It is becoming quite obvious to most entrepreneurs that online video advertising is becoming an essential part of their business. Still, many have problems in approaching it in a proper way.

One line of thinking is that online video advertising is an expensive affair that will burden their budget too much. On the other side of the spectrum, some entrepreneurs think that they need to seize the opportunity with even their home videos if necessary. After all, all you need is to record a video and post in on YouTube, right? But, both these lines of thinking have their shortcomings.

First of all, yes, producing and maintaining effective online video advertising can be expensive. Still, the numbers on the effects and results of such advertising speak volumes. According to an estimate, “in 2019, worldwide digital ad spending should have risen by 17.6% to $333.25 billion. That means that, for the first time, digital will account for roughly half of the global ad market.”

Also, Search Engine Journal quotes numbers by YouTube and Cisco. According to YouTube, users watched over 1 billion hours of video on the site every day in 2017. And that was three years ago. Also, Cisco estimates that 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2019 should be video content and global video traffic will increase threefold from 2016 to 2021. And yet, an even more telling number by Strategico – the Video Completion Rate (Videos Played All the Way Through) reached a staggering 69% in 2017. Again, the numbers since then only grew.

This only indicates that proper investment in online video advertising can bring more rewards than the initial investment.

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Online video advertising the basic do’s and don’ts

To some, it might sound like a simple affair. After all, the concise definition presented by says that “online video advertising is simply an advertisement for a product or service featured in a video format.”

Simple, and yet, as the numbers above speak, extremely effective. Even more, numbers presented by White Board Animation add to the advantages of such advertising:

  • 92% of B2B prospects consume online video;
  • 4 billion viewers watch  videos on YouTube every day;
  • about one-third of shoppers will purchase a product after viewing a video ad;
  • the biggest names in online marketplaces, including Amazon and eBay, report that adding a video ad to a product description increases the chances of a shopper buying that item by up to 35%;
  • more than 700 videos are shared by Twitter users every minute:
  • the biggest search engine companies put a priority on video content when making tweaks to the algorithms that present certain sites higher on the rankings page.

Quite compelling facts and many entrepreneurs and businesses are willing to venture into online video advertising as soon as possible. They often want to couple that with as little investment as possible and practically no planning. Still, presto, you get those 4 billion YouTube viewers.

What they neglect is that online video advertising has its set of (unwritten) rules, particularly when you have in mind that such large viewing volumes have brought both diversification and sophistication. That can very often mean that a haphazard investment, no matter how small it is, can turn out to be quite expensive.

On the other hand, carefully planned video ad or campaign can bring many-fold rewards, even if the initial investments seems high.

Online video advertising for beginners

Careful research and planning as keys to successful online video advertising

Being aware of some key trends in online video advertising represents the first step in reaping rewards from it. For example, as Search Engine Journal (above) notes, “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.”

They also add that “browsing the web today is basically like watching an endless set of videos looped together on end.” To that effect, “your ability to connect with your buyers through visual content just might form the basis of the relationship between them and your brand.” What does this example really mean in day-to-day online video advertising practice?

Respecting, and having in mind this trend can result in resorting to the so-called short, micro-videos. These videos are generally only about 10 seconds (or less) in length. “The philosophy behind them is driven by the fact that modern digital marketing isn’t often just a single interaction that leads immediately to the 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.”

No wonder then that according to their data, “ Snapchat limits ads to a max of 10 seconds, and also Facebook recommends video ads to be 15 seconds or shorter.”

This micro-video trend puts to the forefront two key elements in having success with an online video campaign. These are detailed research and planning.

Types of video ads and how to get best out of them (above) points to a few general types of online video ads:

  • In-stream videos – these pop up before, during, or after you view other video content online;
  • Out-stream videos – show up randomly placed on regular websites like blogs or news pages;
  • Interactive videos – appear in a full-screen format and appear to take over your device screen;
  • Webpage videos – give viewers additional information about a product, service, or page content;
  • In-game videos – show up while a user is using a mobile application or playing a mobile game.

Search Engine Journal (above) particularly points to the advantages of out-stream videos. These are often referred to as native videos. Their main characteristic is “a digital video advertising unit that’s integrated within a page and auto-plays once the user scrolls near it. Then, the video auto-pauses if the user begins to scroll away from it before it’s complete.”

According to them the most important benefit of out-stream ads is their versatility. When they use them “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.

“Some industry experts have observed data that suggests out-stream video outperforms instream video in several important categories, including:

  • Brand awareness.
  • Online conversion rate.
  • Ability to target desired buyers.

Of course, the above list of video advertising types shows that each and every video campaign needs to be specifically tailored to the original advertising idea. That is the best path for it to be truly successful. But for that to happen each business or entrepreneur needs to arrange a detailed media strategy.

Media planning strategies

Strategico (above) formulates the idea behind media campaigns quite succinctly. “You create a comprehensive strategy so you’ll know where you are going and you won’t waste your budget creating an ad that doesn’t convert.”

According to them, the idea is “to get to know your customer and write down everything you may need for your video ad.” This means the exact words to use, the features of your product you should mention, which social networks to use to promote your web video ad.

The first media planning strategy would be to conduct thorough customer interviews. The best manner to do that would be through conversations with previous customers. These should last between 15 and 20 minutes. The key element to discover is why they have previously bought a certain product.

The interviewer should write down the exact words they are using to describe this product. They can use them later in their ad. The other goal is to determine where do they seek such information online and how to use these channels to the best advantage of the advertiser.

The other media strategy os to gather as much data as possible.

This data can come from a number of sources:

  • Within the company – what is the vision of an ideal customer?
  • The information from the sales department – what are the questions of prospective customers?
  • The information from the customer relations department – “what are people saying when they contact the company?”
  • Talk to customers directly online.

Of course, such strategies should always include checking out the competition. What kind of online video advertising they are using? Where are they placing their online video ads?

All this and any other useful information can be essential to prepare a successful online video advertising campaign.

Online video advertising for everyone

Staying in touch with the developing trends

The advantages of online video advertising are obviously there. Still, making the best of them involves yet another element. That element is following the current developments in the field. Video advertising is a fast-developing field and staying ahead of the game is essential in making the best possible investment. (above) mentions a few current trends, with more certainly on its way:

  • Cross-channel videos – “advertising that captures an audience on multiple channels such as television, social media, or websites. This will be a more common occurrence to engage consumers wherever they are.”
  • Storytelling: Short videos with no point don’t work anymore. “More and more businesses are using video to tell the story of their brand instead of focusing on ‘hard selling’ of products or services.”
  • Livestreaming: This has “become more popular for advertisers and regular social media users over the past year and the trend doesn’t appear likely to slow down.” FabFitFun is a subscription service of health and beauty products delivered to people’s homes. It uses celebrities in live videos to unveil the contents of each box.
  • One and Done: “Temporary content, such as branded videos delivered to customers through Instagram and Snapchat videos, grows in popularity as more consumers turn their attention toward these social media channels. These temporary videos are typically raw and unedited but deliver transparency that consumers appreciate.”
  • Personalization: “Now, advertisers are moving toward delivering personalized video content as well through tools such as geotargeting customers based on location, previous purchases, or social media likes.”
  • 360 degrees of video: Honda used a 360-degree, immersive video when promoting the Civic at a Rallycross event, allowing consumers to use video and virtual reality to experience the car firsthand.

The above examples just show that staying in touch, or even ahead of the trends could be the make or break element in online video advertising.