Why are the top advertisers in Ireland shifting their budgets to mobile?

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‘Mobile adspend in Ireland grows from €9.9m in 2012 to €231m in 2016’ & ‘total digital adspend grows from €148.2m to €445m in the same four year period’.

The development of technology has provided consumers with a device that only Mork and Mindy could only have dreamt of, the mobile phone, aka – the new best friend. This tech change in society has a major influence on how all advertisers are targeting their customers, annual adspend figures showing the shift of marketing budget from traditional media to digital, with focus on mobile. This is where customers can be found and communicated to in an engaging and relevant manner with little or no wastage.

The IAB Ireland, the trade association for digital advertising in conjunction with PwC, conducted the latest research to provide us with the most accurate information when measuring digital ad-spend in Ireland. The produced report includes spend from media agency buyers, brands direct, digital sales houses, and various publishers – local and international in Ireland for the entire year of 2016.

The findings may surprise some, the exponential growth of mobile consumption, with social media and video on demand evident drivers, and advertising spend following digital consumption with significant year on year growth figures.

The IAB Ireland PwC Online Adspend Study for 2016 (Jan to Dec) reports ad revenues of €445m compared to €340m in 2015, a significant growth of 31%.

Core Media estimates that in 2016 Google, across all its platforms, will generate around €175m on the island of Ireland alone. “Some 16pc of all advertising money spent on media in Ireland is spent on Google,” notes Alan Cox, CEO of Core Media.


Key findings:

  • Mobile Adspend in Ireland is up 63% from 2015, representing €231m, 52% of total digital adspend – the breakdown is 55% across search and 44% on display
  • Display advertising holds a 44% share with a spend of €197m – an increase of 44% on 2015
  • Paid for Search Advertising has grown 25% YOY with a 49% share of total online adspend at €219m in 2016
  • Social Media across Desktop & Mobile is up 133% on 2015, a total spend of €114m, 25% of total digital adspend
  • Video on Demand (VOD) saw an increase of 91% on year, a total of €47m
  • Native advertising total spend in 2016 was €82m – representing a growth of 82% on 2015
  • Classified Advertising represents 6% of spend at €29m in 2016.


Advertisers follow consumption, so what is driving digital growth in 2016?

  • 80% Irish adults use smartphones, an increase of 75% on 2015
  • Irish marketers planned to spend 21 – 50% of total marketing budget on digital in 2016
  • VOD: 61% of Irish adults spend over four hours per week watching video streaming content
  • 59% of 15 – 24 year olds watch more VOD than TV
  • 24% of adults visit a brands site after watching a video compared to 20% who search online for the brand.


Top 5 spenders on desktop & mobile devices by advertising category & contribution to total digital spend:

  1. Finance = 18%
  2. Retail = 14%
  3. FMCG = 12%
  4. Telecomms + Utilities = 11%
  5. Auto = 10%




Source: IAB Ireland, Independent.ie


How to present in front of the camera


Online video now accounts for more than 50% of mobile traffic; 75% of business executives watch work-related videos at least twice a week; and 54% of senior executives share work related videos with colleagues at least once a week.

Whether you like it or not, video presenting might soon be the new public speaking. Just like any other new media practice, you’re better off embracing a new trend than ignoring it.

The good news is that – like public speaking – video presenting gets easier with practice and effective presentation is within your reach.

Here are some tips to get you started…


How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Chances are you have at least a mid-range video camera in your phone right now. Get used to the camera, record a practice speech or presentation to it. Over time, the object will become demystified – it will be just another audience member for your presentation. You’ll be astonished at the difference in quality between your first, second and third recording. Even film stars require multiple takes!

Plant your Feet

Just like in a job interview or presentation, over-thinking body language is not recommended. But there is one way to ensure that you look and feel more secure: Plant your feet. In everyday standing conversations (from the coffee rooms to board rooms to the pub), we tend to alternate between the legs we stand on. Don’t do that with a video presentation: Plant both feet strongly. You’ll stand firmer, look more certain and – most crucially – feel more confident.

Don’t Worry about your Hands

This is a contentious one: Some experts say to keep your hands in one position; others say to use them occasionally to emphasis a point. But we would argue that you put it out of your mind. The most important qualities in video presenting are comfort and confidence. What you do with your hands is one more thing to think about, so don’t think about it. Someone under-thinking hand movements might wave them around too much; while over-thinkers tend to be stiff and self-conscious. Hand-waving is by far the lesser of the two evils.

Keep the Language Simple

Mastery of language is essential for business, but many confuse long words with good communication. We’re sure you’ve seen emails, job applications and presentations where the person has tripped over long words and compplicated sentences. This problem is even more acute in public speaking and video presentation. Only use words that you would use yourself in everyday conversation. Learning the meaning and pronunciation of exotic new words is a noble pursuit, but this is not the place for it. Clear, simple language will be easier to understand and to deliver.

Stay on Topic

Public speaking usually has the security blanket of autocues or cue cards. This is often absent in video presentation, leaving you to deliver your expertise in a more informal, less structured manner. Some speakers tend to ramble or go off topic when left to their own devices. Try to avoid this by remembering the points you’re making. Start each new topic with a single point; then explain that point, and no more. Again, this will become easier with practice.

Know Your Audience

Unlike in a live presentation or public speaking engagement, follow-on questions for clarification are usually not available; neither can you read an audience’s reaction in real time. (Skype presentations are an exception – most video presenting will be pre-recorded.) Before preparing a video presentation, think about who you’d like to watch it. Will it be mid-level execs, consumers, top-level execs, industry experts who will understand jargon, or a specific demographic? This preparation will not only make your video more engaging and valuable to its target audience, it will help with your own confidence too.

Watch the Experts

Now for the fun part: We would suggest that you check out video speakers to take cues from them. TED talks have countless examples of good public speaking and video presentation; the most popular YouTube corporate videos will show you how it’s done; and we’d also recommend watching how the best TV presenters deal with the camera. From the slick, current-affairs presenters to the less formal chat show hosts, they balance the need to address the camera without becoming intimidated by it.

Video presenting can be daunting at first, but with just a little preparation and practice, it can be harnessed and conquered; a relevant tool and a modern, engaging way to reach existing and potential clients.

How social media helps your search ranking


Every business wants to be discovered.

Whether it’s by intense, short-burst methods, such as marketing campaigns; or longer-term approaches, like search engine optimisation (SEO), the desired result is the same; a higher profile for your business.

But SEO has evolved exponentially since Google first conquered the online search world. Where once keywords were king, now the content must also be original and in context (thanks to increasingly intelligent Google algorithms).

A few short years ago, hashtags were barely a factor in social media and SEO. Now, with the rise of Twitter, they’re an essential part of the package.

Indeed, social media (along with compelling content) is emerging as an increasingly effective – and often essential – tool for boosting your company’s search engine rankings.

Social media shares and acknowledgements are not automatically embedded in search engine algorithms (but they likely will be soon). Instead, their direct effect kicks in after a popular or viral post or video.

So it would work like this; you create compelling content; that content gets shared on social media (increasing traffic and profile); then the content becomes popular. Your profile and traffic has benefitted, and after that, the SEO engine kicks in and your search ranking climbs – as people search for your business based on the social media shares.

Here are a few reasons why combining social media and SEO into your marketing campaign are critical to your business’s success.

1. The world is getting more and more social online.

As of August 2014, there were 2.95 billion active Internet users, and 2.03 billion active social media users. The internet is often accused of having too much white noise, which is why people use social media to source recommendations from trusted sources friends and family.

2. There is a strong correlation between rankings and social signals.

Social media shares aren’t directly linked to search algorithms (yet!), but there is a direct correlation between social media and traffic; whether it’s increased visibility from Twitter trending, or organic shares and clicks from evangelising fans as your content goes viral.

3. Not all traffic and profile is created equal.

Accidental clicks of ads is becoming a major problem, so much so that many marketing and internet giants (including Google) are working hard to address it. After all, what good is a visit to your page if the customer never intended to be there? Social media shares generate quality visits, in other words website hits based on recommendations from trusted sources, instead of accidental or fleeting clicks.

5. Social media draws in mobile search users.

At the time of writing, there are roughly 3.6 billion mobile Internet users (with that number climbing every day). As you’d expect, many of these users are social networking on the go. Want to increase mobile traffic to your site? Encourage social sharing, and make sure your site is appropriately responsive too.

6. Positive social media reviews help local searches.

Encourage and nurture social media interaction and reviews. Remember the value of user-generated content: Every picture, video and word of text relating to your business helps your profile. And that’s before we even talk about reviews on the likes of Google Local and Yelp, which can boost your page in local search rankings.

7. Social + SEO can boost brand engagement.

Customers shouldn’t just be purchasing and recommending your products: They should be engaged with your brands. This means more frequent visits to your site, discussions on your social media, recommendations, likes and Tweets, and ultimately, an increased bottom line. Repeat visits to your site are registered by search engine metrics and reflected in your ranking.


Video ads on Twitter a rivalry for Youtube

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YouTube celebrated its 10th birthday in  February, 2015 and it’s been a frantic, eventful decade for the company.

Few could have predicted its ascent and 9-figure purchase by Google in 2006. (The price at the time, a then eye-watering $1.65bn, now looks like a bargain.) And fewer still predicted that one of their biggest competitors for online video advertising revenue would be Twitter.

YouTube have barely had time to adjust to the competition from Facebook, who have embraced video advertising with gusto. Now Twitter are upping the ante with their own deal for advertisers – one that’s eerily similar to Facebook’s; short pre-roll ads with revenue split 30/70 with publishers.

User-generated content is not just a phrase that applies to kids skateboarding videos on YouTube: Businesses are expected to adapt to that model too. So Twitter Amplify, targeted at media companies, will augment and package video into ad-friendly content.

On their business site, Twitter describes it as a way to tease their audiences with content: “Twitter Amplify enables media companies and brands to capture the excitement on TV and distribute it to fans and audiences across Twitter, beyond their followers.”

“The Twitter Amplify sponsorship includes a short, high-impact excerpt from the media partner’s content along with brand integrations, such as an ad pre-roll (up to 6 seconds).” In other words, the Tweet will look like a typical sponsored Tweet, with a brief video – like a cross between a sponsored Tweet and a Vine.

David Regan, senior product manager in charge of video at Twitter said that Twitter Amplify is designed to let publishers and creators monetise their video content on Twitter, while making it easier for advertisers to reach massive audiences.

“With this update, advertisers can run video ads against premium content automatically based on their preferred content categories — without having an existing publisher-advertiser deal in place,” said Regan.

How video impacts search ranking

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Google’s algorithm Hummingbird was introduced in 2013 and has been honed and tweaked many times since. This update to Google’s search algorithm is good news for websites that provide quality content, and especially those who provide video. The new update takes into consideration the intent of the user, the context of keywords and the meaning of the search, rather than just showing you results based on keywords.

Google (generally speaking) exists to answer questions, so Hummingbird is more reflective of the user experience than Google in its previous form. Google has been using a similar type of functionality since the introduction of voice activation search, the small microphone icon on Google’s homepage allowing users to conduct a search by speaking. This allows Google to gather more information about the search query and provide more accurate and meaningful results for the user.

Providing original content is a key factor to determine search ranking. It is no coincidence that content ranks very high on SEO success factors. Some key factors:

Quality – are pages well written and have substantial quality content?

Research – have you researched the keywords people may use to find your content?

Words – do pages use words and phrases you hope they’ll be found for?

Engage – do people spend time reading or bounce away quickly?

Fresh – are pages fresh and about hot topics?


Google ranks content as one of the top factors, with quality being the leader. As such, your brand needs to be competitive in the online market; it needs to consistently produce original quality content to stand out from your competitors.

Video is still the favoured platform for people to use as an information resource. The old adage is that a picture is worth a thousand words, but according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research video is worth a staggering 1.8million words. If your potential customer prefers video to text or audio, then you need to ensure that your brand meets that demand. A good video can communicate everything you need to in a short, punchy and visually appealing format.

Allowing people share to your video content is also a great way to increase your search ranking: The more inbound links that are created for your website the better.

YouTube is still the most popular destination for video content, boasting the second largest search engine. And even though YouTube does not affect your search ranking directly, it affects your position indirectly. The number of likes, shares, followers, comments, subscribers and mentions affect your organic search rankings and also boost traffic. Social shares give you more inbound links and quality traffic. 95% of social media links involve real people, usually highly targeted audience in your social networks, which drives high-quality traffic to your website.

Video is “53 times more likely to appear on the first page than normal text” and search results with video have a “41% higher click-through rate than plain text.”



People view, click and play content that they find interesting online and that can be your brand’s content, whether you’re advertising or not.



According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, U.S., the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013, one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. With this latest research in mind, you do not have much time to capture the attention of your customer, ensure your brand has quality and meaningful content.

Rich, quality video increases dwell time, engagement, reduces bounce rates which all lead to a higher sales conversion rate.

For best practices position your video above the fold and provide clear, correct and authentic video titles and keyword tags. Users will not return if they are shown irrelevant or deceitful content; the video equivalent of a “click-bait” headline.



People don’t share everything online, so the content needs to reach the right audience.

Video content that is specific and relevant to your audience more likely to be shared and have a viral impact. A YouTube channel is another way for your brand to get noticed and indirectly affects your search ranking.

These changes in online search and consumer trends are a great opportunity; a chance to engage your audience in a new way, and to encourage them to spread your message.


Source: Google, IAB, Aimclear and Facebook

The value of YouTube for advertisers

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YouTube is such a ubiquitous force that sometimes it’s in danger of being taken for granted. In actuality, YouTube’s presence and impact on everyday internet use is staggering.

There was a time when, in the US, Nielsen ratings were the single source of TV viewership ratings. Now that model is completely out of date, not just because the providers of video content are so diverse, but so too are the devices.

Perhaps that’s why Google recently carried out a survey with Nielsen, to better understand and analyse viewership figures across new and old media.

Here are two of their key findings:

  1. “YouTube led all digital video platforms in December 2014 reaching more 18 to 34 and 18 to 49-year-olds than all TV network digital video properties (full episode players) combined and consistently reaching more adults 18 to 49-years-old than any other premium digital video platform.”
  2. “YouTube accounted for 51% of time spent watching premium digital video in December 2014 across desktop streaming, smartphones, and tablets among key adult demographics, specifically adults 18-34 and 18-49.”

So what does this mean? First of all, it’s important to note that much of the same content is being watched on YouTube as on traditional TV. Quote the research: “YouTube is the leader in digital video platforms, and time spent watching officially distributed TV content on YouTube is increasing year-over-year, which demonstrates that viewers haven’t lost interest in the content, but instead are simply using different platforms to access it.”

Indeed, many popular YouTube channels spin-off from TV shows (NBC’s Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central’s Amy Schumer have online-exclusive sketches for instance). So while younger demographics are still happy to watch media generated by traditional means, they’re not beholden to TV schedules or even TVs.

Unlike TV, online content offers brands much more opportunities to learn about and engage with their viewers, thanks to IP addresses, message boards and more direct links to social media.

Closer to home, Ruth McEntee, YouTube industry manager at Google Ireland, revealed the results of the first comprehensive survey of YouTube users in Ireland at DMX Dublin 2014.

“Irish YouTube users are more digitally active consumers than non-users of the site,” she said. “They are nearly three times more likely to buy or download digital music, movies or books; three times more likely to buy electronics, gadgets or other devices; and are nearly twice more likely to buy apps for their smartphone or tablet.”

Music videos are the most popular content among this base (confirming the theory that YouTube is this generation’s MTV) accounting for 67% of traffic. That’s followed by comedy at 52% and DIY and how-to videos at 42%.

Entertainment is still the number one reason for Irish viewers visiting YouTube, at 91%, with two thirds (66%) using it for education and keeping up to date.

YouTube’s status as a social network is often underrated and underreported, as more than half (52%) of Irish YouTube viewers said that they use the video site for social networking and sharing videos.

Another misconception is that YouTube is primarily younger demographics. That might have been the case when the site first appeared way back in 2005. Now, however, 44% of its users are aged 35 or older. From a gender perspective, viewership is split straight down the middle. Those who use and enjoy YouTube do so frequently, with 40% visiting it daily and 77% visiting weekly.

This is all promising news for advertisers, especially as 52% of Irish YouTube users take some sort of action after they have seen an ad. This action might involve searching for more information, visiting the company’s website or making a purchase there and then.

These are tantalising statistics to advertisers. There are added benefits too, unique to online content. Unlike in old media, a YouTube ad brings consumers just one click away from viewing more brand content, and of course, only one click away from making a purchase.

Key industry facts and figures for 2015

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The only constant, they say, is change. And that’s especially true when it comes to ad spend, online content and consumer habits.

So how is the digital landscape looking for the future? We have trawled the web in search of the latest findings on digital consumption, the growth of video, the influence of social media and the impact of advancing technology.

Let’s start with the Irish market…



Ad spend is one of the most affected areas in the past year or so, with seismic shifts in digital ad spend, mobile ads, native advertising and especially video advertising. 

Key Findings:

  • Digital Ad spend grew by 25% in the first half of 2015 to a landmark high of €162m.
  • Mobile ad spend is now 40% of total digital spend with growth year-on-year of 72%.
  • Native advertising (sponsored content) has been broken out for the first time with a spend of €16m in H1 2015 (Jan to June 2015).
  • Spend on digital video advertising grew by 57% from €7m H1 2014 to €11m H1 2015 reflecting brand advertisers’ strong commitment to this format.

This move towards video ad spend is a reaction to consumer habits. As you’ll see below, Irish consumers are flocking to online video, which is having a knock-on effect on traditional TV and social networking.

  • 54% of Irish users consume video via smartphone on a daily basis. 61% of all users consume short form video via smartphones.
  • 43% of 26-34 year olds in Ireland consume the majority of their TV content online.
  • Speaking of social networking, the Irish are fond of Facebook and video channel YouTube as a means of communication, with rising star Twitter making a bigger impact in recent years.
  • 35% of Irish people use YouTube as a social network, behind Facebook at 52%, ahead of Twitter at 23%.
  • 640,000 users in Ireland have active YouTube accounts.
  • Almost 70% of Irish Social Media users follow brands and businesses on Social Media.
  • The average Irish user on Facebook displays more than 300 friends, which provides viral opportunities.
  • Retailers are experiencing up to a 35% conversion lift when using online video to present their products (according to research from marketing professionals in April 2015).

Arguably the biggest change in the last two years in Ireland has been the rise of Video on Demand (of VoD). For instance…

  • Video on Demand – stats based on the last six months of people who have watched video on demand:
    • 87% of Irish adults aged between 18-34 years old.
    • 85% 25-44 years old.
    • 84% of Housekeepers with kids.
    • 66% of All adults.
    • 47% of adults age 45+.
  • Platforms used to access Video On Demand – free platforms have the highest reach
    • 51% use free services.
    • 25% paid subscriptions.
    • 9% pay per view.
    • 66% of all viewing is spent watching free content.

This, of course, has a knock-on effect on marketing trends. Here is where you can see the real power of viral campaigns and word of mouth.

  • Video marketing trends:
    • 23% of people searched for a brand after watching a video ad.
    • 19% amplified it through word of mouth.
    • 9% bought a product based on viewing the video.
    • 16% clicked the ad to find more information.
    • 23% visited the brands website.
  • Video consumption trends
    • Within 1 hour of VOD consumption a typical person watches:
      • 36 mins of On-demand content.
      • 24 mins of Live-broadcasts / streams.
    • The last 6 months people who watch 1hr or more video has increased from 72% to 91%.
    • 54% of 16-24year olds watch more VOD than TV.
    • 33% of all Irish adults watch more VOD than TV.
    • VOD viewing rises sharply during the evening hours of 6pm to midnight.
    • And accounts for 60% viewing time.
    • Weekdays and weekends have similar viewing trends.

Consumers tend to be most receptive on mobile devices, particularly smartphones:

  • Influence of Device on Attention index*
    • Smartphone 109
    • Tablet 99
    • PC 93
  • Receptivity index:
    • Smartphone 101
    • Tablet 95
    • PC 91
  • Consumers usage by browsing device:
  • Facebook mobile: A screen first a phone second –
    • Facebook IQ: Study showed 3 key insights when measuring the motivators and behaviours of 25-35 year old adults
      • Online is the new Offline.
      • Mobile is the first ‘screen’.
      • ‘Fear of being Offline’ is the new ‘Fear of missing out’.


These figures are mostly consistent with UK trends. Let’s take a look…



Key Findings:

  •  Consumers in the UK are increasingly watching more video ads, with start rates rising from 41% in 2013 to 63% in 2015.
  • 40% are watching more video on their smartphones in 2015 than 2014, 26% are watching less TV because of this.
  • 80% watch mobile video at home and 50% watch it outdoors, 25% would watch more video on their smartphones if it didn’t use up their data.
  • Mobile video isn’t just short video clips – 37% watch long video formats such as full length movies or TV shows at least once a day.


So how does that apply to ads? You’d be surprised how much consumers embrace ads, if they’re done the right way…


  • 70% are happy to have ads to get free content, but would prefer ads that appear in mobile videos to be related to the video they are watching or have recently watched.
  • 25% often watch video on their mobile whilst watching TV, offering a pathway to creating more engaging and innovative multi-media campaigns.
  • Comscore reports a website visitor is 64% more likely to buy a product after watching a video and will stay an extra 2 mins longer on your website.
  • 80% of smartphone users use mobile phones for shopping research, and 80% of those shoppers do their mobile research in store.
  • Video is worth 1.8m words, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research.


Here’s how the UK were spending their ad budgets…


  • Digital advertising in the UK was worth £3.975 billion in H1 2015, up 13.4% from £3.507 billion in H1 2014 representing a market share of over 40%. 
  • Digital advertising spend in 2014 was £7.2bn, a 40% market share and a growth of 800% since 2004 when share was 4%.
  • Digital video advertising grew from £12m in 2008 to £442m in 2014. 
  • Mobile ad spend represented £29m in 2008 (1% of digital advertising) – In 2014 it has 23% market share worth £1.6bn.
  • Mobile video advertising is the fastest growing digital ad format = 142% growth from 2013 – 2014.
  • Social media advertising has shown a growth of 530% since 2010, from £146m to £922m.
  • 2014 Twitter’s broadcasting feature Periscope had 10m accounts, 4 months after launching.
  • Future looks bright, in 2020 digital will represent 50% market share reaching the £10bn. 

And finally, here’s a tantalising statistic about the broader international market:

  • EMEA has seen the biggest growth in video advertising, growth of 160% since 2013, North America has seen the biggest growth in 2015, + 52%, followed by APAC, growth of 42%.





Source: Google, IAB Ireland & UK, Entrepreneur, Nov 2015