Video dominates the web: Consumers spend an average of five to six hours watching videos each day, with 20 percent of that time devoted to digital content. Forrester Research predicts that digital video ad spend will reach $102.8 billion a year by 2023.
Video content allows companies to engage with their audience, and consumers happen to trust video ads more than static advertisements. The use of video ads helps establish a deeper relationship with consumers to progress them through the buyer’s journey.
Mobile is certainly making a difference in consumer behavior. With many consumers on mobile devices throughout the day, the number of people watching videos on mobile platforms continues to rise at a rapid rate. While individuals watching ads on TV and desktop lose interest in ads quickly, companies that adapt and optimize video ad content for mobile are more likely to keep users engaged.
As digital marketers, we have found that people prefer watching videos to reading content. Consumers expect video everywhere they go online, and companies must be ready to serve it to them.
Formatted for a Platform Near You
As long as it’s done well, every industry stands to benefit from the use of video. Explainer, or educational, videos are great tools businesses can use when they feel their product or service won’t translate well on a static or text advertisement. One study suggests that 74 percent of users who watched an explainer video proceeded to buy the product or service they learned about.
Explainer videos come in a variety of formats that encourage consumers to take action. Interactive video ads, in-stream ads, and native video ads are digital video formats that companies consider effective pieces of their digital marketing campaigns.
Interactive online video ads are usually five to 10 seconds in duration and allow users to click, view, and interact with an ad. The use of interactive video ads has increased with connected TV because it allows users to select how they consume content. Users can decide to watch a longer form of the ad before their selected content, or they can choose to see short-form versions of the ad throughout. According to Magna, interactive video ads create a 47 percent gain in the time consumers spend with the marketing message.
Pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll videos have popped up across various internet platforms, especially social media. YouTube has coined its six-second pre-roll ads as “bumper ads” that users cannot skip, so completion rates remain high and click-through rates go up. Facebook has started to allow mid-roll ads between video content on its platform, and it won’t let users finish watching their chosen content until they’ve viewed the ad. Either way, in-stream video ads yield a higher click-through rate and are more cost-effective in the long run.
Native video ads mimic the rest of the feed in which they appear and do not interrupt users as they scroll through a page. You can place the video ad in the middle of web content, whether it’s a social media feed, an article, or a webpage. Users are more likely to share native ads because they are videos that people choose to watch. An engaging autoplay feature makes these videos begin as soon as a user scrolls near them, which is part of the reason Facebook native videos received more than four times the interactions than those shared on other platforms.
Believing is Seeing
If you aren’t using video, it’s time to ask, “Why not?” The benefits of using video far outweigh the risks when it comes to targeting an audience that increasingly consumes video content online. Learning to use video to your advantage is the best way to stay relevant. Find a reputable production company to partner with, and then take these four steps:
1. Choose the right format for your intended use. First, determine where you are going to use your video. You can put the full version on your company website, create shorter clips for social media, or promote your video with email marketing. Plus, you can create videos for advertising and run them on pre-roll and post-roll via Facebook or Instagram.
2. Zoom in on production values. Create an outline, script, and storyboard, and detail any props you will need for production. Once you know what the script demands, scout the location where you’d like to film. Visit the location on the day and time of the week that you intend to shoot. Listen for traffic noise and carefully assess the lighting. Evaluating these factors will make the production of your video much smoother, and you can be sure your video will look and sound exactly as you intended.
3. Get a bird’s-eye view of your budget. A professional production can cost anywhere from $7,000 to more than $50,000. The price depends on several factors: Is it a short- or long-form video? Will there be voice-over or text? Do you want music to accompany the video? Assess these elements when determining the price of production. You’ll also want to decide how many videos you are going to edit and how long each one should be.
4. Optimize for search. Globally, YouTube has become the second-largest site on the internet. Pay attention to your titles and captions, which are great for SEO regardless of where you post your videos. Plus, Google loves video because it creates better “dwell time.” As a result, your company is more likely to show up on page one of a Google search if you embed video on your site.
The web undoubtedly is gravitating toward video, and digital marketers need to be ready to act. Implementing video in digital ads and on social media shows that a company is keeping up with the times and want to keep its users engaged, educated, and entertained at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Kelly Bosetti is the CEO and founder of ad agency CEA Marketing Group. She can be reached at [email protected].