Video messages help drive mobile commerce

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Video messages help drive mobile commerce

By Mark Hamstra - 09/19/2017

Facebook senior client partner Aaron Calloway

Video-based marketing messages designed for mobile viewing represent a significant opportunity for retailers, according to a speaker at the recent Health Innovation Summit, hosted by CVS Health in partnership with Drug Store News and Mack Elevation.

“Mobile is only going to get bigger for the rest of your careers,” Aaron Calloway, a senior client partner at Facebook, told the audience during a presentation at the summit, which took place at the Omni Hotel in Providence, R.I. Consumers now spend three hours per day on their mobile devices, he said, and mobile penetration continues to grow, with 2 billion new mobile phones activated last year alone.

Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS has an opportunity to work more closely with its CPG partners to deliver personalized messages to its customers via such mobile platforms as Facebook and Instagram, said Calloway, who works with CVS to shape the company’s Facebook strategies. Such efforts could help drive mobile-based e-commerce sales. “Mobile needs to be at the center of everything,” Calloway said.

Just as mobile has become the focal point of digital activity, video also has emerged as a leading format of digital content. More than 50% of U.S. consumers watch video on mobile devices, Calloway said, citing research from eMarketer.

“This is a game-changer for businesses [that] want to engage with people and showcase their brands and products in more immersive and compelling ways,” he said. In fact, although new-product discovery often has been cited as a reason for consumers to visit physical store locations, 30% of mobile shoppers prefer to discover new products via video, Calloway said, citing research from Kantar’s “Path to Purchase 2016” report.

Short, impactful video presentations often can be crafted easily using existing photography, he said. In addition, marketers should keep in mind that practical, how-to videos are the second most-popular type of video consumed online, after entertainment.

When creating video communications, marketers also should take into consideration the fact that most Facebook video is consumed with the sound off, he added. “Build for that,” Calloway said. “People need to be able to follow the story wherever they want.”

Based on data from its users, Facebook’s extensive consumer insights can help marketers create more effective communications, he said. For example, a CVS beauty advisor event could be live-streamed online, then edited into shorter videos and repurposed as targeted marketing messages for specific customers, such as those who have purchased cosmetics in a store in the last six months.

Location-based marketing presents yet another opportunity, Calloway said, noting that 98% of CVS stores have been geo-fenced so that Facebook can detect when a customer has entered a specific location. “We can measure campaigns and see if they were effective at driving people into your stores,” Calloway said. “We can change the copy by store, we can change the image and we can show you where you are in relation to the store on a map.”