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After the View: How Users React to Brand Ads on Mobile

Posted Jul 5, 2016

Let’s face it: showing an ad does not mean a user will click on it. If it did, billions of index fingers and thumbs would be in casts recovering from perennial sprains. Even when a user is interested in an ad, they are more apt to do further research before clicking. In fact, according to the latest Digital Video Trends Report from eMarketer, the preference to research before engaging is clear.

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Depending on the engagement mechanisms built into the ad — whether via overlay or end card — a brand advertiser may or may not have visibility into many of the most common actions a user may take. Fortunately, this is where view-through attribution and third party tracking partners step in to close the gaps between the view and when the user finally engages directly.

Beyond highlighting the importance of a comprehensive tracking system, this data also offers potential best practices for brands deciding what to include in their end card. Understanding that 34% of smartphone and 43% of tablet users are apt to further research a brand before engaging, a “Learn More” call to action may be more effective than asking users to share or like an ad, which only 18% to 21% of users are likely to do. Likewise, a link to a landing page on the brand’s website is likely more appealing than a link to the brand’s social channels.

Of course, sequencing is also a consideration. The first time or two a user is served a mobile video ad for a given brand, engagement options that provide more information will likely appeal the best. However, as tracking shows that a given user has sought and consumed additional information, subsequent creatives may yield the best response if engagement options given are more direct.

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