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How to increase holiday sales using mobile video

Mobile video advertising can be used for a lot more than just branding. The channel can be a vehicle that drives sales for retailers this holiday season.

The look and feel of a product is an important factor of the purchase decision. A video depicts the product features and benefits exponentially better than a static image, text or audio and can better drive sales, especially during the holidays.

“Mobile video advertising combines the best of TV and online video and has deep consumer immersion and high engagement,” said Paul Bremer, chief revenue officer of Rhythm NewMedia, Mountain View, CA.

“In-stream mobile video advertising is a great spot for branding campaigns as well as for getting people into stores through custom call-to-action buttons,” he said.

“We believe that people will be using mobile to make purchases this holiday season, so what better way to showcase products than through an engaging video ad.”

In-stream video ads – which appear as a commercial break in full episodes or before video clips – are more effective than online, Rhythm claims.

Mobile in-stream units are seeing an 87 percent completion rate on average, compared to a 69-81 percent average for online, according to Rhythm’s quarterly report that came out earlier this month.

The proliferation of smartphones and tablets make the potential for mobile video advertising a real opportunity for retailers.

Some retailers are already taking advantage of this. For example, Target’s iAd holiday campaign in 2010 made use of mobile video.

In the iAd, which appeared in applications such as The New York Times for iPhone, the actual ad became a live application of its own. It allowed the user to stay within their application while engaging with the ad, even while watching a video, playing a game and engaging with other interactive media content (see story).

The video had fashion icon Nina Garcia give styling tips.

Mobile video is very unique. It is different than any other channel within the mobile medium.

“With its combination of unparalleled consumer immersion, high completion rates and engagement, mobile video advertising is uniquely positioned to be the best branding medium ever,” Mr. Bremer said.

“Advertisers can convey sight, sound and motion through video that’s just not possible with a mobile banner,” he said.

For holiday 2011, retailers should consider mobile videos that provide product descriptions.  Consumers want to understand what they are buying and can be informed beyond text and images.

Retailers need to think about creating video products specifically for mobile because it gives a great opportunity to close the sale or provide more information.

“Start ramping advertising early and use a variety of mobile video advertising formats such as in-stream video, interactive pre-roll and tap-to-video to reach your target audience whether they are watching a video, using an application or viewing an article or photo,” Mr. Bremer said.

“Rhythm’s best practices have shown that combining ad units is a great way to increase engagement,” he said.