The Importance of a Mobile Video Strategy this Holiday Season

Phone-with-red-bow-lowresHoliday Shopping

The time has come. Advertisers are rolling out their seasonal spots in full force as the holidays consume us in waves. We all recognize those classic brand TV commercials; human-sized M&M’s running into Santa and families of polar bears trying to get their hands on some soda. However, the strategy to capture consumers’ attention with holiday humor and sentiments of visiting family is increasingly becoming a multi-platform package with a red bow.

Traditional television spots are seeping into digital channels, where most people are viewing them—and advertisers are recognizing that.  With so many technologies and devices currently available, getting consumers to engage in TV spots can be difficult.  According to an AdAge study, 80% of people are doing something else while watching TV; and most of that “something else” is being on their mobile device.

Mobile Video

So what exactly are users doing on their mobile device? Watching video content is a large portion of that activity.  This isn’t much of a surprise, though, as over half of consumer internet traffic is video-related, and is expected to surpass 86% in 2016.  Not to mention a recent Google and IPSOS study concluded that millennials are twice as likely to focus on smartphone videos as those on TV. With this shift in consumption rates, having mobile video as a digital strategy will surely complement TV ads and increase brand reach.  In mobile video-supplemented campaigns, Nielsen research identified a 12.7% increase in CPG brands’ reach of the largest holiday target audience, women 25-54. Seeing how this audience accounts for 85% of consumer purchases, brands will want a large piece of that apple pie (Christmas gifts anyone?).

Lady-with-phone-lowresThis makes video a vital strategy for retailers this holiday shopping season, not only across everyday publishers but also across social channels like Facebook and Instagram. Senior Marketing Manager Mairead Riddge of Offerpop reported 90% of shares on Instagram occurred on Facebook as well. And with 92% of women passing along info about deals or finds to others when online, brand engagement on different channels have truly become interconnected. Behavior like this encourages brands to launch cross-channel advertising campaigns this season, on top of a cross-platform approach.

Viral Video Content

With a vast amount of reach, this all-encompassing strategy also paves the way for brands’ videos to become “viral,” which many advertisers hope for. All the posting, sharing, forwarding, and engaging people do with others via various avenues can create a wildfire effect. Think about it: how many times have you seen Matthew McConaughey (or some variation of Matthew McConaughey) in a Lincoln in the past couple months—and where? The wildly popular and eccentric ads generated over 12 million digital views in just a couple weeks, and spawned spoofs of all kinds including the largely shared SNL parodies. Lincoln reported a 25% sales spike in that same time frame. Coincidence? The viral video chart thinks not. The holidays especially generate and move a lot of viral content, and with videos having greater “viral” potential than other ad units, video units are a seasonal marketer’s slam dunk to reach the masses.

Taking into account performance, mobile video is a goliath in its own right.  With some of the highest engagement rates of any ad type and the shifting nature of consumer habits, mobile video is in position to become an essential piece of how advertisers relate to and convert target audiences. Although big brand advertisers will still have hefty commercial budgets, overall TV ad spend is on the decline and advertisers will be utilizing mobile video as a larger tactic in allocating budgets. Prepare to see a lot more holiday cheer playing on your smartphone and tablet. If you’re a little more traditional however, not to worry; you’ll still be able to watch TV with your favorite Coca Cola Bears fumbling on ice and sports cars with oversized holiday bows—with no end in sight.

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