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using video in paid media advertising: an interview with giacomo palmieri

Videos have become a popular part of the digital world. There aren’t many platforms users visit today that don’t feature engaging videos advertising a brand, product or service. But if this is something you haven’t done before, it can feel like a lot to get in place. 

Fortunately, we’re here to help. Talking to PPC Account Manager, Giacomo Palmieri, he shares insight into how you can use video to slot into your paid media activities and why it’s really not that hard to get started.

how can a business use video as part of their paid media activities?

A lot of the time, video can be used as another spoke to the paid media wheel and will slot in well with other forms of paid media tactics like displayor paid social. It’s essentially the step up from display but you get the engagement factor thanks to the sound and the story and the more visually interactive elements. As it's more engaging than just seeing an image, it tends to have a bigger impact on how the viewer perceives the brand and whether or not that brand springs to mind when the user is looking to convert.

As well as this, the general engagement on YouTube and those kind of video-based channels have gone through the roof in recent years. Targeting capabilities of video have massively improved because of this and there's a lot more you can do in terms of targeting specific interests to show the ads to the right kind of users. It’s not about placing the video ad here, there and everywhere and waiting for a result. There are different types of video ads that are designed with different intentions in mind depending on what your objective and budget are. For example, you can have videos to drive people to your website or some that are purely for exposure where you're just getting your brand name out there.

do video ads tend to have a positive impact on conversions?

So, a lot of this would depend on the objectives the brand wants to achieve from the video and also how the tracking is set up. For example, if you use Google Ads to track your video metrics instead of Google Analytics, you can gear your tracking towards conversions whereas Google Analytics is a bit more limited in this way. 

It also depends on the type of video ad you use. There are videos where the aim is to get the viewer to click through to the website so it’s much more straightforward to track this action. Then there’s bumper ads where the user may not convert on that viewing but they convert later down the line, and you can see how the video has influenced them into doing this.

Video ads can often work well when the user is towards the top of the funnel in an open-minded discovery mindset. This is your chance to plant a seed with them, even if they don’t engage with you at that point. Remember, video isn’t just about conversions. It’s a great way of influencing brand perception and growing brand awareness. Maybe the user doesn’t know what they're looking for but they're in a mindset where they're open to new stuff. So, if you show them a video ad for your brand, they’ll be more likely to take an interest in it than, for example, a display ad where you might scroll past it. Even if they don’t engage with the ad, you could follow it up with various kinds of remarketing to encourage users to come back. 

If a business wants to focus on video at a larger scale, we always recommend using Google Ads as you can join the dots together to gain a better view of what’s going on and prove ROI easier too. 

where can videos be advertised? 

Whenever we talk about video ads, the majority of the time it will be ads that are displayed through YouTube and Google as they're part of the Google Ads platform. 

But there are other platforms that you can promote video ads through such as paid social. Channels like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok often get good engagement metrics for brands as they’re the kind of platforms that you casually scroll through for entertainment and viewers are in that open minded discovery phase that I mentioned earlier. 

There’s also the programmatic side of things which includes Sky AdSmart. This platform gives you the chance to target audiences in Sky households during TV ad breaks across a range of popular channels. We’ve been working with AdSmart for a while and have seen its popularity grow across a range of industries. 

what challenges do businesses often face when doing video advertising for the first time?

The first challenge is always the asset. Sometimes, a business might have the asset ready to go which they’ve created themselves or worked with an agency to put together. But if this isn’t the case, we have the capabilities internally to produce assets or partner with external organisations to create what you need. 

The fear of it costing too much to create can often put businesses off video ads. But you can usually create the asset to support the campaign for less than you might think. We’ve often found that the more minimal approach usually creates the best results.

Once you've sorted out the asset, the main challenge is typically how do you assess performance? There can be lots of factors that affect why someone doesn’t convert so it can be hard to rule out whether video is the issue or not. This is why it’s important to have specific objectives and the correct tracking set up. 

Also, I’d always recommend giving your video advertising efforts a quarter before assessing performance as this timeframe will give you a reasonable data set to work with so you can truly understand if it’s suited to your business or not.

Other than that, it's actually really easy to get started with video advertising because all you need is the URL of the video to put into the ad. Tweaks can then be made to make the ad as effective as can be, but the video is the main asset for this kind of advertising. 

_________ As a specialist paid media agency, we’re experienced in creating and implementing video advertising campaigns across a range of platforms. Working alongside clients in a variety of industries including eCommerce, motoring, aviation and more, we can help you understand if video advertising is suited to your objectives and brand. Get in touch with our experts to speak more