With this emerging advertising platform, innovation is keyMobile video is one of today’s fastest-growing advertising platforms, and iGaming operators and land-based casinos can integrate it into their marketing strategies. Although spending on TV advertising is expected to outpace mobile video through to 2018, industry professionals in the US more than doubled their spending on mobile video ads between 2013 and 2014. In 2015, mobile video spending in the US is forecast to grow by more than 70%, reaching about $2.62 billion.
This increase in spending is really no surprise when you consider the skyrocketing importance of mobile devices in consumers’ day-to-day media consumption habits. Sixty percent of digital media consumption takes place on mobile devices, with 52% of total consumption taking place in mobile apps. TV advertising has proven very effective in the UK iGaming market – if iGaming marketing professionals have a player acquisition strategy that includes digital video (which they really should in 2015), developing content for mobile is absolutely vital to its success.
A Diverse PlatformDespite this growth, many advertisers, including iGaming marketing managers, remain hesitant to rely on mobile video as a primary advertising channel. Although we often talk about mobile video as a single concept, the actual platforms for mobile video advertisements vary greatly. For example, on Facebook’s mobile apps, the newsfeed supports silent autoplayfor videos of any length, while Instagram caps video length at 15 seconds.
Mobile video ads can share thematic and design elements across platforms, but they ultimately need to be constructed and formatted differently to be optimized for any given social media or mobile platform. These differences in formatting and distribution, and their accompanying differences in ROI, have made it tricky for advertisers to establish meaningful price points. Without clearly defined returns, advertisers are justifiably uncertain about this potentially expensive experiment.
An Opportunity to InnovateMobile video is expanding its presence, and with this uncharted territory comes creative opportunities. One great example of a brand taking advantage of the unique challenges of mobile video is the recent Facebook ad series for Hotels.com. As the most popular mobile app in the US, Facebook has a huge captive audience for video ads in its mobile users. However, there’s an obvious catch: Facebook users are unlikely to enable sound for most videos in their feeds, and they are liable to scroll past any given video without giving it more than a second or two of their attention.
Instead of accepting this sub-par level of engagement as a given for their Facebook ads, Hotels.com rolled out an ad series that explicitly acknowledged the platforms’ silent nature, using closed captioning and ASL interpreters to tell the brand’s story. In addition to creatively snagging Facebook users’ attention, the ads generated a fair amount of buzz in industry publications.
Hotels.com’s creative use of their platform limitations can serve as a lesson to the marketing teams of those casinos and operators who are still hesitant to throw their weight behind mobile video: creative risks can pay off. Now may be the time to experiment, as mobile video’s importance is only increasing – Google Chrome recently introduced a desktop feature that automatically pauses many autoplay Flash videos, indicating that mobile and social media platforms may in fact become the more viable video advertising channels. Better to take a chance when the stakes are lower than risk being left in the dust.iGaming operators, have you hopped on the mobile video train? Tell us why (or why not) in the comments below.