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Video Made The Mobile Commerce Star

It’s undeniable that video has continued to grow on social media, taking up more and more of brands’ online ad spend and accounting for more of the time consumers spend online. But what has exacerbated the growth of video has been the adoption of mobile.

With better connectivity has come a huge increase in hours spent consuming videos via mobile devices. Retailers are taking full advantage of this, deploying video marketing strategies across various social platforms. But, as the demand increases, so too does the competition to grab the attention of a core consumer audience.

Here are some of the most important video trends of 2015, including examples of how savvy brands are utilizing this powerful medium to connect and convert more casual watchers into loyal buyers.

 

Digital Video Ads Keep On Rising

With the large majority of sales for retailers still happening in store, digital ad and social strategies tend to be omnichannel, programmatic and directed at driving visits to physical retail locations. According to annual forecasts from eMarketer, retailers were projected to spend nearly twice as much as any other industry on mobile advertising in 2015, with a $6.65 billion spend representing 23.2 percent of the total in the U.S. this past year. The retail industry was projected to be the largest spender in the digital video advertising space as well, with 19.9 percent of the overall spend being attributed to the sector, according to the eMarketer study.

“While digital ad growth remains the story for all industries, it is not ‘one-size-fits-all,’ and nuances among sectors reflect a variety of trends in the ways each industry approaches its market, targets consumers and closes sales,” said Victoria Petrock, principal analyst at eMarketer. “For 2015, mobile, digital video and programmatic buying are the brightest stars in the digital advertising lineup.”

Furthermore, with the increase of mobile platforms, advertisers diverted budgets away from more traditional channels like television. As reported by Direct Marketing News, the Interactive Advertising Bureau polled over 300 marketers and advertising executives, who said they would increase spending on digital video to $10.3 billion in 2015, a 43 percent increase over the year prior. Additionally, 68 percent said they would devote more budget to digital video than TV, and 58 percent would invest more in mobile video. Overall, 67 percent of those polled said they’d be shifting funds from TV into video buys.

Pretty big numbers — but those estimates may have actually been too conservative.

According to a recently released study by AppLovin and AppsFlyer, spending on mobile video ads has actually grown from 23 percent to a whopping 66 percent of total ad spend, representing a 190 percent increase in just a few quarters. And, according to Ooyala’s Global Video Index, in Q2 2015 alone, 44 percent of all video views occurred on a mobile device — that’s a 74 percent increase over a year prior.

 

The Most Effective Digital Video Strategies

It’s pretty obvious that video on mobile has boomed in 2015. But which strategies have been most effective for retailers in grabbing user attention, driving actual in-store visits and, more importantly, sales?

New channels like Snapchat, Vine, Periscope and others helped to increase the average time spent watching videos online. In fact, in 2015, digital video finally pulled ahead of social, with users spending an average of 1:55 (hrs:mins) with digital video each day and only 1:44 on social networks, according to Contently.

While the increasing number of cordcutters may be throwing the curve a bit, it’s important to note that online audiences are not just interested in the latest original series on Netflix; they also want user-generated content.

A May 2015 study by Horizon Media — with the majority of respondents between the ages of 18 and 25 — found 21 percent of U.S. Internet users would be interested in using Periscope or Meerkat apps, which allow consumers to broadcast or watch a live video stream.

Attracting young audiences and keeping them engaged almost constantly via their mobile devices, these services are becoming more commonplace tools in the retail marketer’s belt. Brands like Old Spice have done clever things with extended video series on their YouTube channels. Old Spice’s strategy has continued to evolve, including crowdsourced content and omnichannel campaigns that can make the leap from TV to social platforms like YouTube, and has been consistent in focusing on a central character (well, now two) that audiences can track with over time.

Meanwhile, Audi turned to Snapchat to create a successful Super Bowl campaign that was targeted at the 59 percent of Super Bowl viewers who say they use their mobile device as a second screen during the game. Teaming up with the satirical news outlet The Onion, Audi created a series of video snaps focused on “all the news that isn’t football.”

The results? 5,500 new Snapchat followers on the day of the game (plus 2,500 new Twitter followers and 9,000 new Facebook fans), over 100,000 snap views and 2,400 campaign mentions on Twitter, totaling 37 million impressions. Not bad for a football game’s work.

As we look to 2016, some are projecting that the astronomical rise of mobile video will have to slow down, laws of physics and the like applying. But we’ll just have to wait and see what surprises the next year will have in store.

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