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Hannah Gilmartin Programmatic Partnerships EMEA Vungle

What does every brand need to know when buying video advertising on mobile?

It’s no secret that the advertising landscape has changed. We know that across the globe, people are no longer just relying on television and laptops to get their news and entertainment. In the U.S. alone, consumers now spend more time in apps than watching TV. And in developing countries, mobile usage is even more prevalent.

But we know this story already. It’s clear that brands who want to reach their target audiences need to incorporate a mobile-first strategy. And most companies are keeping up with this approach. 

However, as brands rely more and more on in-app advertising, many are still tripping over the same common pitfalls. In turn, they’re spending money on advertising initiatives that fall short of their marks. But more importantly, they also risk losing market share to brands that have avoided these traps.

But don’t worry if this is news to you. You’re not alone. Even the most established mobile-first corporations fall prey to these missteps. Fortunately, they can be fixed with the right planning. Here are three tips that should always be a part of your mobile advertising strategy.

1. Keep up with millennial mobile trends

Consumers are fickle, especially millennials. But the buying power of this group is immense - to the tune of $2.45 trillion globally. That alone is a staggering figure. However, what makes this demographic even more valuable is that they also represent the future of consumer spending. Therefore, capturing this audience won’t just result in greater immediate revenue, but also profits to come. 

So how do you win over these precious consumers? By understanding that the sources they go to be entertained and stay connected with the world are far different. And chief among this tech-savvy group is mobile.

Dedicate resources to identify the apps they’re using, from social networking to news - and especially games. 

2. Buy ads at an app’s peak popularity and don’t ignore mobile games 

Typically, an app’s life cycle isn’t very long. In terms of peak popularity, the vast majority of apps lose half of their daily active users within the first six months of their release. But the sharpest drops can happen within the first couple of months or sooner, with over a quarter of users abandoning formerly “hot” apps. This is especially true with game apps, which can see a fast decline in users.

But this doesn’t mean you should ignore gaming apps as an advertising medium. Far from it. Mobile game players have been shown time and again to the be one of most engaged audiences with the highest lifetime value for brands. 

On average, 25-44 year olds spend up to two hours a day playing multiple games on their phones and tablets. They also spend a lot of money on in-app purchases. This means they’re committed to the games they play and will be a more captive audience to your brand’s messaging.

But don’t forget that a game’s popularity can peak quickly. So in order to maximise your chances at attracting and retaining loyal millennials and high-spending customers, you need to incorporate mobile game ad buys as early as possible.

3. Don’t make untargeted, reactive mobile ad buys

Reactive ad buys aren’t a bad thing. But if that’s all your brand is doing to reach your target audience, it’s not going to bring you much return. That’s because the mobile ecosystem is in constant flux. Apps on top one week can easily fall off the next.

In order make the most of your budget, you need to take the same programmatic buying approach you’d use for TV, radio, or any other traditional advertising source. To capture the attention of your desired demographic on mobile, you need a scalable buying strategy that can be both proactive and reactive in the apps you target.

With programmatic buying on mobile, you’d be able to select a variety of top apps that fit your brand image and target users on any device those apps are on, from iPhones to Android tablets and beyond. For instance, Toyota would be able to promote itself across every top mobile racing game, Sephora could spread its message to a host of makeup and dress-up apps, and so on.

Programmatic buying on mobile is not a new trend. For years, analysts have been advocating the need to adapt. And adoption has been happening faster than ever. But as more and more brands catch on to it, the window of opportunity to get in early is shrinking everyday. So be sure to seize the opportunity.