Digital video ads aren't just appearing as pre-roll on YouTube anymore, but they're actually currently occupying the bulk of Facebook newsfeeds.
Despite the recent enthusiasm for video marketing, however, advertisers need to be cautious about their spending when it comes to video ads, instead of merely hopping on the bandwagon.
If you're a marketer, there are several reasons to carefully consider video ad spend before you go ahead and invest. Here are 3 reasons why video ads may actually be a waste of money, rather than a smart investment.
Negligible View Time
Just because you've made a video ad, it doesn't mean that it's going to get noticed.
Video ads that don't deliver a strong message in an attractive way often get scrolled past. So, if you're not intentional about the video ads you create, but you're still paying to create them, you may be investing in something that people are barely watching (if they're even watching it at all).
A recent study by P&G found that the average view time for an ad on a mobile newsfeed was just 1.7 seconds.
That is hardly enough time for any potential customer to take in any significant information about your brand or appreciate the content of the ad you've created.
Ad fraud can occur in various ways. It can happen when nonhuman traffic accesses or clicks on an ad; it can happen when an ad is placed where it has no chance of being seen by real humans; and it can happen via humans, who actively misrepresent how they are displaying or interacting with an ad.
While all ads and advertisers are vulnerable, research shows that video ads are associated with a disproportionate amount of ad fraud and that fraud is at least twice as common in video ads as it is in display ads.
Because ad fraud so common, and video ad inventory is not all created equal, make sure you evaluate your metrics constantly.
This will allow you to ensure that everything makes sense and that you're not overlooking any fraudulent activity that could be impacting your financials negatively.
Video Content Saturation
It may seem counterintuitive, but people like video content, so there's a lot of video content out there and available today.
Because of an oversaturation of videos, people have expressed that they actually prefer interacting with images on the Internet instead of having to watch video content. This is especially true when it comes to social media platforms like Facebook.
Recently, Facebook has encouraged investment in video, especially live video ads. However, research shows that videos are not the content that people are most engaged with online. Instead, images are.
So this means that if you're creating video ads to grab people's attention on platforms like Facebook, your efforts may be backfiring.
Instead, look at the product or service you offer, as well as your audience, marketing objectives, and competitors in order to decide on the right ad format for you. Don't just blindly adopt video advertising efforts in every scenario.
How to Create Video Ads to Provide Good Returns
Video advertising can be challenging in terms of payoff if you want to grow your business, but if done right, it can be a useful way to help expand your audience.
If you do want to create some video ad content, and you want to make sure you're putting money into video ads that will actually provide good ROI, here are some helpful tips for creating that ad content.
Include Your Most Important Content Immediately
Don't wait to reveal the most important information in your video ad.
Include it in the first three to five seconds if you want to maximize the number of people who see it. This is especially useful when you're creating a video ad for a platform like YouTube, which won't let users skip video ads in the first 5 seconds.
If you can get the most important information out right away, you may be able to hook more viewers as they watch or listen.
Have a Clear Objective and CTA
It's tempting to create a beautiful or compelling video ad to simply bolster your brand. However, you should make sure you include a very clear CTA in your ad so that people actually know what they should do when it's over and also set very clear objectives about what you want the ad to do for you.
In terms of CTA is there a specific product you want them to check out? Alternatively, is there a promotion going on they should take advantage of before it ends?
Make sure people know what they do when they're done watching your ad, so their action may actually generate revenue for your company.
Also, determine what you want to achieve with your video ads before you make them, so you can make sure you're measuring the right metrics once they're released.
For example, views alone probably won't have a huge immediate effect on your bottom line, but you should see a rise in brand searches that lead to your website (and ultimately more conversions).
Test your ads. Then test them again. By split testing with video ads, you can continuously see what works and pays off and what doesn't, then hone in on the techniques that work for selling to your audience.
There are some helpful tools you can use for testing, like YouTube video experiments. Video experiments is a head-to-head testing tool in AdWords that can show you the impact of your creative on key metrics (like purchase intent, awareness, and more).
You may want to be cautious about spending money to create a huge number of ad creatives for testing since the cost of video ads can be high in terms of money and resources.
To help you determine the best ad creative to use, you can rely on a more affordable service like Creadits, which can help you build ad creative at scale without using up your entire digital advertising budget.