When it comes to mobile entertainment, consumers are no longer restricted by the shackles of internet speed or the pain of mobile data prices, and are free to decide how they wish to consume digital content – and video is shaping up to be the undisputed champion, hands down. 

Although popular for some time, online video usage saw a significant rise in 2014: YouTube reports to have attracted over 1 billion unique viewers per month, Facebook video posts grew by an average of 74% per user according to Cisco, and one in three Britons watched at least one online video every week (Guardian). What’s more, based on current growth rates, video will account for over 79% of all internet consumer traffic by 2017 – yes, all! 

Quite frankly, this bold yet bluntly realistic prediction comes as no surprise. We already spend our lives sifting through an endless stream of blogs, pictures, tweets, articles, reviews, posts and forums. Consequently, marketers are driving consumers to a sludgy mush of nothingness that disqualifies anything from really standing out or having a genuine impact. 

Among this ocean of digital drudgery, video cuts through the noise and provides us with little pockets of air. Subconsciously reassuring, video allows us to catch our breath. Video humanises content consumption. It provides us with real world relevance and conveys personality. We are prepared to stop, look and listen as if we were being addressed by (dare I say it), an actual person.  Is it any wonder therefore that a good number of consumers now say that video is their most trusted source of brand content? 

Video as a Direct Response creative format for advertisers

It’s clear that video advertising is engaging the consumer and generating positive connections, yet its common place usage as a Direct Response creative is, at the moment, far from standard. However, we have to understand and appreciate that the use (and value) of any given creative format is largely dependent on the channel through which it is being deployed.  For example, it was initially thought that the standard desktop banner would be equally effective on mobile as it was on screen. This assumption wasted millions of marketing dollars – banners [usually] disrupt the user-experience on mobile, and lack of available space results in accidental clicks aplenty. 

You can’t just lift a creative format from one channel, dump it in to another, and assume all rules still apply. The difference however with video-creative on TV and video-creative online, VS, banner-creative on desktop and banner-creative on mobile, is that the power of video creative is greatly increased when lifted from TV to online, rather than decreased. 

The very nature of video provokes human emotion more than any other creative, which if executed correctly, gives it the potential to be highly influential and genuinely persuasive. When online, this potential is suddenly fused with granular targeting technology, limitless digital inventory, detailed tracking analytics and the ability to instantly fulfil the consumers buying intentions, or capture their data as a super-hot lead. All of this delivered through an undisrupted consumer journey, immediately and seamlessly, from within the confines of a single native online platform (desktop, mobile, tablet). Furthermore, the enduring drop in cost of video production make it even more appealing for advertisers of all sizes.

This powerful cocktail makes video the perfect Direct Response creative online, and represents a massively exciting, relatively untapped scope of unequivocal opportunity. Once truly understood, commonly adopted and correctly executed, video has the power to change the face of every performance based digital marketing initiative of the future.