You don’t have to dig deep to understand why video advertising is becoming the dominant force in the digital marketing universe.
Attention spans are dwindling to a point where people are spurning large volumes of text online, and consumers stare at small portable screens directly in front of their faces for hours throughout an average day.
The way you conceptualize, create, and disseminate your digital video ads will have a significant impact on your marketing ROI now and in the future.
Your ability to connect with your buyers through visual content just might form the basis of the relationship between them and your brand.
Video & the Contemporary Web
It isn’t your imagination: browsing the web today is basically like watching an endless set of videos looped together on end.
On all different types of websites – from social platforms, to news organizations, to company pages – digital strategists are employing an astounding amount of video content for their voracious audience to consume at will.
Whether it’s in the form of educational content, reports, entertainment, or ads, organizations have caught on to the fact that high-quality video has the ability to engage users on a deep and substantial level.
The modern web is now driven by video in a way that didn’t seem possible even 15 years ago, thanks largely to the ubiquity of personal mobile devices and omni-present, reliable high-speed internet connections.
We’ve certainly come a long way from the latter half of the 2000s, when the only place to watch videos on the web was some niche site called YouTube.
All you have to do to understand how important video is as a driver of online content in the current era is read the reports detailing how many outlets are shifting vast resources to video production.
Among these are some sites with massive traffic figures, including:
- Various Time, Inc. properties.
- Conde Nast.
- The New York Times Co.
According to YouTube, users watched over 1 billion hours of video on the site every day in 2017.
Whether you open up your laptop, unlock your phone, or fire up your smart TV, there is no escaping video content, so you might as well embrace it.
The Boom in Digital Video Advertising Spending
And that’s where digital video advertising comes into play.
Companies have realized that the reconditioning of consumers to embrace and even expect video at every turn can have many advantages.
Video has become such a natural part of the web browsing experience that advertisers can use it to quickly engage with their audience as if it was content they had sought out specifically.
Well-designed logos and high-quality banner ads can be very effective in spurring interest, but video ads offer organizations an opportunity to connect on a deeper level right from the outset, by establishing a relationship, inviting the audience into the fold, and visually educating them in an effort to curate the buying journey.
This has all led to a glut in digital video advertising spending recently.
Companies from across the spectrum are pouring more resources into engaging users with unique video ad content.
Digital video advertising is a strategy that can work for any type of company; B2B or B2C, enterprise or SMB, high-tech or analog products.
According to industry estimates, mobile video ad spending is expected to reach $7 billion by the end of 2018.
Cisco estimates that 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2019 will be video content and global video traffic will increase threefold from 2016 to 2021.
Building Connections through Creative, Personalized Video
While digital video advertising can be effective for any type of organization, that doesn’t mean that you can just get into the practice haphazardly.
Video ads have to have certain elements in order to be effective.
Because consumers are now exposed to so much video advertising on a daily basis they have become adept at recognizing when a video is of poor quality.
An engaging, well-produced video ad can be the start of a long-term customer relationship, but a poor-quality example will cause them to associate your brand with staleness and desperation.
Using Micro Video Ads to Spur Engagement
One trend that’s picking up steam is companies employing short, micro-videos in order to grab a viewer’s attention quickly and leave a big impression.
These are generally only about 10 seconds (or less) in length, and they have mounted an interesting challenge against the long-standing 30-second video format that has been used since television commercials first became a common practice.
The philosophy behind them is driven by the fact that modern digital marketing isn’t often just a single interaction that leads immediately to a purchase; it’s a curated journey that entails a variety of different stages and techniques.
You don’t have to say everything about your product or service in your video ad. You just have to say something interesting enough that it will get the lead viewers to delve more deeply into your ecosystem through your content marketing, email capture, or another tool.
Micro-videos have proven especially useful in engaging Millennial buyers, whose attention spans have been shaped by the internet for most of their lives.
Using micro-videos doesn’t mean, however, that you have to neglect the traditional 30-second video. You should craft your digital video advertising strategy by mixing and matching different length pieces.
Also, keep in mind that micro-videos should be able to connect with the viewer without the aid of sound. Many people browse on silent mode, and by the time they think about turning the volume on your micro-video will likely have ended.
Getting the Ball Rolling with Outstream Video
Marketers are beginning to discover outstream video in droves.
Even if you haven’t officially heard of outstream video, you probably have experienced it as a part of your browsing habits.
Outstream video is sometimes also referred to as native video. It is characterized by a digital video advertising unit that’s integrated within a page and autoplays once the user scrolls near it. Then, the video auto-pauses if the user begins to scroll away from it before it’s complete.
Here’s a notable example of an outstream video ad in use.
According to eMarketer, 77 percent of ad agencies across the world see outstream video ads as important to their clients going forward.
The most important benefit of outstream ads is their versatility.
Now, companies are able to host their video ad content on any type of outlet, whether or not the publisher frequently utilizes videos. This allows organizations to expand their advertising reach and tailor their videos more effectively for browsers of text-heavy publications.
Outstream video advertising is still a fairly new practice, so there haven’t been many reliable studies yet to determine how the ROI of such campaigns compares with other forms of digital video advertising.
However, some industry experts have observed data that suggests outstream video outperforms instream video in several important categories, including:
- Brand awareness.
- Online conversion rate.
- Ability to target desired buyers.
Social Media & Video Ads: A Match Made in Heaven
It almost seems like kismet for marketers that social media use patterns and video advertising collided with each other on the way to online dominance because they are an outlet and form that really are made for one another.
Facebook users have become accustomed to their feeds being filled with autoplaying videos from various sources.
Instagram and Snapchat users think nothing about spending minutes at a time habitually scrolling through live video stories.
Meanwhile, companies can tailor video ads for these settings that remarkably resemble content from users’ followers.
When your audience is expecting video content from someone they follow, it increases the chances that they’ll engage quickly and then stay for the entire ad.
Social media platforms like Instagram are also great for incorporating user-generated content (more on that later) to erase the barriers between buyer and brand.
You can also dig deeply into Facebook’s demographic data to improve your targeting and personalization abilities and drive more consistent conversions. If the real power of digital video advertising lies at the intersection of engagement and personalization, then various social media outlets are a natural fit for optimizing it.
What Else Will Dominate the Next Decade?
If video advertising is the trend that is dominating the landscape today, that must mean that there are other offshoots poised to make a splash in the near future.
What represents the next wave?
- User-generated content: This isn’t necessarily new to the ad world, but companies are getting more creative about finding ways to create ad content that looks like something other than an ad, thereby increasing the effectiveness and prevalence of user-generated content. It works because it gives you something that you don’t have: a real buyer’s experience and perspective, and it allows you to meld that with the marketing voice of your brand.
- Virtual reality: This allows you to immerse the audience in a world of your own creation and gives you the opportunity to shape their experience in the virtual world with astounding depth and complexity.
- Augmented reality: This may not be exactly the same as video advertising, but they share similar DNA, and augmented reality marketing excels at using targeted data to deliver an intensely personalized experience.
We’re already starting to see some of the impacts of these strategies, but wide-scale deployment of tactics such as user-generated content, virtual reality, and augmented reality is still to come.
Video is how we consume news and entertainment.
It’s how we connect with our friends and acquaintances.
And, most importantly for marketers, video is how we decide what we’re going to buy.
When produced, assembled, and used effectively, digital video advertising has a unique ability to forge a connection with the viewer almost instantaneously and draw them into a unique visual experience.
Innovative strategies (e.g., inserting outstream video and creating micro-length ads) have given advertisers unparalleled flexibility with modern video, and social media outlets now provide the perfect place to meet prospects where they are primed to receive engaging video content.
The visual web is here to stay. That means the time is right for marketers to fully embrace the possibilities of video ads.
More Digital Video Advertising Resources:
- How to Use Automation to Ensure Brand Safety for Your YouTube Ads
- How to Fight Ad Fraud in Digital Advertising
- Google AdWords Introduces New Video Format to Reach More People
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!