We all know that our time spent on mobile phones is increas­ing, but this year, for the first time, our time spent on mobile over­took TV. That’s more hours check­ing social media, watch­ing con­tent and view­ing ads on our phones, than watch­ing tele­vi­sion, or on desk­top. It may have been a long time com­ing, but sur­pass­ing that tip­ping point is a momen­tous shift for brands.

Cus­tomers are more like­ly to be view­ing your ad dur­ing the three hours and 43 min­utes they spend on their mobile phones than any­where else. Watch­ing on a small screen, prob­a­bly while mul­ti­task­ing, per­haps on the move. They may be on bat­tery sav­ing mode, which means a dark­er screen, or sneak­ing a glance while at their desks on silent mode. Adver­tis­ers can no longer count on a cap­tive TV audi­ence watch­ing in full size, sound and colour.

This shift demands an adapt­ed strat­e­gy. The tra­di­tion­al process of cre­at­ing above-the-line cre­ative, then using ver­sions those assets for the rest of your mar­ket­ing col­lat­er­al, doesn’t allow for the customer’s evolved expe­ri­ence.

To com­bat this, mar­keters have been seek­ing mobile opti­mised con­tent; think­ing ‘mobile-first’ to ensure their ads con­tin­ue to per­form. Mar­keters are well aware that brand­ed con­tent shared on social should be dif­fer­ent to the con­tent shared else­where. It needs to be bite­size, inter­est­ing and action­able as well as relat­able and cus­tom-made for the plat­form. But the savvi­est mar­keters are going a step fur­ther, with dou­ble mobile opti­mised con­tent.

Expert social creators

How? Well first­ly, they are enlist­ing expert social cre­ators to gen­er­ate their assets. Influ­encers are spe­cial­ists in mak­ing con­tent for mobile. They’ve spent years test­ing for­mats to see what can stop a scrolling thumb in a mil­lisec­ond. Their suc­cess and strong social fol­low­ings are tes­ta­ment to their abil­i­ty to cre­ate con­tent that per­forms. They know how to cap­ture a social user’s atten­tion.

Still life pho­tog­ra­phy for exam­ple has always been pop­u­lar, but con­tent cre­ators on Insta­gram have made the #flat­lay trend go main­stream. There is some­thing about the sim­ple and oh-so visu­al­ly pleas­ing flat­lay which real­ly lends itself to a Insta­gram grid – its sim­plic­i­ty stand­ing out in a sea of self­ies. But then, just as quick­ly as a trend has caught on, influ­encers are busy inno­vat­ing to find the next big thing. Stay­ing at the cut­ting edge of social con­tent trends is how they stay rel­e­vant in a quick­ly evolv­ing space.

Mar­keters can lever­age this by using these social tastemak­ers to cre­ate their brand­ed assets. This cre­ates a sol­id foun­da­tion for the sec­ond part of their mobile opti­mi­sa­tion.

Attention-grabbing creative

There are tried and test­ed cre­ative ele­ments that can be added to an image or video to help it per­form well on social media. Take Insta­gram Sto­ries. Although users are con­sum­ing Sto­ry con­tent faster than any oth­er mobile for­mat, tips and tricks can make them stop and take notice.

  • Fast-paced edits, which cap­ture atten­tion from the very first frame is one suc­cess­ful tech­nique. Facebook’s advice is to keep an ad ‘As short as it can be and as long as it needs to be’. A fast pace is not only atten­tion-grab­bing, but mind­ful of your time-poor con­sumer. Com­mu­ni­cate your mes­sage quick­ly and clear­ly
  • Even sta­t­ic images can be trans­formed into more eye-catch­ing mov­ing images with ani­mat­ed ele­ments. An already engag­ing influ­encer-gen­er­at­ed flat­lay, edit­ed to show a prod­uct rolling in and out of shot, is a great exam­ple of dou­ble mobile opti­mi­sa­tion
  • Adding sound is anoth­er effec­tive tac­tic. While you can’t be sure that your cus­tomer is watch­ing with sound, you should be pre­pared if they are. The more sens­es an ad engages, the hard­er it is to ignore. Accord­ing to Face­book, 80% of Sto­ries with voice-over or music drove bet­ter low­er-fun­nel results than ads with­out
  • There are also plen­ty of Insta­gram fea­tures avail­able that help dri­ve con­ver­sion. Max­imise the poten­tial of social ads by adding calls to action, the ‘swipe up’ func­tion, or shop­pable tags to encour­age users to take action the moment inspi­ra­tion strikes. These ele­ments will stream­line the path to pur­chase, mak­ing your ads more effec­tive.

Con­sid­er influ­encers an expert recourse for social con­tent cre­ation. They know how to cre­ate brand­ed con­tent that feels native, not like a hard sell. Then opti­mise their engag­ing assets with tech­niques that make a tru­ly effec­tive ad. This dou­ble opti­mi­sa­tion is already putting brands a step ahead of those who take assets cre­at­ed for anoth­er chan­nel and cut and shut them into mobile for­mats. It will give your con­tent the best chance of suc­cess.

Inter­est­ed in hear­ing lead­ing glob­al brands dis­cuss sub­jects like this in per­son?

Find out more about Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, Lon­don, North Amer­i­ca, and Sin­ga­pore.  

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