Video advertising is not all its cracked up to be

There is no doubt that the consumption of online video is growing rapidly as data costs drop and the amount of content increases. Cisco have estimated that 69% of all internet traffic will be video by 2018. And to see the impact on advertising you just have to look at your Facebook or Twitter timelines to see how many more video ads you see.

So, what does this mean for you, the small business advertiser? The natural inclination is to rush to video – to create your adverts based on the assumption that users have a growing preference for video. But there are a couple of reasons why you should tread carefully as an small business advertiser:

  • people are consuming video for entertainment or utility. They seek out content that they want to watch – music, news, series, or how to repair their washing machine. They are not searching for your advert.
  • people are selective in terms of what they watch. Videos that appear in their social media timelines can be dismissed in an instant. If they can do this to cute cat videos, why wouldn’t they do this to your advert?
  • people make a decision in milliseconds as to whether they want to engage in what you have to say or not. In this time it is possible to still get your message across with a well considered image and headline. With video this is often not possible as your ‘punchline’ or offer is revealed after a few seconds.
  • Video can be very expensive to produce, and can consume a large portion of your marketing budget – which would be better spent promoting your adverts


Does this mean video adverts have no place or future? Of course not.

But there are some things you should take into account:

    • The opening frames of your advert must grab the attention immediately, and ideally try to get the key message across. If autoplay is not enabled, your opening frame is like your static advert and should be created as such. ┬áIf autoplay is enabled, assume that you will only get 1 or 2 seconds of someone’s time and plan what you want them to see in this time. Whatever they see after that could be considered a bonus.
    • Think about how you entertain your audience while delivering your message. Dollar Shave Club is the best known example of this.


  • Youtube pre-rolls are a little bit different because you have 5 clear seconds before the user can skip your advert. Use them wisely! Like in this brilliant Geiko ad below.


In conclusion, role of video for advertising should be carefully considered because in many instances it will the wrong for you. If you want to use video in your marketing, rather create very useful content, like guides and ‘how to’ videos rather than adverts. People will find these when they are searching for content or visiting your website.




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