4 tips for better mobile video ads

Chartboost University

Insights & Best Practices

August 9, 2018


min read

Video has become king in mobile advertising. Digital video advertising spend surged 49 percent in 2021 and is expected to jump an additional 26 percent in 2022. This year, marketers are expected to spend $49.11 billion on mobile video ads, or nearly 27 percent more than last year.Gamers, habituated to rewarded video, now voluntarily choose to watch ads when given the chance.In other words, advertising your game or app is best done with a video. However, video ads have one drawback: they're expensive to produce and less forgiving of mistakes.Whether you've been running video ads since day one or are just getting started, following these tips will help protect you from poor performance.

Long or short videos

Shorter video ads last 30 seconds or less. The idea with short videos is ensuring users don't tap away before your call to action.Despite the short length, you shouldn't always cram your best material into the first half of the ad. Instead, use those precious first seconds to create tension or anticipation that will be resolved later on. A progress bar that indicates the ad's length helps stave off viewer impatience.Longer videos can also achieve high engagement. Google discovered that users on mobile have a higher view rate for longer videos. For certain audiences, allowing video ads more time to breath can help captivate and capture more viewers. Our data suggests longer-duration videos can lead to higher IPM (installs per mille) and better ad conversions.That is why Chartboost has increased the maximum video duration to 60 seconds in our video creative tool. Feel free sign up and to test it out.

Show exciting gameplay

Ads that show the game in action often perform better than a video that uses non-gaming elements. Users may be impressed by concept art and storytelling, but if they don't know what the actual game looks like by the end of the ad, your conversions will be less than optimal.The gameplay should be chosen strategically too. Sylvain Gauchet, co-founder of video studio Apptamin, recommends choosing elements that appear in advanced stages of your game, to impress and inspire potential players.Finally, text is key to mobile marketing, since 69 percent of viewers watch videos with the sound off but text is a double-edged sword. Developers can use thought bubbles or text banners to explain what's going on, but they have to be snappy. "You can't show someone a long sentence with seven or eight words. It might be safer to just skip over a feature that's tough to explain and let people just get the gist of your game," says Gauchet.

Have a strong end card

For landscape videos watched in portrait mode, it's better to move the video to the top of the screen, clearing the bottom space for relevant app information. The CTA button should be larger for vertical ads to make it easier to click when playing with one hand.

While you can find CTA buttons in shades of orange and green, a good color for new advertisers is red. Red elicits urgency and is more eye-catching than calmer colors like blue or green. But developers should consider if the color matches and complements their game's color pallette.Include some sort of social proof on your end card, such as your star rating or a snippet of your most glowing review. Nearly all users factor in app store ratings when deciding to download an app, and even big publishers like Supercell rely heavily on Twitch streamers to advocate their game.Also consider adding a playable end card to your video ad. As we covered recently, 70 percent of advertisers reported more installs (IPM), 60 percent reported more clicks (CTR), and 40 percent reported greater return (ROAS) when using playable end cards in their UA campaigns. Its no wonder that 28 percent of US agency professionals find playable ads to be the most effective in-app ad format.

Experiment as you go

Mobile is defying stereotypes. Advertisers who assumed the small screen was inferior to a PC or monitor are finding that mobile users are a good audience. For instance, Google discovered that users on mobile have a higher view rate for longer videos. Mobile viewers also don't need an obvious plot. In fact, an ad that goes against traditional storytelling structure can perform better.So don't be afraid to experiment if your budget allows it. Red may work well in general, but maybe another color works better. Even a length of 2329 seconds isn't a hard and fast rule.