Video Ads: 5 Things Advertisers Need to Know

Heath Bertini

Video advertising is anticipated to be the next big push in digital marketing. Below are five current and surprising stats about the rapidly-growing marketing platform.

  1.  Americans spend roughly an hour a day watching videos online (eMarketer, 2014).
    Consequently, part of that hour consists of advertisements that precede and occur during commercial breaks. Although many sites allow a viewer to skip a commercial ad after a lapse of time, the segments still create brand awareness if designed properly. Consumers are also more likely to watch the video ad in its entirety assuming the content entertains them and/or pertains to their interests.
  2.  Online-video advertising in America will increase to $10 billion by 2016 (ZenithOptimedia, 2014).
    That’s almost twice as much as current video ad spending. Because the ads are lucrative (commanding as much $30 per thousand views) and online viewership is gradually overtaking traditional media venues, advertisers are transitioning to video in hopes of boosting their profit margins. As a result, publishers are also refining their marketing tactics to meet clients’ needs.
  3.  Videos increase in traffic to websites by 20% on average, making them as effective as TV in creating brand awareness (Google, 2014).
    People have grown so accustomed to receiving news and information through television that online videos have become second nature as well. When viewers see a video ad on the internet, they are just as likely to visit that brand’s website as when they see a commercial for the same product or service. As more consumers opt to watch TV shows and movies online, video ads will be the smarter choice for advertisers investing in campaign space.
  4.  Video completion rates increased significantly across the board in the last quarter to 52 percent for standard formats and 77 percent for native formats (eWeek, 2014).
    More and more people are watching videos online, especially from mobile devices. Recent trends point to both mobile usage and video ads; thus, advertisers need to be sure their video campaigns are mobile optimized to maximize reach. The viewership is climbing on its own – brands have the responsibility of placing themselves where consumers can easily find them.
  5. Video advertisements are extremely vulnerable to fraud (WSJ, 2014).
    In a recent article, comScore reported that 188.2 million Americans watched a total of 52.4 billion videos in December 2013, making commercial-like videos an obvious choice for traditional advertisers. It also makes regulating fraudulent activity and filtering viewership increasingly difficult. Bots and drone pools (pixel-sized websites covertly strung across a webpage) are only a couple of the nemeses advertising firms face. Companies now have to be especially prudent in choosing which publishers they’ll allow to run their digital ads.

The Best Options

Facebook recently introduced Premium Video Ads.  They have selected a small pool of high-quality advertisers in select countries to test the feature before going site-wide. Marketers can choose specific times of day for their spots and can target ads according to age and gender. Each 15-second video ad plays without sound  and stops when people scroll past. If viewers tap on the video, it expands into a full-screen view and is un-muted. Facebook users can expect to see these ads on their newsfeed in the coming months.

YouTube is also taking steps towards video ad optimization. They use AdWords for video, only charging companies when a viewer chooses to watch a video. YouTube already sees over 4 billion video views per day; couple that with quality traffic to video ads and they have a hard sale. If users don’t want to use the video-viewing giant, they can always go with Google Display Network, which boasts an audience reach of 89%.

Facebook and YouTube are the forerunners in video advertising. Primetime television networks that show full episodes online are also top candidates. Recent developments in video advertising have inspired companies to make adjustments to their marketing services and cater to the needs of top advertisers so new contenders are bound to emerge. Keep an eye out!

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