Video Advertising: Your New Tool to Increase Ecommerce Sales
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Customers are more informed than ever.
With greater access to information and decreasing attention spans, competing for that attention is no easy task.
Video advertising is an often underutilised yet growing form of engaging with your customers that provides value other mediums simply can’t.
Video ads are the ideal attention-grabbing combination of visuals and a narrative — perfect for introducing your brand, showing off individual products, or driving sales.
Organic engagement on video is higher than any other type of media, and 80% of users can recall a video ad they’ve seen in the past 30 days.
Video is changing the way people shop and make purchasing decisions — 85% of millennials say they’ve made a purchase after viewing a marketing video.
Video ads can help move potential customers through multiple stages of the funnel more quickly than almost any other type of touchpoint.
In the words of Mark Zuckerberg, “video is a megatrend,” and everyone should be able to take advantage of the benefits of video advertising.
At Waymark, we empower ecommerce businesses to create premium video ads in seconds with our online video maker.
In the process of bridging the creative gap and running ad buys for our customers, we’ve learned a lot about optimising video ad campaigns.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the current state of video advertising and how you can jump in to build your ecommerce brand and move your product.
Well, that depends on who you ask.
Networks heavily invested in display might claim video advertising encompasses any digital ad that contains video, including in-banner and in-text ads.
They might say any advertisement that falls within a video stream qualifies as video advertising.
What we’re diving into in this post is a definition of video advertising that focuses on video content that tells your story, sets you apart from your competition, and drives your audience to action.
That can live in a lot of different places and look a lot of different ways.
Video advertising campaigns evolve with ad formats, and as social media platforms increasingly prioritise videos over other types of content, it’s becoming crucial to nail your video communication.
We’ll dig into what makes video advertising different and how you can use it to grow your ecommerce brand.
The dawn of the age of video advertising has created a paradigm shift for marketers.
According to Forbes, Video ads now make up over 35% of all ad spending online.
Video enables you to say much more with less — to construct a story for your brand that’s engaging and packs a punch.
Not only that, but online video is predicted to make up to 80% of all global internet traffic by 2020.
Social media platforms prioritise videos over other types of content, and videos help brands build more trust than traditional ads. All of these trends make it crucial to nail your video presence.
The digital media landscape is crowded. We’ve all heard that time and time again.
The good news is that consumers are way more likely to watch a video than read a block of text or spend 15 seconds considering an image.
Video ads consistently see higher engagement rates and time spent than other types of ads.
Not only that, but 80% of users can recall a video ad they’ve seen in the past month.
So if you want to engage customers, video ads are an easy way to capture the attention of your audience and stand out.
Video ads can communicate more than a tagline — they can promote a sale, build a story, outline your value proposition, or go deep into product details.
Importantly, they are incredibly good at driving customer action.
15-30 seconds is the optimal length for a social media video ad, which allows you to hit the balance between catering to a short attention span and creating a meaningful narrative.
Here’s one of our favourite customer video ads by personal trainer Danyele Wilson, announcing her new coaching series.
In just 30 seconds, she piques the interest of all her followers with her snappy and action-packed video ad.
Instead of hoping the customer reads what you want them to, you can show them in a captivating video.
Havenly uses a few different types of video ads — the 15-second branding video and the live-action explainer.
Havenly’s value proposition can be hard to get across with just beautiful photos of the rooms they design, so they use video to communicate who they are and how they can make your life better.
With this video, they’re able to concisely explain their service in just 15 seconds. It visually develops their brand and hits all their key messaging points, and is personalised for the platform it appears on — Instagram.
This video from Passion Planner titled “How to Create the Life You’ve Always Wanted” shows a detailed view of the product, and walks users through exactly how to use it.
With a length of 1:26, the video is both a detailed explanation that works for customers further along in the funnel who want to learn more and a quick, attention-grabbing opportunity for new purchasers to explore the planner.
The video ad format allows Passion Planner to pack in a ton of detail through a visually engaging and cohesive narrative.
Some of the most impressive social followings have been built using user-generated content — it’s a video strategy fosters brand advocates and makes for beautiful, human content.
It’s no surprise that user-generated video ads work.
After all, word-of-mouth advertising has always been one of the most effective forms of advertising.
76% of respondents in an AdWeek survey said that they find UGC more influential than content created by the brand directly.
That right there is the power of social proof — potential customers are more likely to purchase if they see someone like themselves promoting or experiencing your product.
You can use similar creative for different platforms, but each will have different results and should be optimised differently for its part of the funnel.
Ideally, your video ad campaign will include a number of these formats built to support one another at multiple touchpoints on the customer journey.
Like any type of advertising or any campaign, it’s about integrating all the elements of your strategy with one another to achieve your holistic goals.
Native video ads are a form of paid media that are formatted specifically for the platform they are hosted on.
They look and feel like organic content on the platform and are directly uploaded rather than being hosted elsewhere.
For example, a native Facebook ad is one that matches the style and voice of the platform and lives primarily on Facebook.
Native video ads are the fastest growing type of video ad.
Facebook users are watching more than 8 billion native video ads every day, and most other social media sites are re-optimising their platforms to make native ads an even bigger focus. These videos are typically longer than 30 seconds and feel more like organic content than ads.
The recipes are impulsively watchable and are the kind of content Facebook users are used to seeing in their feed given the rise of media pages like Buzzfeed’s Tasty.
Native video ads prove out the old advertising adage that people don’t watch ads — they watch things they’re interested in.
A study by Twitter showed that 43% of users said they would fully watch a video if it had interesting content.
These videos flow with the user experience and often provide relevant or engaging information.
There are a few kinds of YouTube ads to be aware of — primarily, TrueView and Pre-roll. You can think of them as skippable and non-skippable.
TrueView ads are opt-in, meaning you only pay when someone chooses to watch more than 30 seconds of your video ad.
These are best for branding and engagement — Google claims that brands who run TrueView ads see a 500% boost in engagement with their other YouTube content.
TrueView ads are thought of as lower-risk since the views you are paying for are from a more-interested audience who is more likely to convert.
Grammarly is one of the most recognisable users of TrueView ads.
They’re a chrome extension that scans your writing and gives you suggestions for how to make it better, and they’ve built their social strategy around YouTube video ads.
In fact, the majority of their social traffic comes from ads like this one.
Meanwhile, Pre-Roll ads are useful for sales campaigns (especially when optimised for clicks).
It’s no secret that they can be frustrating for viewers — which is why YouTube announced it was getting rid of 30-second unskippable video ads earlier this year in favour of 15-20 second versions and 6-second bumpers (you can see YouTube’s 6-second ad leaderboard here for inspiration).
All of these are paid for on a CPM-basis.
Often referred to as UGC, User Generated Content is especially effective for brands who already have a pretty significant following.
It’s great for driving purchase from existing fans by increasing engagement.
UGC videos pick up 10x more views than video generated by the brand itself.
Bliss Beauty often features user-generated videos of shoppers using their beauty products.
Not only do the videos feel native and on-brand — but they also display the benefits of the products.
The astronomical engagement rates alone mean 2020 will continue to see a shift in video advertising trends toward UGC.
The cousin of User Generated Content, influencer video ads can be both an authentic way to build brand awareness and a strong driver of direct acquisitions.
Influencers are individuals who have built a following surrounding a specific sphere of influence online.
Whether that’s beauty, athletics, education, or design, their audience looks to them for recommendations in that sphere and generally.
It can be a supercharged version of user-generated content because influencers have that extra layer of trust over an average user, effectively pushing people through multiple stages of the funnel, from awareness to consideration and often to conversion; but, it’s also likely going to cost you a decent chunk of change as a result.
In this example, vegan influencer Rose Lee promotes personalised vitamin brand Care/of.
The ad is integrated into her content and works because she has developed a specific sphere of influence around vegan nutrition and health, which means her audience takes her recommendation especially seriously.
There’s some overlap here with native ads as well, as Care/of and other brands promote ads from influencer pages in-feed on Facebook.
Finally, we have social media ads — likely what you first thought of when you started reading.
This category is a broad one and encompasses many of the previous categories, and also includes vertical video on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Stories are an increasingly popular video advertising trend across platforms.
Typically thought of as an Instagram and Snapchat medium, they’re now growing on Facebook and YouTube too.
Self-cleaning water bottle company LARQ uses this side-by-side comparison video throughout their social media advertising.
The video clearly shows the benefit of the product in less that 30 seconds — just enough time to grab your attention, show you the product, and prompt you to purchase.
Hopefully at this point you’re convinced that video advertising is the way to go, but we don’t just want you to settle for checking the box.
The ad format isn’t the only thing that matters — the video has to be engaging.
Follow these four guidelines to create a video ad campaign that will go beyond the basics.
15-30 seconds is the sweet spot for a video ad.
You have to capture a viewer’s attention in the first 2 seconds, so open with a bang.
Your value proposition should appear in those first 2 seconds of the video.
It’s unlikely a viewer will watch more than 30 seconds anyway, so be sure to pack a punch up front.
Consider where your audience will likely be viewing the video.
At this point, over half of video is viewed on mobile, so optimising for mobile isn’t a question.
In the same vein, you can have gorgeous creative but if it’s in the wrong aspect ratio, it won’t matter.
But personalisation means more than just technical specs — consider your buyer personas and how you can make content for each of them.
Don’t be afraid to get personal.
In other words, tell a story — one with a beginning, middle, and end.
Tell viewers why your business matters. Make it human and authentic.
Your story doesn’t just apply to one video ad either.
Make sure you have a connected emotional throughline between all the different types of your video ads.
Be straightforward about how your customers can continue to engage.
You can make a landing page for them to click through to that will elaborate on the message of the ad, show off your products, or allow customers to redeem a promo code.
From there, your visitors will be able to explore the rest of your online presence and get to know you.
If you want to see a huge bump in your engagement and ad click-through, you need to invest in an integrated video advertising campaign today.
A straightforward video advertising campaign can result in a supercharged ecommerce funnel. And it doesn’t have to be complicated, either.
An excellent video ad campaign is very much within your reach, and could very easily become a huge driver for traffic and sales to your site.
Evaluate the types of video ads outlined in this post and figure out what makes most sense for you to invest in.
Not only is video a very useful marketing tool for your ecommerce site, but it’s also likely it will serve as a first impression for many future customers. It’s a great way to tell your story and drive performance by doing so.
Make your advertising strategy video-forward — videos are more engaging than any other kind of advertising and can drive a huge increase in ecommerce sales for you.
Do you have any questions or know other video advertising trends and best practices? Leave a comment below!
Kay-Anne Reed is a marketing manager at Waymark, an online video maker that is working to bridge the gap between local advertisers and the future of video. She previously worked for an influencer marketing agency and is an alum of the Venture for America fellowship and Georgetown University.