Succeed with rewarded video, part 4: Best practices for buyers

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
By: Tarika Soni

This is Part 4 in MoPub’s blog series dedicated to helping mobile app publishers and buyers maximize their success with rewarded video ads. For publisher tips on choosing a successful rewarded video ad placement for your app, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2; for implementation best practices on the publisher side, see Part 3.

Rewarded video ads—also known as opt-in video ads—have become increasingly popular for both mobile app publishers and advertisers. These ads are non-skippable video ads of up to 30 seconds that mobile app users choose to watch in exchange for in-app rewards, such as virtual goods, premium services, or exclusive content that users receive after completing the video ad.

For buyers, the non-skippable nature of rewarded video means more time in front of the user and greater flexibility to deliver their message, while the “opt-in” nature of these ads lends to a positive consumer experience. Rewarded video ads were recently identified as consumers’ preferred video ad format, with over two-thirds of users indicating that their attitude towards these ads is positive (and preferred over other mobile video formats). To best take advantage of this format and optimize your rewarded video campaigns, here are three key best practices.

1. Adjust for the unique nature of rewarded video.

Because rewarded video is an opt-in format, user-level impression frequency may be lower compared to other ads (which do not need the user to opt-in in order to be shown). This means your chances of showing an impression to a specific user may be low regardless of your win rate. For example, a gaming app might make multiple opt-in ad requests for a variety of scenarios, but only show one rewarded video ad because of the individual user's decision.

Depending on your bidder, it may take up to 30 days to accurately evaluate and accurately price the inventory at scale. We recommend frequency capping at the impression level instead of the auction level in order to find the right balance between inventory price and scale.

2. Pay close attention to creative specs.

The ability to drive an install at the end of a video ad takes more than just showing the video. Opt-in video is expected to cache & render quickly, and should have an engaging end card experience that is clickable and connects to the correct landing page regardless of where the user is located, what device they are using, and their bandwidth or connection type.

With this in mind, we suggest:

  • Creative size: Keep media files under 5MB to ensure video encoding/compression is optimized for mobile. Larger file sizes can be a concern for users in regions with slower connection speeds. A smaller file size will lead to a smoother user experience at scale.

  • Ad sizes: 480x320 and 1024x768 landscape are recommended for the best experience. Be sure to keep the creative ratio the same for the companion end card.

  • Close button: Check your supply partner’s requirements. At MoPub, we ask that buyers do not provide their own close buttons. Our SDK automatically provides a close button at the end of the video or after 30 seconds (whichever comes first).

  • End card: We recommend adding a companion banner in the inline XML to help improve click through rates (CTR). Our partners have reported that this can increase CTR by up to 20%.

  • Resource loading: Post winning an auction, in order to improve clear rates, avoid loading large critical resources after the webview is visible. Another option is to show something to the user while resources are loading, to avoid the user seeing a blank webview. As much as possible, load large resources as a part of the initial DOM load. This will ensure that when the SDK notifies the app that the ad is ready, the creative is ready to be rendered to the user.

3. Test for scale across regions with lower connectivity.

To improve clear rate, be sure to test and optimize the creative weight (loading process) in your tags. Having a mobile optimized creative that responds well to regional latency issues will improve your clear rate. We have seen this tactic give an immediate lift in delivered impressions and scale on MoPub Marketplace. Work with your supply partners to execute these self-tests. MoPub offers end-to-end testing through our sample app. We also recommend using an HTTP proxy tool to “throttle” your connectivity speed to 3G when testing.

Interested in learning more about taking advantage of rewarded video ads? Please reach out to your MoPub account manager with any questions, including step-by-step testing instructions.

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