For the first time since the creation of the internet, mobile is overtaking desktop. According to latest stats from eMarketer, global mobile advertising market will surpass $100 billion in spending this year, and is expected to account for more than 50% of all digital ad expenditure for the first time.

Until recently, mobile advertising didn’t appeal to premium publishers due its intrusive nature and poor quality. High-end publishers weren’t prepared to risk their reputation by featuring ads that would disrupt the user’s experience, although you don’t need to be lucky to see this type of outdated mobile ads still being used today. High-end publishers also rely on content from premium brands that are relevant to their audiences and that reflect the quality of the content. But with premium brands sharing the same concerns to protect their image and consumer experience, attracting those brands is a challenge in itself.

Format first, content second

With new technologies comes new opportunities. Mobile ads have come such a long way in just the last few years. Design-led, user-friendly and often natively integrated into the mobile content, mobile-first ad strategies are revolutionising the way in which brands are engaging with their audiences. Thanks to new, innovative mobile formats, premium publishers can discount any concerns they previously had for mobile ads damaging their user experience.

Mobile-first campaigns utilise performance-driven formats that focus on views, clicks, engagement, bounce rate and viewability. Mobile ads are no longer about the hard sell – popping up on the consumer’s screen and difficult to close; instead, they should capture the user’s interest to discover more. Innovative mobile formats such as the Outstream Video Interscroller, developed by Celtra, are designed to flow seamlessly into the page to allow the user to view or continue scrolling past the ad at their leisure. This, and other simple elements such as the vertical video format, are designed to ensure minimal effort is needed by the user to either engage with or exit the ad.

The mobile-first revolution

Designed not only for the mobile screen, but for the mobile user, mobile-first strategies are revolutionising the way in which brands engage with consumers. 

Mobile never used to be video-orientated but now that it is, mobile video advertising is growing fast. Ofcom revealed that video accounted for 58% of all mobile data traffic in the UK last year, and Cisco forecasts that by 2020, the majority (75 percent) of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video. It’s predicted that mobile is soon to even overtake TV, with channels like ITV reporting a drop in advertising spend in recent months. According to Zenith’s latest Advertising Expenditure Forecast report, television, newspapers, print magazines and radio are all set to see a fall in their share of the global ad market, with mobile adspend expected to grow by £51.1bn by 2018.

As new technologies are introduced, new rules have come into play so previous concerns surrounding video ads have become redundant. For example when Facebook and Instagram first introduced autoplay video in 2013 with a mute default, it revolutionised the way in which smartphone users consume video content. Short form, 15-second videos, played muted and launched vertically, offer great performance and user experience that premium publishers can happily endorse.

Mobile-first strategies are able to exploit rich media content in the style of a microsite that keeps the user engaged, encourages them to spend more time with the brand, and offers clear call to actions for consumers to continue their discovery of the brand.

Monetising mobile

The tide is changing for premium publishers and this is just the beginning. Whereas before many premium publishers gave away their mobile inventory as added value within a traditional ad package, new technologies are creating new opportunities for premium publishers to take advantage of value of mobile. By commissioning direct inventory with premium brands, premium publishers are able to exploit the innovative formats that are currently limited via programmatic platforms. As mobile advertising formats continue to innovate, the potential for publishers to exploit mobile advertising will be limitless.