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The year is 2018, and the desire for instant gratification is at an all-time high. With nearly three-quarters of the American population owning smartphones, it only makes sense for brands to focus their budgets and efforts on reaching their audiences through mobile devices. As marketers, it’s our job to dig into the mind of the consumer and give them what they really want. Understanding that there is a continuously increasing amount of content being consumed over mobile is key, and with technology companies racing towards conquering the ability to access endless luxuries at our disposal via mobile, there is no end in sight.
In 2016, mobile ad spending surpassed desktop ad spending. And by next year, nearly 70% of total digital ad spending will be on mobile devices, according to EMarketer. If your business isn’t yet prioritized for mobile-readiness, now is the time to put those efforts into actions.
Where to start?
If you’re going to advertise on mobile, think about what platforms mobile users are on. Facebook boasts more than 1 billion daily active users, while Twitter is currently at 320 million monthly active users. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is pulling about 400 million monthly active users, and Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users. With that said, these platforms are also prioritizing mobile display in their ad product offerings. For example, Facebook just launched its mobile-first video creation studio to offer advertisers the ability to add motion graphics to their static ads, and Twitter launched capabilities for advertisers to upload and distribute their own mobile video ads via promoted video.
Mobile Video Advertising Tips:
Keep your videos short and sweet: How long should my mobile video ads be? 6 seconds is key. When Champs Sports compared their 30 second and 6 second video ads, they showed a 271% increase in video completion rate, 11% increase in ad recall, and 12% increase in return on ad spend. Consumers are more likely to remember an ad that captured them right off the bat and drew their attention quickly. The difference in the ad recall shows the significance of clear and concise messaging that connects the brand to the consumer.
Think mobile-friendliness when shooting your video: A common issue that marketers run into is that their videos aren’t optimized to be running on all platforms. Make sure that when shooting a video for mobile, it’s being recorded at the proper specs to run on the platforms you’re going to be promoting them on:
Facebook video ad specs: Video dimensions:1280×720. Minimum width: 600px. Recommended video formats: .mp4, .mov. Maximum file size: 4GB.
Instagram video ad specs: Video dimensions: 600×600. Video max length: 60 seconds. Recommended video formats: .mp4, .mov. Maximum file size: 4GB.
Twitter video ad specs: Video dimensions: 1280×720. Video max length: 140 seconds. Recommended video formats: .mp4, .mov. Maximum file size: 512MB.
Snapchat video ad specs: Video dimensions: 1080×1920. Video max length: 10 seconds. Recommended video formats: .mp4, .mov. Maximum file size: 32MB.
Make it all about the experience: Remember that mobile doesn’t always mean it’s just a different device. It’s a different experience too, and it’s the experience that you should be focusing on. Consumers are conditioned to use their mobile devices to discover new places, products, or events. Thinking about mobile-video advertising as experience-based with contextual placements is the better way to go.
We all know the story: Facebook has been under pressure about how their third-party targeting data capabilities infringe on user privacy since even before the 2016 elections, but they could no longer make excuses once the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. Now, the company is making a permanent – and surprising – move that may usher in a new era of social media where privacy is king, and user vulnerability is no longer the norm.
For most people that use Facebook, and other social media networks, this is a welcomed shift; but as a marketer, the alarm bells might be sounding. If you’re feeling a sense of dread for all the meetings that need to be scheduled with management to explain next steps, here’s an overview of what you need to know to prepare for and navigate those meetings.
Facebook’s announcement outlined their plan to place restrictions on advertising data usage, with the emphasis on eliminating all public and private third-part targeting; essentially the dissolution of their Partner Categories tool. This tool previously allowed marketers to partner with companies to use offline purchase data to enhance their ad targeting. Some of the targeting that this will effect includes behavioral, purchasing, and household income. This change has a pretty transparent goal: decrease user vulnerability by limiting the way their consumer data is used by other companies.
There are several reasons that Facebook is making this change, but the most prominent reasons are the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The scandal put a target on Facebook and drew criticism from users, stakeholders, and others in the social media space. GDPR took effect on May 25, 2018, and aims to give data control back to the people. One way GDPR does this is by requiring companies to gain explicit consent for all data collection they do, as well as transparency about how that data will be used. GDPR is applicable to all residents of EU, no matter where the company in question is located. Additionally, Facebook’s general outlook has shifted from one of arrogance to one of responsibility; making changes like this is the only way they are going to keep the business alive.
As of October 1, 2018, Partner Categories will cease to exist and any ads that are running using that targeting option will no longer be delivered. In a nutshell, marketers will need to bring their targeting focus inward, and stop looking to third-party targeting to reach their audiences. This is not doomsday; there are plenty of other ways for marketers to target their audiences online.
The first step is to revisit and adjust existing KPIs with Facebook’s new limitations in mind. Trying to meet those expectations without the same tools would have any marketer feeling like a failure. As you review and rebuild your strategies and KPIs, don’t forget to focus more on objectives that align with brand awareness. Operating your targeting within Facebook’s new rules will help you gain and keep the trust of the audiences that you continue to reach, which is an invaluable way to gain long-term brand advocates.
Don’t forget that you have a lot of data on your own. Start to work with your internal teams and your agency to collect that data and find creative ways to use it for targeting and for general content. Upload your existing data lists into your campaigns and start running some targeting to see what results you get. Adjust, repeat, adjust, repeat.
There are also other social media networks that you can use to reach your targets. If you haven’t created company pages on Pinterest, Twitter or Snapchat, now might be the time to start exploring how you can leverage those platforms to access new audiences.
Influencer marketing is trending, but is it worth it?
It’s a phrase as old as time: word of mouth is the best marketing. For many years, brands have been using spokespersons to spread the word about their products, and to associate themselves with a “cool” and “worthy” person, group, and segment. But, like all marketing, techniques and tactics need to roll with the changing times.