What’s the ROI on video ads?

It’s not just about increasing engagement on your videos, viewers need to leave with the intent to purchase. So yes, it’s possible for your YouTube video ad to get a million views without increasing your ad ROI. This is for what simple reason:

These views don’t tell you how many people were impacted by your ad. It doesn’t tell you how many left with the intent to buy your products.

The key to measuring the ROI on video ads is to track the customer’s journey. From the moment they click on the ad, to the moment they go to your website and make a purchase.

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The Difficulty of Measuring ROI on Video Ads

Digital video spending is a tricky subject. Where do you put your money so it comes back to you multiple times over?

Things that will affect your ad ROI:

  • Not enough viewers
  • Video ad fraud
  • A weak targeted marketing approach – your content needs to reach a relevant audience.
  • Or maybe you don’t know how to measure ROI

…and as you already know, the money you spend on a video ad says nothing about the returns you’ll get.

A bigger ad might have better production value, better sound, and more professional voice actors _ but it doesn’t convert customers any faster than a smaller ad.

Just because it’s difficult to measure the ROI doesn’t mean you should disregard video ads. In fact, we have a whole article explaining why you should be interested in video ads.

How to Measure the ROI of Video Marketing

Maybe you are not getting the maximum returns because your customers cant access your ads. Make sure you test the ads for viewability and accessibility. Can your video ad play on a computer screen just as well as it can play on a mobile device?

All the metrics for measuring video ROI, and more, can be summarized into three main points:


This stage is all about attracting new customers. Spreading awareness is like cold selling. Its trying to convince people who have never heard of you that you can solve their problems.

This stage of video marketing entails getting the most views, impressions, and getting unique users to click on the video. The most memorable ads get the highest returns.

Brand awareness and engagement is all about measuring your direct traffic.

How many people searched for video by typing directly into the search bar? What about social media mentions, shares, and hashtags?

You also need to observe the comment section. Your ad should get people interested in your brand one way or another.

Your brand name needs to be out there, otherwise, your video ad campaign is failing. Your video ads should also help to establish the expertise of your brand. This is particularly true for native video advertising. The ad should increase the number of people who come to your website for information or services.

A useful tool to use in this stage is the cost per view calculator: How many views does your video need to turn a profit.

Roi video ads for content creators


How engaged is your audience?

This is about what the viewers do once they click on the video ads. To measure consideration, use metrics such as view-through rate and watch time.

You need viewers to have an interest in your brand. In this stage of the marketing cycle, it’s important to ask your customers this one question: how likely are you to purchase this product?

To increase your consideration rate, pair your video ads with relevant content.

This will not only increase brand recall but also convince customers to purchase. According to Nielsen research, relevant content is especially important when it comes to automotive and sports-oriented ads.

Here are some more helpful tips:


It’s easier to measure the ROI at this stage. Are the viewers converting into customers? How many calls, sign-ups, and sales did you get as a result of the video ad?

Finally, you need to ensure your customers come back even after their first purchase.

Encourage your customers to leave a review on social media, or share your products with their friends. To achieve this goal, you need to be authentic. Entertain your audience, but also make sure you attend to any concerns and questions they might have.

One More Thing

Keep in mind that there are different types of video ads. We’ll mention two:

Mobile Video Ads

Marketers love to advertise on mobile devices for these reasons:

  • It provides a more intimate viewing experience.
  • Social sharing is easy.

It’s important to have a mobile ad strategy, and it’s even more essential that you keep up with the changing trends.

For instance, there is a new trend in mobile video advertising that indicates that vertical videos are more likely to be watched compared to horizontal videos.

More to this, a lot of videos on social media are watched on mute. When planning your ad, ensure you account for this factor so you can get the most ROI.

Native Video Ads

We have an in-depth article that will tell you all about native video advertising and how to get it right.

An instance of native advertising is when IBM pays to publish their own content on the Forbes website. IBM, therefore, publishes their own articles on Forbes, offering readers useful information while also marketing their services.

The success of a native video ad is measured by the number of click-throughs it gets. This is when the viewers click on the ad and view it all the way to the end.

All you need to know about programmatic video ads. 

How to Maximize the ROI on Video Ads

To measure the worth of a video ad, you first need to set a goal. You should list what you want to achieve even before you create the ad _ have a strategy. This way, you will develop the video with the intended goal in mind.

Market to Non-Customers

In as much as you should stick to your target audience, you should also make an effort to create brand awareness outside of your typical market.

For instance, a week to a month before mother’s day, you can advertise products for women to a male audience.

It’s all About Recall

Make sure viewers remember something from your video ad.

  • Small Brands

Nobody has heard of you yet, so you need to shout! And it matters where you are shouting from.

First, small brands should run their video ads on a few top sites.

You can spread your budget thin trying to market across the entire internet, or you can focus your efforts on the high-ranking sites where most of your customers are.

Small brands should aim for visibility more than anything else. This means putting the video ads where the most traffic is, at least for a few weeks.

This will increase brand awareness, and in turn, increase the ROI on video ads.

Second, their video ads need to be very visible.

Remember what we said about shouting? Well, one way to do this is to use big players to display your ads. Don’t go for a small ad that will pop up in the corner of the website for a few seconds. Bigger videos have a bigger impact on the viewers.

  • Big Brands

Big brands get the most returns when they run their videos on small players in multiple top sites.

This is because big companies can afford to run their video campaigns across a broad range of sites. They can afford to advertise on small players because they already have the recognition.

It’s Not Just About the Ads

It’s not just about creating an ad and uploading it. You need to ensure it plays on the right platform. Also, consider where your viewer is in the customer acquisition cycle.

Add buttons and links to take viewers to the next step until they purchase your products. Update your landing page so its easier for customers to find what they are looking for. Always include a call-to-action at the end of the ad to ensure the consumers move forward with the purchase.

Your entire advertising campaign should work like a well-oiled machine. The professionalism of your video ads should complement that of your website and every other aspect of your business.

Roi video ads for freelancers

Tell A Story

Focus on controlling the narrative of your brand. Discounts can get consumers to buy your products, but your need something that will make them remember your brand_an emotional connection.

Think about engagement first; the sales will come later.

With video ads, you have the advantage of visuals on your side.

Choose the Right Video Ad

We have pre-roll ads, mid-roll, and post-roll ads. The one you choose will depend on the platform you are advertising on.

Pre-roll ads play before the beginning of a video and deliver the message before the viewer has a chance to skip the ad. These ads are usually short and very engaging.

Facebook has unskippable mid-roll ads that the viewer has to see before they can finish their video.

A Summary

Don’t just meet the consumer at one point in the marketing cycle. To get the most returns out of your video ad, you need to engage the customer on multiple levels _ from when they first click on the ad to the point of purchase.

Your ad campaign, therefore, should include several videos for customers at different levels of the acquisition process. You should also target customers on different social channels to maximize ROI.

The best way to measure ROI is to track both quantifiable and non-quantifiable metrics like views, impressions, downloads, and the number of website visitors. These metrics don’t have to be directly tied to the revenue and profit of your business. Aim to maximize awareness, engagement, and action from your consumers.

If you need help producing a video, don’t hesitate to reach out to the best production agency.