Video Ads

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Written by Traffic Roots

January 19, 2021

Video is king! Content was King until we saw metrics start singing and dancing when that content was animated. But how can you make it king of your advertising and marketing strategy? Let’s look at what’s working and get to the “why,” of its place in your media buying mix.

What is Video Advertising?

Marketing professionals in programmatic video advertising define display ads as video content, such as those that start playing when a person puts a mouse cursor over them and native video ads promoted on digital ad networks.

The Current State of Video Advertising

Video advertising is one of the most popular ways to reach online audiences. Programmatic advertising experts believe video advertising will dominate the next decade, which suggests that now is an ideal time for marketing professionals to investigate how it could improve their reach and overall effectiveness with campaigns.

Although marketing with videos is gaining popularity, that doesn’t make it a guaranteed win for marketers. The results of an Irish study indicated 60% of respondents felt there was too much advertising associated with on-demand video platforms. (That would be you, YouTube) Also, 35% said they got frustrated with those ads because they prevented them from watching their desired content.

That narrative splits with programmatic video advertising. Instead of ads running “pre-roll” (before desired content) or “mid-roll” (which interrupts the desired content) video banner ads sit patiently next to that content. You brand is not making a bad impression by being rude.  Your customer consumes the content they intended to and eagerly pops into your message at their convenience.

Their convenience is key: they are ready to give you time, attention, and ideally, a conversion.

That being said, marketers must be exceptionally careful to create video ads the audience perceives as genuinely valuable and relevant. The placement of a video ad also matters, since the goal is to make any advertising content minimally disruptive. This directly contrasts with the intrusive and annoying nature of pre-roll video, and brings much better completion rates. When building your custom, targeted audiences, really take the time to consider who you are trying to connect with and test, test, test those creatives to each audience.

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Digital Video Advertising Trends

The digital video world is not static. Experienced marketers know they must stay on top of new developments to understand what audiences want and need. Learn about four relevant trends to watch.

1. Video Ads Are Not as Short

YouTube was one of the first platforms to offer six-second ads. Since late 2015, however, the most popular video ad length is 30 seconds. This data suggests that when it comes to video, people are willing to pay attention for a bit longer.

Here at Traffic Roots, our video player is dynamic to live on nearly all of our publishers ad units (160,000 publishers and counting) and can be any length that makes sense for your message.

2. Mobile Users Tune in Longer

Research indicates smartphone users are more likely to watch long-form video ads than those lasting only six seconds. Once they’ve watched for six seconds, 72% of users continue to engage. Plus, they’re committed to the video more than those on a desktop.

Even among mobile users, however, attention drops sharply after 22 seconds. This finding suggests marketers creating video ads for mobile should be mindful of length based on the type of traffic they want to attract.

3. Video Ad Spend Is Increasing

A report published in April 2019 confirms digital video ad budgets are up 25% year over year. The growth is more substantial in specific industries. In media and entertainment, for example, video-based ad spending increased by 75% since 2018.

Advertisers need to remain aware of these shifts, especially if their companies show signs of pending budget cuts. Forgetting about video ads could cause them to fall behind competitors.

4. Animation Is Getting More Popular

The goal of any video advertising campaign is to keep the viewer interested. Companies can achieve magic by using animation in their ads. Additions like cartoons blended with real-life footage and motion-tracked graphics can make the content lively, relevant and fun.

You’d be surprised to know that “real-life footage” does not just mean candid actors pushing your brand. We ran a highly polished product video ad over the holidays against a few clips from their real client reviews. Just normal people, talking about their beauty products… and guess what? The reviews were getting over 300% the engagement!

 

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The professional content ran at around .4% CTR, while their organic, user generated review content video ad has continued to run well above 1.50% CTR!

QUL CBD is a luxury skincare line. Transform your beauty routine into a full spectrum wellness revival.

Think on that one for a moment: user generated content bringing three times the return on ad spend! If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is. Even our lead strategist was excited to be so surprised by these results. The reality is that consumers have become so accustomed to Instagram and YouTube videos that homogenized, professional videos look too much like a commercial. So, don’t be afraid to be approachable and organic. Make a few, test them out, just turn them off it they don’t move the needle.

Display vs. Video Advertising

A display ad is a paid advertisement that appears in the digital space, whether on a website, social media network or app. The earliest ones were the rectangular-shaped banner ads shown at the top of a site’s main content. Display ads aim to boost brand awareness and purchase intent. Expected click-through rates average 0.05% across banner formats. We see that jump incredibly when video ads are formatted to standard IAB banner sizes, for example, a 320×50 mobile or 970×250 billboard.

The excitement of video ads has woken display ads and compelled marketers to look for creative alternatives. That shift led to the use of video ads, which are great at driving awareness, engagement and conversions. In fact, 72% of people prefer video over text when learning about a product or service. And according to Forbes, the average internet user spends 88% more time on a web page that has video, compared to one without. In one study, using video on a landing page increased conversions by 86%.

Advantages of Video Ads

Marketers can benefit from numerous perks associated with video advertising. Video content catches users’ attention, and when people tune in, brand awareness goes up. YouTube recently announced opportunities for marketers to display their video ads with “edgy” creator content. There are plenty of other ways that marketers can make compelling video ads that capture the viewers’ interest –  the only limit is imagination.

Pro Tip: make your video ad sharable from your landing page to their favorite social sites! Bonus points if you set your macros to appropriate tracking and attribution reporting. (One of the many perks of using our amazing media buying team as a fully managed service.)

You can optimize video for mobile devices. As a starting point, that means your marketing team should ensure the video plays smoothly on mobile devices and looks great on small screens. Take the video’s orientation into account, too. For example, many people naturally use their smartphones while holding them vertically. However, that could change if a person wants to watch a video that lasts at least several minutes. Try to imagine what people will be doing when they initially encounter your video advertising methods, then adjust your creation strategy to fit.

Why You Should Include Video Advertising in Your Marketing Mix

Making video part of your strategy allows you to engage with audiences that ignore text and banner ads. As mentioned above, marketers are increasing the money they spend on video ads. If you overlook this trend, you’ll face a competitive disadvantage.

Getting someone to click on a static display ad means impressing them enough with a single appealing image or headline. Video advertising includes more elements users may find relevant or engaging. You could use a catchy song, a funny opening line or a relatable situation to get viewers hooked and urge them to watch the entire ad.

How Much Should You Invest in Video Advertising

The amount you invest in video advertising will vary based on your goals and financial resources. If you’re jumping into video ads for the first time, start gradually and scale up. Consider hiring some expert help to guide your early efforts, too. Although that’s not a requirement by any means, those professionals will have their finger on the pulse of video advertising trends. Moreover, they’ll be well-positioned to offer suggestions for crafting video content that matches your brand and helps achieve those all-important KPIs you choose.

Video Advertising Effectiveness

Video advertising works for several reasons. For one, studies conclude that roughly three-quarters of consumers prefer video content over text ads. They stick in viewers’ minds, making brand recall more likely. Videos tell stories and help a brand develop its voice. Plus, native advertisements can blend seamlessly with their surroundings.

Effective video marketing can generate millions of views and shares in a relatively short time, meaning you may not need to wait very long to see substantial payoffs. Check out the Christmas 2019 video by British retailer John Lewis that got over 9 million views after just over 2 weeks.Then, in an example of how videos can show how products fit a person’s lifestyle and needs, American retailer Target scored big with a Spanish-language commercial for Cloud Island, its line of baby products. The content lasts only 15 seconds but features adorable images of parents and infants. Only nine days after arriving on YouTube, the video had more than 579,000 views.

It’s difficult to predict what precisely causes a video ad to make a splash with the audience. That’s where it pays to work with a Video Marketing Strategist. No one nerds out harder than a creative data analyst. They are hard to come by and run about $300 an hour… more if they are skilled in highly regulated industries. You’ll be pleased to know that when you opt for managed solutions with Traffic Roots, your entire media buying team is lead by the most powerful digital marketing strategist for highly regulated industries in North America.

Are you ready to jump in and start reaping the rewards of video advertising? Send us a note, let’s do this!

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