Online Video Advertising: 5 Tips to Maximize Your Impact

01.30.2024 Sara Brasfield6 min

There’s never been a better time to invest in online video advertising for your small business. Free ad-supported television (FAST) is surging in popularity, while digital streamers are expanding their ad inventories to support cheaper, ad-supported streaming plans.

More advertising options means better potential ad value for your business—not to mention greater flexibility in how you connect with your target audience. Despite this buyer’s market, though, online video advertising success is not guaranteed.

If small businesses are serious about driving results from their digital video advertising, they need to embrace the latest best practices and expert tips when creating their video ads. Here are five tips to start your online video advertising strategy on the right foot.

1. Use Your Campaign Goals to Shape Your Video Ad Strategy

Hoping to build brand awareness in a new market? Want to drive referrals to an appointment scheduling portal on your website?

Digital video advertising can help you achieve a wide range of goals, especially on mobile video platforms offering call-to-action buttons for your ads—as long as your ad production is aligned with your campaign goals. These goals will affect not only the messaging of your ad creative, but also the audience you target and the digital platforms where you run your ads.

While traditional TV advertising was primarily used to build brand awareness and strengthen brand loyalties, online video offers far greater versatility. But this versatility makes it even more important to establish clear advertising objectives before you start creating your video ads.

2. Refine Your Audience Targeting Strategy for Better ROI

Digital video advertising platforms off audience targeting capabilities to focus ad delivery to your most relevant customers and prospects. By focusing ad delivery on this high-value audience, you’re able to cut out wasted spending on less relevant audience segments, potentially increasing the revenue generated from a single video campaign.

Individual ads should be targeted to a segmented audience based on the demographic, behavioral, and location-based profile of this audience. Other factors, such as the time of day and the type of content into which ads are inserted, can further improve your potential return from these video ads.

In the end, your business can enjoy the massive reach of digital video while achieving levels of audience targeting precision that can’t be matched by other forms of video advertising.

3. Create Multiple Video Ads from a Single Production Process

One of the easiest ways to improve your video advertising ROI is by increasing the number of unique video ads you create from a single production process. For example, a production shoot for a 15-second digital ad for OTT video advertising can be used to create many additional types of videos—especially if you plan ahead for different video formats and lengths.

Along with a 15-second OTT ad, you can cut additional ads for 30 seconds, six seconds, and other lengths of time. You can also experiment with video ads for social platforms, if you’re able to edit videos or use additional footage that fits the vertical orientation of these ad formats.

Similarly, small businesses could test out skippable ads by moving the CTA to earlier in the video. If you work with a video production team, you can discuss these options ahead of time to get the best value from your production shoot. This will position your campaign to achieve even greater reach and ROI when live.

4. Start Fast to Grab Your Audience’s Attention

Successful mobile video advertising depends on making a quick impression to hold your audience’s interest. On platforms with ad skipping options, advertising videos may have as little as five seconds to convince their audience to keep watching.

On social media, the pressure is even higher: most experts agree that a social media advertising video has up to three seconds to win over the viewer before they keep scrolling.

A fast start depends on strong creative. Cut right to the chase by opening with a captivating visual or a compelling line of dialogue. Humor, speaking to audience pain points, value-based messaging, and emotional appeals to the audience are some of the best ways to quickly spark interest that will motivate viewers to watch the entire ad spot.

5. Make Sure Your Video Ad Works Without Sound

Producing a video advertisement for mobile? Make sure your audience can understand your message without turning on sound. Consumer research suggests that, on average, 69 percent of people watch videos on mute when using their mobile device.

That number is subject to change based on many different factors, including location and viewing platform. Someone watching the video in public is far more likely to mute the sound than someone watching a video in their living room. A survey of LinkedIn users found that only 56 percent watch videos on their desktop or laptop with the sound on—a figure that drops that 37 percent when using mobile devices.

The lesson is clear: if you want digital video views to go to waste, the experience needs to work even when the sound is muted. Subtitles for videos is a great way to support this, but clear messaging, high-quality images and graphics, and mobile video CTAs can all offer value in creating a high-performing digital ad that isn’t reliant on audio.

Want to maximize the ROI of your video advertising experts? A digital advertising partner can help your business plan out campaigns, create high-quality video ads, evaluate campaign performance, and optimize your strategy for better results in the future.

Cox Media’s in-house experts can guide your business through every step of this journey. Contact us today to learn more about our Television and digital advertising services.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is a Marketing Manager on Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than nine years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the office, Sara loves spending time running, reading, and supporting her favorite sports teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

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