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Mobilize Your Mobile Video Ads

Trying to have your video ad/television commercial live on mobile without making any changes to it is a lot like jamming an overstuffed duffel bag into one of those carry-on baggage measurers at an airport: frustrating, kind of embarrassing, and you’ll end up paying for it.

There are several good reasons to ensure your mobile video ad campaign is properly carried out. Research has shown that one out of three American consumers watch video on their mobile device, that those viewers of mobile video are a less distracted audience than a TV audience, and, according to an Animoto study, that the majority of consumers would rather learn about a product through video than through written copy.

All this data put together means that mobile video is an efficient method of advertising. That statement is further backed by the fact that, according to eMarketer, “The share of digital videos viewed on a smartphone [has been] up 33.0% year over year.”-

But though it’s been clear for a while that mobile usage will not slow down anytime soon, and that mobile ads (video included) are worthwhile, there is still industry-wide confusion and indecision regarding promotion on the small screen.

Needless to say, nobody has all the answers. Companies big and small are still experimenting with how to best advertise on tablets and phones without being a total nuisance to their audience. Considering the limitations of screen-size and how short our attention spans are these days, that’s a true balancing act.

That said, we do have some tips worth keeping in mind when forming your content for a mobile video campaign:

1. Plan for Size

The most obvious difference between mobile media and other forms of media is the size of the screen being considerably smaller. The popularity of phablets have lessened that disparity somewhat, but still, you are operating under the assumption that your video will be played on a hand-held device.

Consider what visuals would work best on a small screen. Images must be clear and allow for quick transitions, no matter the type of mobile ad (pre-roll, in-app, mobile web).

 2. Cut Down Length

Speaking of quick transitions, let’s face it, people don’t have the patience for long ads. They’re disruptive (in a bad way), and definitely don’t leave your audience with a good feel for your brand. That impatience is only exacerbated in the mobile context–if you’ve silently cursed your phone before for taking 3 seconds too long to refresh a page, how pleased do you think your customers will be by an ad that’s even 1 second too long?

Facebook IQ has gathered data showing that people, on average, spend 1.7 seconds on a piece of content on their News Feeds when on mobile as opposed to 2.5 seconds on desktop. Hence, when building videos for mobile, keep it short and sweet.

3. Lower the Sound

There is (arguably) nothing worse than opening up a mobile game on a quiet train during the morning commute, when all of a sudden a painfully loud advertisement you can’t skip starts playing. You feel like a helpless hostage, sitting there, awkwardly apologizing to your neighbors.

Instead of putting your audience in that position, turn off the sound and turn on the captions and brand cues, Facebook IQ suggests. Place your logo and messaging in the beginning to gain impressions, and rely on strong visuals to get you noticed instead of high volume.

Facebook’s muted autoplay feature on News Feeds is one great way for advertisers to be relatively unintrusive while also getting lots of views.

 4. Grab Their Attention

While you don’t want to frighten your consumers into paying attention with loud audio, you do want their eyes on your ad for as long as possible. Use great product shots, attractive colors, celebrities if possible. Provide a blatant call to action (e.g. click here, learn more, etc.) and a quick, easy way to do that action.

Furthermore, since your ad will literally be in the palm of many hands, aim for interactivity. For in-app videos, Include opportunities to engage with the video, whether that’s through clickable buttons, tappable icons, making the video expandable, or allowing social sharing.

Finally, a sure way to grab an audience’s attention is through proper use of targeting. Make sure your mobile video ads are seen by the population segment you’re interested in. Recently Facebook has made this a bit easier using new TRP (target rating points) Buying  features. Advertisers can now use US Nielsen designated market areas through TRP Buying for ads on Facebook and Instagram, which will “match the target market they’re reaching on Facebook to the ones they’re buying on television”. Day-parts are also now available for purchase to help appropriately time the ads. Buying TRPs  for Facebook and Instagram ads will work to better surround your audience and make your media efforts work together.


Mobile video ads, if done well, can be extremely successful. We can’t wait to see what kind of videos businesses come up with in the future.

What do you think of our tips? Got any good ones to add? Write your comments down below.

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