Proof of video’s massive popularity is everywhere. Just consider this info: mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year, and 63% of that traffic is going straight to video. 

(We could go on.) 

There are plenty more reasons why video consumption continues to grow at an exponential rate online. The fact is, online audiences love how much more creative, visual and informative video is, and marketers love how much more effective it is.

Not convinced? Let’s look at just how well video advertising is doing in the online space, and how small businesses and brands can utilize it for their marketing efforts.

What is video advertising?

The promotional content that gets played before, during, or after you’ve streamed content is what marketing professionals call video advertising. Some include display ads with video content in their definition of video marketing, but you could go as far as to say that technically any promotional video content found online is some form of video advertising. However, the term is usually saved for intentionally curated ads that align with a company’s overall marketing strategy.

Where can my video ads live?

One of the main objectives of online video advertising is to raise awareness about your brand or a certain product or service. Raising brand awareness keeps your products in the minds of your audience, which in turn leads to more traffic to your business. This is another reason to invest in video ads: grow your online sales. 

You can also use well placed video ads to generate leads. Seek out the places where your target audience hangs out online and focus your ad campaign through these channels. Don’t forget that you can also use your video ads to retarget your existing customers to keep them interested in what your brand is doing and become a staple for your loyal followers. 

Video ads are extremely versatile and there are endless possibilities when it comes to getting your ads seen online. Each platform has different features that appeal to certain audiences, like native video advertising, UGC, and other strategies.

Let’s talk about some of the best places for your video ads to call home. 

Get your ads seen by people who are already searching for products or services like your business offers by signing up for GoogleAds, Google’s PPC program. They’ll post your ads on Google searches, in Google Maps, and in other places where visitors might be interested in your ads. They have some cool tools that can help you create a new ad campaign or improve your video ad.

Google also provides Local Services Ads, which is a great way to build your following IRL. This is one of the most crucial tips for local businesses to remember if they want to stand out with their online marketing. You’ll also only have to pay per lead, which is a nice benefit for using the service. 

Since people are used to seeing banner ads displayed in all corners of the internet, they’re used to ignoring them (sometimes called “banner blindness”). This is why social media platforms are another place where video ads thrive. Native video advertising blends in with your other branded content and doesn’t give off the same pushy feeling that banner ads can. 

You can use a Facebook business page or a professional Instagram account to post your video ads. Pinterest is a unique platform where people go to find inspiration and new must-haves, so a successful video ad campaign on Pinterest relies on stellar pinning, collections, and paid ads.

10 reasons why small businesses need video advertising, too 

The benefits of online video advertising aren’t just for the big guys, and here’s why.

1. Visual is valuable

There’s actually a scientific explanation for why video is so much more effective than other traditional forms of advertising. In fact, 65% of the world’s population are classified as “visual learners,” and 90% of all information processed by our brains is considered visual. 

Sure, video isn’t the only form of visual advertising, but it’s a no-brainer that dynamic content like video is far and away the most engaging, entertaining and comprehensive of your options. In fact, Youtube is the second largest search engine behind Google with more than 1.5 million users per month. 

2. Video boosts revenue faster

Marketers who utilize video advertising can grow revenue much faster than those using non-video content — 49% faster, to be exact. This should come as no surprise to companies that have used video in the past, as metrics for everything from engagement, click-throughs, and ROI consistently outpace advertising that uses plain text and images.

3. Customers like video better

Over 72% of customers reported that they preferred video to text ads. Brands can count on visually engaging video to help differentiate their content in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

4. Video actually influences decisions

Not only do consumers prefer video, it’s also often a major factor in their buying decision process. In fact, 90% of customers say that video has helped them make a purchase decision. For small businesses looking to up their retail game, including a video along with your first-rate product shots could make all the difference in sending your customers to their cart.

5. Video helps sell

One of the best arenas to explore video’s effectiveness as a selling tool is in some of the biggest online markets in the world. According to stats released from Amazon and eBay, adding video ads to a product description increases the likelihood of a shopper buying an item by up to 35%. In sum, online video advertising will always be a marketer’s best bet for creating visually rich content that actually helps increase revenue.

6. We’re watching more video than ever (no surprise there!)

Online video consumption has routinely been increasing at about 32% year over year. That’s not just online. Globally speaking, the average human is watching 85 minutes of video a day. And this number could well be over 100 minutes in no time.

7. Social media loves video

Video very much is a huge part of the overall growth and popularity of social media online. Not only does social content with native video get up to 48% more views, it’s much more likely to be shared. Our “Publish to Social” feature was made with this in mind, and makes publishing natively across your channels as easy as a click or two.

The marketing benefits of social media are continuing to grow. It’s hard to determine exact engagement and ROI, but an astonishing 46% of social media users who encounter a video advertisement will end up engaging with the ad. For brands, social media is the long game.

All this to say: Video is the most effective way to further your brand’s growth on social.

8. Smartphones love video even more

Along with social media, smartphones are perhaps the other most important contributor to increased video opportunities. Well over 90% of consumers are watching video on their mobile devices these days.

And even despite viewers’ preference to watch video horizontally (which certainly makes sense!), viewers are also becoming more comfortable with vertical video consumption which was long thought of a drawback for mobile video advertising.

9. Video seriously bumps up email open rates

Email remains the leading way brands engage with their people. But, video is not always factored into this tried and true marketing strategy. And guess what? It should be.

After all, merely including the word “video” in your subject line increases email open rate by 19%, while video thumbnails are 50% more likely to be clicked through. (By the way, there’s both an art and a science to making clickable video thumbnails.)

The takeaway? Let your people know there’s a video on the other side of that email.

10. Video ads get results

At the end of the day, for video marketers, it’s all about ROI. 

Video remains one of the best traffic drivers (up to 300%), product information (with 97% of markets reporting that their users have gained a better understanding of their offerings) and direct purchasing (with 64% of consumers reportedly making purchases directly after watching video ads on social media). 

How to lower online video advertising spend as a small biz

Bring video projects in house

If you’re not a video editing pro this money saving tip might seem intimidating. But video is being democratized, so more and more people can create stunning videos for their businesses. Video ad campaigns and other channels don’t have to be outsourced to an expensive agency to resonate with your core audience. 

Video creating and editing tools like Vimeo Create provide a simple, straightforward platform for beginners and experts to piece together professional ads without the overhead. Choose from pre-constructed templates, music, and themes or create a video ad from your own content. 

Take advantage of UGC 

Sharing user generated content is a great way to build a loyal following and build relationships with your customers. This content often includes lifestyle imagery that inspires others to be a part of your brand. Ads created by real-life customers are the best advertising that you can get. For one, customers want to show off their favorite products and feel connected to the brands that they love. And it creates a desire in your audience to want to capture the feeling that your brand offers, too. 

UGC and non-ad-like ads can help the consumer see your product in their lives and will be more driven to make a purchase based on the positive accounts of other users. You don’t have to sell constantly in your video ads for them to be effective. Let your products tell the story of your brand through your happy customers. 

Have a killer call-to-action 

Including a CTA in your online video advertising is essential to boosting sales. An effective call-to-action statement is made up of a few key parts to motivate customers to take action: a command, a reason, and a link. 

For example, commands like “buy,” “shop,” “subscribe,” tell your viewers what you want them to do. Next, tell them what’s in it for them once they do. Take, “Follow us for more tips on how to book your dream vacation,” for example. “Follow us,” is your command, “for more tips on how to book your dream vacation,” is your reason, and then hyperlink your CTA or create a button so that people can take action.

Test, test, test 

Don’t waste time running expensive ads that aren’t going to perform highly. You don’t need fancy software to do your own ad testing. There are free ways of analyzing your ad performance without breaking the bank. You can use DIY A/B testing to figure out which of your video creative performs better. Take an ad and change one thing, then monitor any changes in your video ad performance.

Repeat this process several times if necessary so that you can discover what works and what doesn’t for your brand.

If you have a business profile in places like Facebook or Instagram it will come with built in features like video analytics so that you can see which ads are performing and where they have been the most successful. This is usually located in the account tab of your profile.

5 video ad templates we’re loving 

Vimeo Create offers tons of video ad templates that complement your business and your marketing platform. These templates provide you with some direction and inspiration for creating your very own video ads.

Sometimes more is more

Show off several of your products in style and all at once. This is perfect for Reels, Pinterest Idea Pins, and more. You could include footage of an entire soon-to-be-launched collection, or show ways to make a routine with several of your products. Either way, opt for glossy, aspirational lifestyle footage to encourage viewers to follow your brand.

Keep it simple

A dynamic Instagram ad that combines eye-catching text with smooth transitions is perfect for casual scrolling. Go for simple and timeless rather than trendy, so you can deliver this ad creative again and again.  

Make it a challenge

Inspire your audience and create a community by creating a social media challenge to your online video advertising. Include a branded hashtag to keep up with community involvement — and don’t forget to find ways to thank and involve challenge participants.

Think: try a giveaway, building a loyalty program, or offering exclusive access to a newsletter. It all depends on how you like to communicate as a small biz.

Show off your style

Bold imagery and a consistent visual style are great for introducing a new collection, especially on YouTube or embedded on your ecommerce website. 

Use text wisely

Draw attention to your products with clean lines and pops of text, like this Facebook ad template. Keep text minimal so that when you express a sale or offer, so even if someone is scrolling past your ad, they’re able to clearly understand what you offer in mere seconds.

Ready to experience the benefits of video advertising?

Make a video ad for your business in minutes.

Article originally written by Jourdan Aldredge in May 2020, updated July 2021.