views the pinnacle of performance in video metrics. Content is just one of many factors that can determine if a video is viewed in its entirety. Some other factors to consider include:
Video advertisements play in conjunction with a featured video. Having the footage play before content is often a more effective way of gaining full views when compared to putting it in the middle or at the end of the primary material. This is because the consumer may not watch the primary content all the way to the end.
Length versus impact:
A consumer may be more than happy to watch a 15 second advertisement, but are they really grasping the concept in such a short span of time? The purpose of the ad is to share the brand’s message and increase consumer connection. If the ad is extremely short, the consumer likely won’t retain anything from it. However, if the ad is too long, they may not watch it all the way through. Brands must test various advertisement lengths to determine the maximum amount of time needed to retain the message compared to how long consumers are willing to watch.
Value for time investment:
The most prominent factor in whether or not the consumer will view a video all the way to the end is if the consumer feels that the amount of time spent watching the advertisement is worth it. At best, some brands hope to get passive watchers of their ads, in that the consumer tolerates the commercial until they are able to skip to their primary content but isn’t fully engaged with the ad. However, by rewarding the consumer for watching the video in the first place, the likelihood that they'll actively watch the video increases. This active watching is where rewarded video can make a stronger impact for brands.
Rewarded video is a means of encouraging watching a video to completion by offering an incentive. In games, this incentive might be additional lives or equipment, while in shopping apps—like Shopkick—the focus is on allowing the consumer to collect rewards points (aka kicks) for viewing specific video content. In either case, rewarded video improves:
Rewarded video creates a back and forth between the consumer and the brand that isn't produced through a standard video advertisement. The consumer gives the brand permission to show them the ad for something in exchange, heightening the connection.
In one study, 53% of users of new apps who'd watched one rewarded video in their first week kept the app for 30 days or more. When a company is trying to improve retention of a branded app, rewarded video can make the difference as consumers are more likely to keep an app that rewards them.
One of the benefits of rewarded video is the brand is giving something that has a higher perceived value than an instant discount or coupon. When gaining rewards points, the consumer's perception of value is worth more than the dollar amount of a reward being offered. As consumers place high value onrewards points, these act as a great motivator in the rewarded video segment.
Rewarded video can be an excellent way for brands to leverage the popularity of video while minimizing their competition. Through the incentivized experience, the consumer develops a favorable impression of the brand which can later lead to sales. These rewarded experiences are also less costly than other emerging video marking mediums.
Immersing Consumers in 360 Video Advertising Trends
One of the most advanced ways to reach out to consumers with video advertising is through immersive experiences that allow the consumer to feel like part of the advertisement. This immersive experience is a more cost-effective option than virtual and augmented reality video advertising. These experiences can also improve sales, as one study showed a 7% greater purchase intent from those who’d viewed a 360-degree experience from a brand.
One example of this type of advertising is a campaign for Mountain Dew that included immersive trailers for a street basketball game sponsored by the Pepsi brand. The brand features popular streetball player Grayson “The Professor” Boucher in a series of 360-degree video ads for an event. Overall, the commercial reached a 22% click-through rate, which is significantly higher than the standard 1% rate of most video advertising campaigns. Mountain Dew was able to achieve this by using immersive ads in conjunction with:
A niche celebrity endorsement:
Boucher may not be a household name, but in the streetball community, he is well known. This partnership gives Mountain Dew credibility in a niche community, allowing them to reach out to the fans of that community through their celebrity partnership.
Highly targeted advertising:
Again, streetball is a bit of an indie sporting event, not as widely-followed as events from the NFL, MLB, or the NBA. This niche audience offers a smaller, but less diverse pool of consumers who may be more likely to be fans of Mountain Dew. This offers a smaller, but more purchase-motivated audience for the brand.
Social media tie-ins:
During the event, the brand tied in social media using the #GotHandles hashtag on social media. The hashtag is a play on Boucher's goal to inspire basketball players of all ages to stay on top of their basics—like ball handling skills. The hashtag gained greater attention for the campaign when used on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
The results speak for themselves when it comes to immersive campaigns. They offer higher conversion potential than standard video while improving consumer engagement. Despite that, these campaigns are incredibly expensive to create, far more so than a traditional video ad. While technology is being designed to lower the barrier to entry in this medium, it will be some time before it's a feature that's affordable to all. One more cost-effective way to leverage new video innovations is by partnering with a third-party app provider.
Managing Video Experiences with Third-party Mobile Advertising
When it comes to video advertising, the trend seems to be moving the way of mobile. In fact, mobile video traffic now accounts for half of all mobile traffic. Brands must be prepared to take a mobile-first approach to offering video advertising to consumers. This mobile-first approach is often more accessible for a brand to manage by partnering with a third-party, like a shopping app, to provide videos to consumers while offering a well-rounded mobile experience. Leveraging a third-party mobile app for delivering videos offers more than a few benefits to brands, including:
Greater audience reach:
Through a third-party partnership, a brand immediately gains access to that app’s existing user base. In partnering with an established app provider, this can often include millions of active users.
Some shopping apps provide the option for brands to leverage rewarded video on a platform that offers points for consumers viewing those advertisements. These apps incentivize views of a brands video and gain attention for its products without requiring an immediate discount.
By using a third-party, a brand can gain access to data from their video interactions, helping them discover valuable signals of purchase intent which they can then use in future advertising campaigns.
When a brand puts a video on an open platform that anyone can use, they automatically enter into competition with every other brand on that platform. Shopping apps are a bit more exclusive, allowing a brand to limit the competition for views of video content within an endemic shopping environment.
Conversion boosting features:
We know that video advertising has a high ROI. Proximity marketing—where consumers receive messages based on their location—has high conversion potential. Combining these two powerful sales converters significantly expands the impact of a branded message and could help improve sales as well.
Using mobile apps in conjunction with third parties can provide a cost-effective solution for a brand that wants to leverage video advertising but isn't sure they're ready to invest heavily in the technology. These apps can be a way to test the water before a brand moves on to more complex, in-house video marketing campaigns. Finally, they provide a better way to incentivize consumers without giving discounts.
Video advertising trends that will shape the future combine technological advances to deliver greater interactive experiences for consumers. Whether a brand is using live video options, incentivizing consumers through rewarded video, or promoting an event with 360-degree content, it is gaining an edge by offering content consumers are starting to demand. By making these experiences mobile, through a third-party partnership, brands will be better able to leverage trends in video advertising as they emerge.