A recent report published by comScore highlights important trends in how audiences consume video on their mobile devices.
Specifically, YouTube’s video app has earned the second most unique visitors year over year with only Facebook ranking higher. With YouTube acting as the undisputed king of online video and Facebook beefing up its own video platform, 2016 is poised for brands ready to commit to mobile video marketing.
YouTube videos in particular carry a lot of power on mobile devices. When properly optimized for visibility through headlines, descriptions, and link building, YouTube videos gain amplified traffic from both the first and second largest search engines: Google, who displays YouTube videos in SERP’s, and, of course, YouTube. The two apps rank second and fourth in year-over-year growth.
This is important because video discovery is not limited to one singular app. Keyword research applies to all content marketing, including mobile videos. With Google Search app ranking high on the app usage list above, it’s important to optimize meta descriptions and headlines for videos as you would for any other piece of content.
It’s clear that social media plays a big role in video sharing as well. Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter are all important platforms that made the list above. A link shared by a friend can be clicked at any point, on any device, and start consumers on a purchase journey.
According to AOL’s latest research on video, people are 4x as likely to watch on a device based on convenience, not viewing experience. Screen size also matters very little to consumers. This means that brands need to shift gears when connecting their creative development with their strategic deployment by providing video content optimized for mobile-first consumers.
It’s no secret that mobile video engagement is on the rise. In particular, comScore’s focus on YouTube’s app usage rates make it loud and clear that audiences are consuming video at an increasing rate on mobile devices.
Notably, YouTube app usage rates on smartphones have increased by 34 percent over the year, nearing 5 hours of viewing a month. YouTube usage rates on tablets average 9 hours a month.
Audiences are already watching on all screens even if brand content is still catching up. With such high engagement rates continuing to rise across channels, marketers must commit to creating smart mobile video or risk leaving money on the table.
This leads to an important question: what other obstacles are left for the rise of mobile video? It’s clear that adoption across all mobile devices is on the rise.
The numbers don’t lie. According to AOL’s recent State of Video report, mobile video ad spend grew from $1.5 billion to $2.7 billion, a 75 percent boost in just one year. Many brands are already making their move toward the small screens.
But according to the same report, an important barrier to video ad success is the optimization of creative content. Though ad uniqueness is clearly important, strong communication between marketers and video content creators to alleviate technical and operational challenges of publishing across all devices.
This means that it is no longer acceptable for mobile video to be an afterthought – commercial assets from TV campaigns are simply not optimized for mobile viewing. It hurts campaign performance and wastes a brand’s time and money rather than provide an effective return on investment.
Companies that already have a head start on the mobile video investment and are reaping the benefits because they have fully committed to developing video fit for all screen sizes. Publishers stated that mobile video alone makes 24 percent of all digital revenue, with that number projected to reach 29 percent in 2016.
That doesn’t mean it’s too late to start crafting smart mobile video content primed for engagement. Second-movers should learn from the insights gained from these brands – optimize video content for mobile devices by including calls to action to be seen well from the small screen and making audio a secondary initiative.
By converting the growing mobile engagement rates into sales with video advertising, it’s important to note that videos are useful for more than just brand awareness. In particular, native video advertising does wonders for retail brands looking for a lift in purchase intent moving into 2016.
By focusing video ads to strategically place the most important information within the first 5 seconds, a YouTube ad can reach its audience right at the start, when a user is most engaged with video content.
Brands preparing their 2016 marketing campaign budgets must consider mobile video if they want to put their best content in front of customers. It’s necessary to place relevant content where the audience is engaged most to see performance rise — in this case, that’s a smartphone.