How Your Brand Can Win Mobile with Online Video

By Cenk Bulbul YouTube Insights Archives

In October I wrote about the increasing importance of mobile video and the many ways in which it’s driving the future of brand marketing. This month, I’ll continue that conversation by touching on more recent research around mobile video and the many ways your brand can leverage it to reach consumers.

In a world where answers can be found at the touch of a button, mobile has become the go-to source for consumers exploring interests, solving problems, searching for products and making purchase decisions. In fact, our recent stats show that 50% of global viewership on YouTube comes from mobile devices. So, let’s drop the idea of mobile as a second screen. For many demographics, including tech-savvy millennials, mobile is where they go to watch online video and so much more. It is a first screen.

Micro-moments -- the moments when we instinctively turn to mobile to act on a specific and immediate need -- are happening more frequently. And often, they’re about a product or service. In a recent research study with Ipsos, we surveyed U.S. consumers who watch videos on various devices and more than 50% of the smartphone video viewers said they used video to help them make decisions in stores or on company websites. They also listed YouTube as their No. 1 destination for finding information about a brand or product (Source: Google/Ipsos data, February 2015). In fact, shoppers are eschewing human interaction for the convenience of their mobile phones. A recent study found that one in three shoppers prefer to use a smartphone to find additional information instead of asking a store employee for help.

Smartphone users are more engaged with branded content

The data shows that mobile is becoming one of the most efficient ways to reach your target audience and truly connect with them. Our research suggests that people who view videos on their phones are 1.4x as likely to watch ads as those who view videos on desktops or TVs. What’s more, smartphone viewers are 1.8x more inclined to share ads online. One really interesting piece of research indicated mobile viewers are also 1.6x as likely as TV viewers to turn to their peers in person and talk about the video content they’re watching, proving that the reach of online video extends far beyond the digital world (Source: Google/Ipsos data, February 2015).

So how do these learnings translate directly to a brand’s online video marketing strategy? We know that 18-34 year-olds are 2x more likely to be focused while watching video on mobile than on TV, and our latest research with Ipsos found that smartphone video viewers are more likely to feel personally connected to ads and branded video content than their desktop and TV counterparts.

Nurture deeper consumer relationships via mobile

In addition to being more likely to watch and share ads and content from brands, smartphone video viewers were nearly 2x as likely as TV viewers to feel a sense of personal connection to brands that show video content or ads on their devices and 1.3x as likely as desktop viewers (Source: Google/Ipsos data, February 2015). Watching video on your mobile device is a more intimate experience than watching it on your desktop or TV, so it seems natural that mobile would be the perfect place for brands to build personal connections.

With this in mind, it’s important for brands to be sensitive to the nature of these intimate experiences and show respect to the mobile viewer. One way to do this is to give them a choice in the ads they consume. We’ve found that more than three out of four smartphone viewers surveyed said having the choice to skip an ad is important to them.

This choice isn’t just better for mobile consumers; it’s also better for the brands trying to reach them. Rosetta Stone, for example, ran YouTube TrueView ads to test different video thumbnails and see which grabbed the attention of mobile users. The version of the ad that more people chose to watch was then promoted further with YouTube Masthead ads on mobile. The company’s two-pronged mobile approach yielded a 51% increase in its YouTube channel subscribers, in addition to a 10x increase in mobile traffic to the brand site.

As consumer behavior continues to shift towards mobile, brands can win by leveraging the micro-moments that matter. The research shows that mobile viewers seek branded content to help them make quick decisions, and brands can connect with them by meeting their needs while respecting their expectations for relevance and choice.

Discover more brand marketing insights at thinkwithgoogle.com/youtube-insights.

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