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Video is a deeply compelling medium for most individuals. Even if Facebook somewhat overstated its reach, there’s no question that human beings are hardwired to respond more emotionally and viscerally to video than to text. So it’s no wonder that video advertising remains one of the top options for small business marketing.

YouTube is one of the biggest targets for video advertisers thanks to its reach and audience size of. Over half of all U.S.-based marketers advertised on the site, and sixty percent said they only planned to spend more on YouTube ads in the future.

However, YouTube isn’t the only video advertising game in this digital town. Smart marketers know that it may not even be the best option, all things being equal.  Other platforms may serve your needs more efficiently and possibly even at a lower cost.

1. Facebook

Digital video ad budgets continue to rise but the platforms that are seeing the most growth are social media networks, particularly Facebook, which remains popular with small business advertisers thanks to two key factors:

  1. A huge user base
  2. An impressive collection of ad targeting options

By carefully selecting the targeting metrics that most closely match the traits of your targeted audience, you can help restrict your ad impressions to the people who are much likelier and readier to make a purchase from you. In turn, this increases your return on the investment (ROI), your conversion rate, and your profits.

Some of those impressive targeting options include:

  • Personal interests: Want to reach more hikers with your ad for hiking boots? Facebook can help you do that.
  • Location: Are you advertising a brick-and-mortar restaurant or retail shop? Restrict your ad to those users who live in that same town or neighborhood.
  • Prior contacts or visits: Is your ad designed to help usher prospects from one stage of the buyer’s journey to the next? Build on an established relationship by restricting your ad display to users who’ve already visited your site.

In addition, you can target by age, gender, and other demographic features to more carefully focus your ad efforts at the right segments of the audience.

Facebook videos aren’t intrusive or forced, so you’ll have to work a bit harder with your video ad content to persuade them to watch all the way through. Selecting a square (1:1) orientation will help take up more space in mobile newsfeeds and thus is likelier to grab the attention of mobile users than a landscape orientation. You’ll also want to add captions since most users view Facebook videos without sound.

2. Instagram

While Facebook may be the undisputed current king of social media video advertising, Instagram is definitely the heir apparent and it’s only growing in popularity and usage.

Ads on Instagram help drive sales as well as increase brand awareness. Being a graphics-oriented network by nature, Instagram helps your ads secure a greater percentage of full views, since users are expecting image- and video-based content.

How effective is advertising on Instagram with video? In one study conducted by Instagram two years ago, the company found that a full 60 percent of Instagrammers discovered new products and services through the site’s content. Fully three-quarters of those users also took subsequent action, such as clicking links, conducting web searches or sharing the content with other users.

As with any potential platform for your ads, however, you should look carefully at user demographics before committing budget and creative assets to an Instagram campaign. The user base tends to skew younger, between 18 and 34 years of age. The most popular topics or niches seem to be fashion and beauty, followed closely by food, fitness, and entertainment.

By the way, if Instagram seems like a good fit for your brand, you may also want to look into IGTV. Launched mid-2018, the new video platform is designed for mobile users to enjoy longer-form streaming content.

3. Twitter

Twitter video ads are especially effective for small business marketers because they typically don’t require much cash outlay. They also tend to get a lot more retweets than non-video Twitter ads-up to six times more, as a matter of fact.

The best Twitter video ads are very short, emotionally compelling and most of all, entertaining. The Twitter Promoted video campaign lets you increase views for your videos through autoplay inside the targeted user’s timeline. This helps increase user interactions (clicks, likes and follows).

You can target your ads with some fairly impressive advertising controls and targeting options, including the option to target either by a specific hashtag or by keyword. If you prefer to reach out only to those who have already interacted with your brand on Twitter, you can choose engager targeting options, which display your ad only to those who have seen, liked, or retweeted your company’s tweets.

Of course, your Promoted video campaign won’t be free. However, the costs are quite reasonable, and will only be incurred if the user actually views the video. Impressions without video views are free, helping enhance brand awareness with no further charge.

The fees are quite reasonable, and as an added bonus, Twitter offers a number of helpful resources for video advertisers to help you make the most of your campaign.

4. Snapchat

If your targeted audience consists of millennials to any significant degree, you’ll want to at least give some consideration to advertising on Snapchat. This social media platform’s audience tends to be young, but over half of those signing up as users qualify for the millennial label. So video ad campaigns for consumer-oriented products can do quite well here.

Many parents may view Snapchat as “that little social platform my kids like,” but the truth is quite different. Over 180 million people use the network daily from all over the world. Those Snapchatters, as they’re called, tend to spend at least a half-hour each day on the app.

Snapchat video ads begin with a full-screen video ad up to ten seconds in length in a required format ratio of 9:16. Thereafter, you have the optional choice of four different video ad formats based on four separate ad purposes: web view (to drive traffic to your site); app install (to increase downloads); deep link (to deepen or renew engagement with current app users); or long form (displays longer video after your snap ad).

If you select “Advanced Create” on the main ads page, you’ll have greater control and the option to establish testing of ads on different audiences. On the other hand, if you’re new to video advertising, you may want to select the “Quick & Easy” option which helps you get a single ad up and running in a matter of mere minutes.

5. LinkedIn

What if you’re advertising for a business that sells its services or products to other businesses? LinkedIn is the platform of choice for B2B brands.

Video advertising is a relatively recent addition to LinkedIn’s platform but it’s a solid choice if your target audience matches LinkedIn’s user base: professional adults and businesses.

Advertising through video on LinkedIn helps you reach those users in furtherance of a number of goals, including establishing thought leadership, driving web traffic, increasing brand awareness, and offering free trials or consultations for your products and services. The platform allows you to target display of your ads by such categories as industry, company size, group membership, and more.

The downside of LinkedIn video advertising is the cost. Ads can be substantially more expensive than others, including Facebook, but the tradeoff is in the specific types of targeting the site allows, making it a valuable platform for B2B campaigns and brands.

6. Other Video Ad Platforms

In addition to these popular social media networks, other platforms exist for video advertising. TaboolaVerizon’s Oath, or other networks and programs may provide the right fit for your brand’s needs. The fundamental bedrock of any kind of advertising, including video ad campaigns, is “go where your targets are” so make sure you research each before you commit to a specific ad buy, paying careful attention to demographics and targeting options.

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