There has been a lot of movement over the last few years toward video advertising across multiple formats and platforms. A lot of this movement has been due to the state of the world and the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to stay inside, which in turn results in less human interaction. Videos, especially those with people in them provide a sense of personalization that was lacking in everyday life.
With this shift marketers have been forced to adapt and create meaningful, relatable video content. This may not be a medium previously tapped into or that companies haven’t have the resources to produce the content they feel like is competitive among the other content out there.
This article will address the different platforms that are the most suitable and most used for video content and the best ways to use each one for maximum value.
Running video ads on Google requires the videos have to be hosted on YouTube. Which means companies are required to have a YouTube channel to host their videos to run the video ads through Google.
“Do the videos have to be public?”, the answer is no, they can be set to unlisted, which will make them usable in ads, but they will not show on your YouTube channel page directly. Note, the videos cannot be used in ads if they are set to private.
There are also several ad types that can be run on this platform. These ad types all have different requirements and placements with the most common being skippable in-stream, non-skippable in-stream, and bumper ads. These formats are all pre-roll meaning they show at the beginning of other videos hosted on YouTube.
YouTube also now offers a creator studio with many useful tools, including an editing tool that allows for users to edit their videos directly in the YouTube platform if they don’t have an editing tool/team available to them. This is a useful tool especially for individual creators, small businesses, or for those experimenting with video for the first time and just want to get their feet wet.
Social platforms are one of the best platforms to run video on because they have a significant user base. However, with so much content being presented, and shown to users, it’s imperative to create engaging and relatable content. The best and easiest way to do this is to ensure there are people in video content, this instantly creates better relatability. It is also recommended to include subtitles on all video content on social platforms, as sound may not play automatically even if the video starts, this gives users the ability to know what your video is about even if they cannot hear it.
It’s also valuable to create videos that show people doing everyday activities or more lifestyle oriented, but that can also fit into and relate back to the product/business being promoted. This increases relatability and encourages engagement because users feel as though they can see themselves in the position of the people in the video and it automatically creates comfortability, which is key to create brand recognition and loyalty.
There are many formats available to use video for ads in these platforms, each has their own set of requirements and specs, but the content can be the same across platforms. Here’s a quick overview of the specs for each video format within each platform.
Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms can be one of the most valuable ad placements. These ads are ads that run on video streaming platforms (Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video, etc.), which right now are where the majority of people are viewing TV shows and movies. The bigger the cord cutter movement becomes even more prominent this is one of the best ways for brands to get their content in front of this audience.
The majority of OTT ads are run through a third party resource and can be a fairly expensive endeavor, however, some platforms have begun to offer self-serve OTT options. Hulu, whose self-service platform is currently in Beta but is easy to gain access to via a simple form fill, gives you more control over your OTT ads and does not require much cost to get started, it is a great way to test out this format without braking the bank.
OTT has been a very prominent area of focus for both brands and agencies alike over the past year especially and Anvil has done our fair share of research around this topic, including a webinar and blog post specifically around this topic.
Video is becoming more and more important in all aspects of marketing and it’s important to know what placements, recommended lengths, and different ad types/formats each platform offers.