Everyone in the world of digital knows that video is a hot topic right now, and it’s not set to disappear any time soon.


But how do you harness the power of video for your own marketing campaigns and get that all-important edge over your competitors?

The benefits of video ads on social media

When you consider that 2.5 billion of us own a smartphone, a device that offers a quick and convenient way to watch video content online, it’s no surprise that video ads are such an effective marketing tool.


Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have an auto-play function, making it hard not to notice videos when scrolling through your feed. Advertising on these channels gives you huge potential reach – and is more efficient and cost-effective than advertising on TV.


Video ads on social media have a higher chance of being seen than TV ads. According to a recent Google study, over 50% of TV advertisements don’t get watched. Instead, viewers choose to skip or fast-forward the ads, or pick up their mobiles during the break to browse social media where they see – you’ve guessed it – video ads!


How do you create video ads your audience wants to see?

Of course, the major drawback of using video is that you’re joining a very crowded club. You need to stand out from the competition and stop those scrolling thumbs long enough for your message to resonate with your audience. Here’s how you can do just that:


Think ‘sound-off’

In today’s world, most people watch videos on social media with the sound off. In fact, a huge 85% of video content on Facebook is viewed without sound. This means that your video content needs to communicate your message 100% visually.


In theory, that sounds quite simple. But in practice, it’s actually something that can easily go wrong. According to research by Facebook itself, 76% of rated video ads on the platform need sound in order for users to understand them.


So if your video is too complicated to play on silent, you need to simplify it to make it resonate with users who don’t have the sound on. You only need your soundtrack to enhance the video experience for when users do turn the volume up.


Think vertical

Users don’t generally use their mobiles horizontally unless they’re watching a movie or streaming TV. When using social media, most – if not all – smartphone users will hold their phone vertically. If your video ad doesn’t fit your user’s screen, it’ll only frustrate them, and they’ll lose interest.


Introduce your brand sooner rather than later

When creating your video, you need to make sure your brand is introduced early for users to notice you. Facebook users only watch an average of 10 seconds of a video, so it’s advisable to get your brand, product or service involved within this timeframe. Even if they don’t watch all of your video, they’ll scroll on having seen who the video is from.


How to measure the value of your video ads

One of the main ways to determine the success (or failure) of a video ad on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube is length of view. That said, there’s a question mark over the relevance of this metric, given that social viewers only stop scrolling for a few seconds before moving on to the next post.


To properly measure the value of your ads, think about the results you want your campaign to achieve. It could be brand recognition, an increase in sales for specific products or services, more visits to your site, or more visits to your brick-and-mortar store. Whatever your goal, align the measurement of your video ad to your top-line objective. To achieve this, your video should be the starting point of your campaign, rather than an afterthought or the sole focus.

Manchester-based digital agency Return used video ads to drive an 81% increase in sales for Robinsons Brewery. Find out how here.