Video marketing dominated last year and there is no reason to think that will change in 2019. As we close in on the next decade, roughly 86% of marketers are using video content to advertise, educate, and entertain. New formats and a rise in consumption continue to bolster video as an increasingly effective, engaging medium. It’s a train your business can’t afford to miss.
Here are the top seven video advertising trends you can expect to see more of in the new year.
1. Shorter video ads
Today’s abundance of video content creates an endless amount of competition for advertisers. Customers with the ability to watch virtually anything will only watch an ad if it is relevant, attention grabbing, and valuable. As a result, the amount of time people spend watching ads has declined across nearly every medium. Similar trends are leading brands to test short video ads that aim to beat the skip button and serve short attention spans.
Short bumper ads present a creative challenge for marketers who must tell a brand story in under 15 seconds. The format calls for impactful content that can induce an immediate emotional response from a viewer. Below are two examples of prominent brands using humor, shock, and action to create compelling short and effective pre-roll ads.
Concise video ads like these have started to become a staple in video-focused marketing. According to a study by Google, 90% of bumper ad campaigns boosted global ad recall by an average of 30%. It’s a safe prediction that more brands will jump on the trend this year.
2. OTT advertising
Over the top (OTT) is a term used to describe content providers that distribute streaming media over the internet. These services are disrupting traditional broadcast television and have led a new generation of consumers to “cut the cord” with satellite and cable services.
There are three video on demand models currently dominating the OTT industry:
- Subscription VOD: Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo
- Transactional VOD: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play
- Ad-supported VOD: YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo
Marketing through these platforms offers benefits similar to those gained from conventional online advertising. Unlike traditional commercials, OTT allows marketers to utilize targeting, ad insertion, and advanced analytics to create shorter more personalized ads. This enables brands to run full screen ads catered to the viewing habits of an entire household. Viewers watching these ads from an OTT streaming device can’t skip or install an ad blocker. As a result, video completion rates are significantly higher for OTT advertising than in-browser video ads.
The number of places to advertise through OTT is growing exponentially. Future iterations might combine data from other devices in the household to create even more effective targeting. Not only would this technology maximize the potential of ad campaigns, but it would also ensure viewers are seeing ads that actually match their interests. In the years to come, OTT could rise to be one of the most lucrative channels available to modern advertisers.
3. Mobile-first advertising
Smartphones have become ubiquitous. In 2018, mobile devices accounted for over 52% of all worldwide online traffic, and all video marketing stats show continued growth. Marketers are well aware that consumers now rely on their phones for news, shopping, and a significant portion their entertainment. As a result, forward-thinking brands have worked to make their websites, advertisements, and even services mobile-friendly. Creating this intuitive user experience is critical during a time when nearly half of all online transactions are done on smartphones.
In addition to changing the way we consume, mobile phones have also started to influence the way we create video content. The majority of videos recorded on mobile devices today are being shot in an upright format known as vertical video. It’s a trend that has led many brands to create vertical advertisements intended for platforms such as Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and even Facebook. Using this vertical format enables marketers to get engaging content in front of modern customers and minimize on-screen distractions.
Cinemagraphs are a new form of digital art gaining popularity online. These photo and video hybrids contain a subtle motion that plays in a seamless loop while the rest of the image remains still. It’s a visually interesting effect that creates the illusion you are watching an animation. Whether the subject is waves crashing against a shore or the flicker of a candle, the end result is an alluring image that captures the viewer’s attention.
Cinemagraphs are made using high-end cameras and a post-production tool to composite a series of photos or video recordings. The first to use this technique (or popularize it) were New York based photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck. It was originally intended to bring life to their fashion week photos but ultimately sparked the curiosity of the web. It wasn’t long before advertisers started using Cinemagraphs for marketing campaigns.
Cinemagraphs garner more interest than photos without the involved process of video. It calls for a bit of imagination, but it’s another way advertisers will tell their stories in 2019.
5. User-generated content
Even in the digital age, word-of-mouth marketing remains a valuable asset to brands. In a recent survey, 76% of consumers said they trust content shared by “average” people more than by brands. This underlines the importance of leveraging user-generated content, or UGC, to build trust with your audience. UGC can be defined as pictures, videos, reviews, social media posts, or any relevant content created by unpaid “fans” of your brand. Not only is UGC more budget-conscious than other forms of marketing, but it has also been shown to generate 7X higher engagement than standard brand generated content.
What makes UGC most appealing is the authenticity it presents to an audience. Today’s customers are no longer impressed with pushy sales tactics. People want to engage with brands they feel an emotional connection to. The best way to build that relationship is through transparency and storytelling. Brands who find ways include their fans aren’t just marketing to them, they’re creating a viable community people are excited to be a part of.
Toyota, for example, boosts ad engagement by 440% with UGC.
Our online experience is becoming ever more content-driven as customers seek brand experiences that align with their personal interests. Marketers who succeed in creating or encouraging UGC will develop a brand people can connect to.
6. Facebook in-stream ads
In-stream ads allow advertisers to place 5-15 second videos directly within live and on-demand videos on mobile devices. These short mid-roll ads can be optimized for video views, brand awareness, app installs, reach, or engagement. The feature has proven to be extremely effective: 70% of ads are watched to completion. In-stream ads are also non-skippable and maintain an average on-target rate of 89%. This has made them a popular tool for tapping into Facebook’s daily average of 8 billion video views.
Another perk of in-stream ads is the ability to deliver on Facebook’s Audience Network. This allows advertisers to show people ads while they’re watching videos on third-party websites and apps. Video ads on the audience network differ from typical in-stream ads. They can appear as pre-roll or mid-roll ads and run up to 30 seconds in length. Additionally, in-stream ads delivered through the audience network can be displayed on both mobile and desktop. Over one billion people see an ad through Facebook’s Audience Network every month, making it a useful option for extending the reach of your ad campaign.
Recently, Facebook decided to offer a premium option for in-stream advertisers. Brands can now opt for In-Stream Reserve, which ensures placement in top-performing videos from high-quality publishers and creators. As Facebook continues to prioritize video over other forms of content, in-stream ads will become a vital part of the platform’s advertising strategy.
7. Increase in ad spend
As video consumption grows, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn have made video marketing a primary focus. In 2018, brands spent over $90 billion dollars on video ads. According to a recent Forrester report that number is expected to hit $102.8 billion by the year 2023. The explosion of video along with advanced analytics has made video advertising vital to any online marketing plan.
One of the video areas seeing the largest jump in ad spend will be mobile video. Mobile video is the fastest growing video type among consumers- accounting for more than half of all video plays. Advertisers spent over $30 billion on mobile video advertising alone in in 2018. These numbers could grow even higher as content providers unveil more mobile-first platforms and experiences. For advertisers looking to jump on this growing opportunity, it will be critical to focus on creating high-value story driven video content.
Marketers driving this spike in video ad spend will also be the leaders testing new and previously mentioned formats. We can expect to see more brands adopting vertical, six-second, and non-skippable ads into their online marketing strategy this year. Together, larger budgets and optimized ads could create the perfect storm for capitalizing on video’s exponential growth. We can only imagine the shifts in technology and online advertising this growth will lead us to next.
About the author
Mike Clum is the founder & president of Clum Creative, a video production company serving marketing departments and entrepreneurs around the world.