My high school calculus teacher, as great as he was at making his students understand the oh-so-tricky subject, always told us that we needed to learn how to solve these complex problems, because we wouldn’t have calculators with us at all times in the real world.

Oh, really? Well, my iPhone disagrees, sir. (And thank goodness for it, because sometimes I can’t even do simple addition without it.)

Looking around, it seems as though almost everyone has a smartphone these days. But these devices are more than just phones, cameras, and yes, calculators. They are a way for people to connect not only with each other, but also with brands.

Video is a more effective and more complete way to communicate with target audiences.

This rise in smartphone use has given marketers a trove of opportunities to engage with prospects in the palms of their hands. And although written content, social media and graphics have found their place in this new technology, it’s video that has been – and continues to be – the most effective way to reach target audiences on their devices.

From sporadic to unlimited

Back in the infancy of smartphones, accessing the internet to watch videos was almost considered a luxury. I remember having to be watchful of my time when watching a (grainy) YouTube video because I knew I would see the expensive impact on my next bill.

This is something that stifled the growth of mobile video, and made marketers hesitant to go all out with the strategy. They knew people were wary of using too much data and having to pay the price… literally.

Nowadays, however, carriers are offering unlimited data and incentives to get people to sign up with their networks (when in the past they capped their data plans to try to get users to pay for more). In turn, more people are engaging with data-heavy media (like video) through their devices, and this has given brands unlimited opportunities for reaching their target audiences.

Mobile rises while data falls, and what it means for video

“Data cost has been the hold-up for video views on smartphones,” Brafton Project Manager Eric Rubino explains. “Now that it has been practically removed, there is a substantial opportunity for brands to evaluate how they publish content.”

Now that the data price hurdle has been cleared, marketers can take advantage of video when it comes to reaching the 80 percent of internet users who own a smartphone. Companies have a straight path ahead of them when it comes to seeing the value of video through a smartphone marketing strategy.

But don’t take my word for it. These stats show just how prevalent and powerful video marketing is, so I’ll let them do the convincing:

  • Over the past three years, mobile video views have increased by 233 percent.
  • Smartphone users increased their video viewing time on their devices by four hours each week since 2012.
  • When watching a mobile video, 92 percent of viewers share it with others.
  • People are more likely to thoroughly consume videos over any other type of content.
  • Video can result in a 27 percent increase in CTR and 34 percent boost in conversion rates.

Simply put, video is a more effective and more complete way to communicate with target audiences.

“With more than 50 percent of web traffic now coming from mobile devices, video is the best method to serve the user experience that people want,” Eric states.

Harnessing that video opportunity

If your brand has not taken advantage of the value of mobile video, what better time than now to get started? You’ve got to use those cheaper and unlimited mobile network plans to your benefit.

But before you can launch a strategy, you’ve got to start with the “why.” Why do people want more videos over other forms of marketing? It could be because videos are easier to consume, or because they help prospects trust a brand more, or because they prefer to watch rather than read. Of course, the answer will depend on your target audience, but using this as a jumping off point ensure that your mobile video marketing strategy begins with a solid foundation.

“Cheaper data means more people are online, they are consuming more information, making more of their purchasing decisions online, and being served more ads and content at different stages of the buyer’s journey,” Eric says. “Video is the medium that communicates best to the audience.”

Tressa Sloane is the Sr. Manager of Editorial Development in Boston. Born a Southern belle, she now resides in the chilly (but wicked awesome) Northeast, and when she's not learning everything she can about content marketing, she's obsessing over Elvis, Auburn football and France.