IAB Releases ‘Mobile Video Buyers’ Guide’ to Answer Burning Questions Regarding Mobile Video Ads

Report from the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence & Mobile Video Task Force Enables Marketers to Fully Embrace Video Ad Opportunities

PALM DESERT, Calif. – To cut through the varied and intricate mobile video landscape, the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and its Mobile Video Task Force have released the “Mobile Video Buyers’ Guide: Practical Advice for Video Advertising on Smartphones and Tablets.” Crafted to help marketers navigate fragmentation in the mobile video sector, this roadmap addresses the topics that creatives and media planners need to fully grasp in order to take advantage of increasing video viewership on smartphones and tablets.

“The expansion of the mobile experience into sight, sound, and motion opens doors for marketers if they know how to leverage the medium”

The report examines a range of complex campaign considerations, including apps versus mobile-optimized websites, pre-roll versus banner ads, inline versus native players, operating system capabilities, third-party tags, and advanced interactive capabilities. It also focuses on factors such as:

  • Technical aspects such as encoding, resolution, and bitrate, as well as video delivery options such as streaming, progressive download, and pre-caching
  • Creative decisions regarding duration, orientation, interactive elements, and companion banners
  • Important metrics such as impressions, video click-throughs, completed views, time spent viewing, and more

While a certain degree of variability exists in mobile video, the guide firmly counsels that marketers should expect and insist on receiving clear answers from publishers regarding:

  • Creative guidelines – Will ads run with long-form content or short-form content? In which format should the ad be encoded?
  • Business rules – Can viewers skip ads after a certain period of time? Will the ads play automatically or must the user initiate them? Are viewers incentivized for watching ads?
  • Available metrics – Which metrics are available to measure campaigns (completes, quartiles, engagement)?

Going one step further, the report provides a full checklist for marketers to work through when buying mobile video ads, including the following recommendations:

  • Build time for your video vendor to re-encode and mobile-optimize video creative into the timeline for delivery to avoid late creative issues.
  • Make sure your landing page is mobile-optimized, not just the ad creative.
  • Select the right metrics to assess success, and review analytics based on campaign objectives. If you are looking to generate a high VCR but have a strong call to action in the creative, a high CTR may be preventing users from completing the video.
  • Keep creative short and punchy – particularly for smartphones, where user patience is low, so the best performing creative will usually be 15 seconds or less.
  • Make sure your creative will run in-line so that the user is not taken out of their experience and into the native player.
  • Keep campaign goals top of mind when developing mobile creative. Be sure to include a call to action or interactive elements if looking to drive CTR.

“The expansion of the mobile experience into sight, sound, and motion opens doors for marketers if they know how to leverage the medium,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “The mobile video advertising arena is relatively new and oft-times perplexing, so while mobile video viewing is growing by leaps and bounds, creatives and media planners are just now learning to maneuver successfully in the space. This guide is meant to deliver the kinds of insights and intelligence that will allow them to truly take advantage of this trend.”

“The exponential growth of mobile is driving the ad industry forward, while mobile video has become a natural and easy way for marketers to follow their audiences as they migrate from the screens of TV and PC web to the world of smartphones and tablets,” said Matt Young, Director of Mobile, BrightRoll, and a major contributor to the guide’s content. “However, there are many variables to consider, and marketers have questions about where to start when it comes to meaningfully leveraging mobile video – this guide serves as a framework for those that have questions or may otherwise be new to the category.”

The “Mobile Video Buyers’ Guide: Practical Advice for Video Advertising on Smartphones and Tablets” was released at the 2014 IAB Leadership Meeting: “Marketing 2020: The Digital Agenda,” held at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, CA. To download the report, please visit iab.net/mobilevideo.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 600 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit iab.net.