Up to this point, marketers, advertisers and publishers have primarily used video advertising as a way to build brand awareness. Hence, the key performance indicators (KPIs) historically tied to this form of advertising generally pertain to audience reach and engagement.
However, new evidence suggests that lower funnel metrics are extremely relevant for this type of campaign. According to recent studies conducted by Google, even brief video ads play an important role in brand affinity and purchase intent.
While the research did indicate that video ads helped brand awareness, they also showed a marked improvement in lower funnel metrics.
For example, just being exposed to a YouTube ad can help increase the purchase intent of viewers by as much as 35%…and that’s in addition to a 57% jump in brand consideration and 24% increase in brand favorability.
Video Ads & Buying Patterns
The interesting thing about video ads is that their timing appears to be ideal for influencing conversions.
Traditionally speaking, brand affinity grows through multiple viewings of the same content (think old-school commercials). However, online video ads stick with audiences after just one viewing because their full attention is placed on the content immediately following the ad.
The reason it was difficult to unearth this evidence before was that the effects are primarily seen down-funnel, late in the customer journey when the time comes for a purchase decision. Conversions may be happening, but you may not notice if you aren’t looking at the right metrics at the right time.
Video Advertising Best Practices
What makes a good video ad that will drive these late-funnel conversions? Some of the best practices are common sense…but others may surprise you.
Here are several key suggestions:
- Know Your Industry: Not every industry will have the same ROI from video ads. Understand what you are selling, how people buy it, and what role video ads can play in the process. Sometimes YouTube is indeed the best place for video ads, especially for many consumer goods or services. But other types of goods and services may see more benefit from ad placements on other channels (think social media, video news, etc.).
- Hook: Not unlike the lede in journalism, a hook catches the audience’s attention within the first few seconds of a video (and should hopefully involve your logo or brand).
- Keep Users Engaged: The very best responses to YouTube ads came from those who stayed to watch most or all of a video, so keeping users’ attention as long as possible is vital. It’s no surprise that humorous or socially aware (trends, topics, celebrities, etc.) ads kept viewers around longer.
- Call to Action: Always have a call to action – and present it sooner rather than later. This pushes viewers through the funnel more quickly.
- Picture First: Audio is often muted or turned off for online video ads. Represent everything you need to via pictures first: Then worry about audio.