Everyone is paying attention to video ads on social media, and it pays to know what viewers want and where ad spend dollars go. Let’s explore the state of social video ads, as well as some tips for advertisers.
The State of Social Media Video Ads
Recently, eMarketer highlighted findings from video creator Animoto, showing that Facebook and YouTube secure more video advertisers (at 67 and 51 percent respectively) than Twitter or Instagram (each at only 25 percent).
The reason for this is advertisers’ greater confidence in Facebook and YouTube to drive views, engagement and sales. For example, confidence in Facebook to drive views and engagement nears 90 percent, while confidence in Instagram to do the same hovers around 70 percent.
However, advertisers do plan to increase their video ad spending on all four platforms, especially Twitter and Instagram. According to Animoto’s data, the number of advertisers planning to increase Twitter and Instagram is double those who already advertise on them.
Pulling back to see the wider findings from Animoto, we see the state of social media video in general, which can inform advertisers in the space:
Consumers and marketers are both paying attention. Sixty-four percent of consumers, who tend to watch in the afternoon and evening, say Facebook marketing videos influence purchases. Nearly half of marketers create four or more videos each month, and most use assets they already have.
The focus is on mobile. Facebook reported 1.74 billion mobile monthly active users earlier in 2017, and marketers are responding by optimizing videos for mobile and creating both square and vertical videos.
Viewers prefer to watch silent videos with text overlays. Eighty-five percent of viewers watch Facebook with the sound off, and 39 percent finish videos with subtitles. Video creators get the hint – 67 percent usually or always use text overlays, and 51 percent usually or always use closed captioning.
Platform spending is diversifying for video advertising. Of course, Facebook and YouTube retain the lead (as discussed above).
Branded videos get views and engagement every day. Both span the various platforms, and preference for pre-recorded and live videos is pretty evenly split.
Consumers know what they want from social media videos. The top liked and shared videos are behind-the-scenes, educational, funny and emotional.
Attention spans are short. Seventy-three percent of viewers decide whether to stick with a video in the first 30 seconds, and 43 percent decide in less than 15 seconds. Videos most likely to get watched for more than a minute contain educational, current event and entertaining content. Mobile attention spans are, unsurprisingly, shorter.
Social Video and Ad Trends to Watch
If you’re on Facebook, you’ve likely noticed how much video is in your feed. Last year, in an interview with Buzzfeed News, Mark Zuckerberg said:
“We’re entering this new golden age of video. I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.”
Facebook has long been onto making videos better for users and possibly upping the payouts for advertisers. Back in March, we talked about some big opportunities for Facebook video advertisers, including updates to video ad delivery and mid-roll ads.
Video advertisers on Facebook should recognize that, as videos in general improve on Facebook, the opportunities for advertising will increase. Further, as things become more lucrative for publishers, the advertisers they partner with can benefit as well.
Aum talks about a couple areas to watch as you increase advertising though social media videos:
- Consider what kind of video you want to create. For example, will live video on Facebook work better with your audience, or should you stick to more traditional, pre-recorded videos?
- Look to other social media platforms, such as Snapchat, if your audience is younger. Like with Facebook, you have the option to do more casual videos or develop more formal ads.
Tips from the Leading Social Platforms
To encourage your success with social media video ads, the leading platforms offer some tips for getting started.
Facebook frames video ads as a way to show off your personality, display products and features and let an audience know who you are.
- A mobile camera, creative apps and inspiration are all you need to begin.
- Upload directly to Facebook, as links to external videos won’t necessarily work as efficiently or attractively with Facebook’s user interface.
- Create video ads with mobile in mind, making them square or vertical for the most screen real estate.
- Get and keep attention with videos under 15 seconds that include your brand/product early on and feature great visuals.
- Cater to those with the sound off by including text and images that communicate the full message.
- Ad groups can only contain videos of one format (in-stream or video discovery), so if you want a campaign to contain multiple formats, you need separate ad groups.
- TrueView videos must be hosted on YouTube.
- TrueView video campaigns can’t contain text, images or other video ad formats.
Bumper video ads are also an option, though they are only six seconds or shorter and can’t be skipped by viewers. Bumper ads work well as complements to TrueView ads and in mobile environments.
Video is a primary form of online communication, and different forms will work for different advertisers. Find your niche and start uploading to the leading platforms!