RhythmOne just released its Full Year 2015 Mobile Benchmarks Report and with it, a plethora of interesting trends and best practices.

For example, did you know that in 2015, the average Interactive In-Stream video garnered a .89% engagement rate? An Interactive In-Stream can include a number of elements such as an overlay or an end-card.  When we removed campaigns that included an overlay or an end-card from our analysis the engagement rate dropped to .39%.   However, when a Branded Overlay was added to the unit, the engagement rate increased to 1.7% with a Standard Overlay and 2.83% with a Custom Overlay.  If you’re doing the math – that’s a 435% increase in engagement rate.

We saw a similar improvement when an End-Card was added to the Interactive In-Stream Video with the engagement rate increasing from 0.89% to 1.89% with a Standard End-Card, and 1.61% with a Custom End-Card. End-Cards are either static or animated annotations used at the end of a video that show extra information, or encourage consumers to take an action such as watch another video, visit a brand’s website, or share to a social media platform.   

Now what brand wouldn’t want to double or triple their engagement rate? 

And yet – when RhythmOne dove deeper into the data, we discovered that only 29% of all interactive video campaigns included an end-card. The retail industry in particular saw a significant jump in engagement by adding an End-Card to their creative.  Retailers (of which 33% added an End-Card to their interactive video creative) saw a 10X increase in engagement.  Entertainment tune-in (of which 38% added an End-Card to their interactive video creative) saw a 3.7X increase in engagement rates.

So the simple mobile ad tactic that most brands can leverage to increase engagement rates is taking their in-stream video ads one step further – with either an overlay or end card.

It’s fairly likely that the reason many brands are not using end-cards or overlays is because standard in-stream video is so easy. They can easily leverage their existing :15 or :30 spots and distribute as is – without the need to add another step into the planning process.  When engaging in these type of interactive ad units, decisions need to be made on messaging, desired action, destination, etc.  The other reason is simply that there is an increase in CPM to move from standard in-stream to Interactive In-Stream.

But as the data shows, when these components are implemented, the ROI on media spend is magnified.  Perhaps it’s time for your brand to start testing?  If you’d like to learn more, contact us!

And for more mobile advertising industry benchmarks and insights, join us for our live webinar on March 2