This article looks at the explosion of mobile video advertising and assesses what works and what doesn’t. With the rise of mobile usage and increased online advertising, are businesses using technology effectively to engage with their customers, or are they proving to be a source of irritation?
The Current State of Mobile Advertising from a User’s Perspective
Most smartphone users who download content from the web are used to the impact of online mobile advertising. Users open their mobile browsers to see their favorite music videos, trailers for new films or YouTube clips about pig-riding baby monkeys, only to find that they are suddenly being forced to sit through a commercial, which likely bears absolutely no relation to their buying interests, histories or lifestyles.
Hard to Ignore
Of course, advertising will be nothing new to those who grew up with television screens. Every 20 minutes, an array of adverts interrupts the film, television show or live sporting event to encourage viewers to spend their cash. With television, however, there was always the option of heading out to the kitchen during an ad break to make a cup of tea! With mobile video advertising, viewers are left patiently holding their smartphones or desperately trying to find a way to close the ad, especially if they are paying for data usage.
YouTube has included video advertising before streamed content for a while now, as doing so generates substantial revenue steams. More businesses than ever are making the leap into mobile advertising, largely because the internet is becoming increasingly easy to access on devices such as smartphones.
YouTube and Pop-ups
It’s only in the last few years that a real explosion in video advertising has occurred. YouTube is the primary example, as it automatically displays ads before the user can watch chosen content. There is often an option to skip the advert after a few seconds, which has been shown to enhance user perception of the advertised service or brand. Those adverts which don’t have an option to skip or close run the risk of creating a negative brand connotation in the user’s mind.
Pop-ups are becoming more frequent too, driving some users to distraction when they inadvertently hover over a part of the screen that suddenly explodes into advertising. Again, there is usually the option to click and close the advert, but the risk of annoyance can lead to negative brand connotation, which is very difficult to change. Customers can get very angry that they can’t access the content they want without having advertising forced upon them, which they may very likely be paying for under their data usage packages.
The online advertising model is more advanced, with web browsers and companies now investing in advanced Analytics to target users who have previously shown an interest in or affinity with services they offer. If you visit a commercial website, you may find that subsequent searches to other general content sites show adverts that relate to it (or to items you have previously viewed or purchased). This can be disconcerting at first, but it is likely to become ever more common as the online advertising curve develops.
What Do Customers Hate?
At the top of the list of most hated online advertising techniques are flashing pop-up adverts, competitions and false claims. These look suspicious and unprofessional and often turn a customer off the website completely. This perception isn’t helped by the fact these techniques are used primarily by gambling sites and various online auctions and they risk making customers angry when they can’t be closed or moved. For those customers looking for SIM only deals, the cost of data will be a factor that may turn them off adverts even more strongly, especially when they are effectively paying to see advertising they don’t want to see.
In conclusion, mobile phone advertising has a long way to go before it becomes intelligent enough to win customers over in the main. The current trend for volume of advertising is likely to refine and become extremely sophisticated and tailored in its targeting of customers and businesses should seek to engage with these strategies as soon as possible to encourage rather than turn off customers.