Facebook video tips only half the story

by Nigel Hollis | July 12, 2017

A couple of weeks ago Mark Rabkin, VP, Core Ads at Facebook, posted ‘New Medium, New Rules: video in the mobile age’. It is a good summary of the challenges facing advertisers when it comes to engaging people in the mobile age and supports what Kantar Millward Brown has been saying for years: mobile is not a tiny TV.

In his post Rabkin states,

“Mobile has trained people to focus, choose what's relevant, consume what matters and move on.”

And he is absolutely correct. People have gone from receiving content to seeking content. Mobile has helped create the search, skip and share culture of today and advertisers need to craft their advertising to work with that mindset.

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But this is not new news, it was apparent years ago that advertising would have to change if it was to be truly effective in the mobile age. From the very first time Kantar Millward Brown measured the response to a video ad on mobile, an event now lost in time, it was clear that this was not advertising as usual.

Back in 2012 we focused the attention of AdReaction on how marketers could successfully enter the mobile environment. As this post notes,

“It is even more important (for mobile) to make a good, first impression than when people are accessing the web by PC.”

And that is the main thrust of Rabkin’s post. To optimize impact in the mobile space advertisers need to create mobile creative, adapted to the media platform, which will,

"Ensure the video rewards people’s attention and tells its story, even if only the first few seconds are watched."

To which I would add, do not just tell your story, make sure it is one that leaves the right impression about the brand, one that has the power to last and influence behavior at a later date. That is the other half of the effectiveness story. More than ever, marketers need to focus time and resource in understanding what cues will trigger people to pay attention to their videos and how to deliver their impression quickly and succinctly.

Unfortunately, that means devoting time and resource to understanding what is the target audience mindset at a granular level: what triggers attention best, an image, an idea, the brand, a celebrity, music or what? And then the video needs to be crafted to ensure it delivers the desired impression. To avoid wasting media money, advertisers need to test before they invest. Why fix things on the backend when you can optimize something before it is used?

But what do you think? Why do people assume they can fix things after the event or get it right next time (even if all they know is it did not engage the audience)? Please share your thoughts.

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