This article first appeared in ET Edge.
Why brands should leverage rewarded videos to have maximum engagement with consumers during the 2022 cricket season
Every year brings a new set of challenges for brands to manoeuvre, and this year requires balancing rising costs while owning a share of mind among the ever-evolving consumers. Brands have long relied on seasonal marketing opportunities to achieve both. Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 has kickstarted a highly active and engaging cricket season from a consumer behavior perspective. Trends show that mobile advertising is an extremely cost-effective way for brands to build readiness for this season. Moreover, mobile-based audience buys can be the winning strategy for brands to get maximum returns on their ad spends during such events. While a smart brand might already be leveraging both in its advertising strategy, an inefficient execution can still make the Gen Now consumer slip away.
Right Place and Right Format to Execute the Winning Ad Strategy
Brands must understand what motivates the consumers to win them at the right place with the right format of ads. Both IPL and Google Play were introduced in 2008. Over the years, India has seen an exponential increase in smartphone users for whom mobile is a constant companion while watching cricket matches. This has also resulted in the rise of mobile gamers in the country, who were approximately 300 million in 2021 spread across all age groups with women making up to 44% of Indian mobile gamers. IPL made fantasy cricket the most famous esport among Indian gamers and this makes mobile games the right place to create an ad experience for Indian consumers during the cricket season. Now let’s focus on the right format for advertising within games in this context – rewarded videos.
Rewarded video is an ad experience that provides users with an opportunity to watch a video in exchange for a reward within the app. These rewards are strategically placed in the game experience making them valuable to the users by taking the form of in-app currency or premium content. Rewarded videos have emerged as the most engaging and leading ad formats because of users opt-in to watch them. Everyone’s Gaming Among Us report by InMobi shows that over 74% of Indian gamers prefer to watch a rewarded video as a method to progress in the game.
Three Ways in Which Rewarded Video Ads Will Super-Charge Your Brand
Firstly, rewarded video ads are inarguably the most engaging ad and receive up to 31% higher completion rate and 2.6 times higher engagement. Since users opt-in for them, they tend to watch them till the end. They also positively affect the user experience because they provide rewards that let users as far into the game as they want without having to pay. With all the benefits leading to higher engagement, rewarded video ads bring a higher return on ad spends (ROAS) for brands.
Secondly, rewarded video ads can help brands increase overall brand awareness. Everyone’s Gaming Among Us, India report shows that over 60% of mobile gamers recall the ads they see in games. If a brand can show a rewarded video ad to an interested consumer in an engaging and interactive format and provide a lucrative reward on completion, they can exponentially drive up the chances of increasing the brand awareness in the engaged user.
Thirdly, rewarded video ads have a high reusability and versatility quotient and can be leveraged for multiple marketing goals. Multiple versions of the same rewarded ad unit can be created by tweaking the end card and the landing page as per the consumer’s journey with the brand. The utility of the rewarded video ads also extends beyond the top of the funnel. Their high engagement rate makes them an effective way to drive desire and action among consumers too. Rewarded video ads can also be a great way to collect feedback and insights by creating surveys that when answered, provide a reward to the user in the game.
Best Practices to Create Rewarded Video Ads
Rewarded video ads bring maximum returns when they pique users’ interest through an engaging ad experience. For brands looking to boost their ROAS, here are some of the best practices around rewarded videos to keep in mind this cricket season:
1. Avoid the “one-size-fits-all” approach: Brands must find out what resonates the most with their consumers by studying their online behavior, offline characteristics, and topics of interest to create rewarded video ads that are both personalized for the user and customized to the gaming experience.
2. Leverage the full potential of the visuals: Crisp video ads with effective placement of logo, engaging text, interactive end card, and the right selection of post-click landing page perform the best.
3. Choose the right video type and duration: The type of the rewarded video, such as – Video or end card, Vertical or horizontal, With or without sound controls, Non-skippable but closeable, With a countdown timer, Playable ads – has a high weightage in its engagement and viewability. Also, studies show that video ads of 15 to 30 secs duration perform the best.
Rewarded Video Ad Campaign That Captures Consumer Mindshare
Seagram’s Royal Stag, a category leader with a global presence, wanted to reach out to young Indians and trigger the affinity of its core target group that would create a deeper connection with the brand. They created a winning campaign by effectively executing the mobile advertising strategy discussed so far. Royal Stag reached the right user through InMobi Audiences, hit the right place where their audiences were present – casual gaming apps, and created a memorable ad experience by leveraging the right format – rewarded videos. The campaign had a balanced mix of various types of video ads in a gaming environment which ensured a non-intrusive experience. As a result, the brand reached 2 million unique users with 4 million video views and 1.4x higher video completion rates against industry benchmark in just a month.
Even the best strategies perform poorly without proper execution. For brands trying to own mobile-first Indian consumers’ share of mind, selection of the right place and right format in the marketing campaigns can make all the difference. Indian consumers’ love for mobile gaming makes rewarded video ads the most productive way for brands to create an immersive experience that delights these consumers. Being one of the leading ad formats in the advertising industry, building a knack for running rewarded video ad campaigns can also help brands develop an edge for other seasonal marketing opportunities.