Surbhi Dhawan

Contributing Writer |

7 min read

Why should brands invest in video advertising?

In today’s technology-first world, where information is readily accessible and attention spans continue to dwindle, brands everywhere are finding new, innovative ways to communicate with their customers.  

You don’t have to dig deep to figure out why video has emerged as the dominant force in the digital marketing universe. For example, including an explanatory video on your website’s landing pages can increase conversion rates by more than 80 percent, and just by mentioning the word “video” in your subject line improves email open rates by almost 19 percent. Lastly, 90 percent of customers agree that videos significantly impact their purchasing decisions.

Simply put, video, when equipped with eye-catching visuals and a compelling narrative, provides the perfect medium for introducing your brand, displaying individual products and/or driving sales.

As we close in on the next decade, approximately 86% of marketers are actively using video to promote, sell, and exhibit their products/services. The market is rife with advanced video tools and formats that continue to reinforce video as an increasingly powerful, engaging medium to communicate with your target demographic.

In short, video advertising is definitively a train that your brand cannot afford to miss. Here’s why:

Customers prefer video content to any other type of content
According to a 2018 survey, 54 percent of customers prefer watching a video from brands they support (or are interested in supporting!) over any other type of content. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that 59 percent of media buyers and marketers are ready to shell out more than $20 million annually for digital/mobile video ads. 

Source: Hubspot

These aforementioned statistics about video advertising prove that you can have the best content in the world, and still have trouble engaging with your target audience, simply because they can easily access the exact same information through their preferred medium in 2019: video. In fact, 87 percent of the people openly admitted that they want more video content from their favorite brands.

When Wyzowl asked over 600 people about the type of video content they’re interested in seeing

  • 39% of people cited explainer videos. 
  • 20% wanted to see more entertaining ‘viral’ style videos. 
  • 12% would like to see product demo videos. 
  • 10% said video blogs. 
  • 9% said interactive videos. 
  • 6% said they’d like to see more software tutorials.

Videos rank higher in Search Engine results
Even the most exquisitely crafted videos can flop if they’re never found by the right audience, however, the presence of a video itself greatly affects the most prominent SEO ranking factor: content.

Videos are usually characterized by high-quality content, and since they’re part of the media mix on any website, they tend to send signals to search engines emphasizing that your platform contains rich media that’s relevant to the most common search requests in a particular domain. It’s important to note that search engines are expected to consistently increase the ranking factor of videos, as long as customers prefer (or rather demand!) videos to be included in the search results. So, investing in videos can help boost brand awareness and create a “buzz” about your products/ services.

Many marketers prefer hosting video content on their own websites to boost SEO, however, when it comes to universal search results, videos (ads, in particular) tend to do well when they’re associated with a big-name brand or are tied to popular publishing platforms like Youtube. If you’re a small business or a bootstrapped startup, running video ads on Youtube can trigger secondary (customer) actions that can catapult your business into the limelight.

The best part? You don’t have to burden your website homepage with the slow loading times. Remember, almost 57 percent of customers abandon a website they’re on after three seconds of waiting—which negatively impacts your user experience and ultimately, your SEO ranking.

Higher conversions and sales
A picture is worth a thousand words, so, can a video be worth a thousand sales?

Given that video now shows up in “70 percent of the top 100 search results listings”, and that people are anywhere between 64 to 85 percent more likely to make a product purchase after watching a video – this is one marketing force that you cannot choose to ignore. For example, Advance Auto Parts, a North Carolina based automotive aftermarket parts provider, found that by adding a series of how-to videos about their services on their homepage and social media platforms, they were able to encourage their potential customers to stay twice as long on their website and look through twice as many pages.

Similarly, Stacks and Stacks, an e-retailer for organizational housewares, reported that people who watched a video about their products were 144 percent more likely to make a purchase when compared to people who didn’t watch a video.

Overall, 83 percent of businesses globally agreed that incorporating videos in their marketing strategy has positively impacted their ROI. The best part is that you don’t need to invest in expensive cameras and lighting equipment for your videos. Customers in 2019 have developed a penchant for simple, relatable, and “authentic” videos that don’t necessarily have a high-production value. In fact, people are happy to settle for a lower quality video—in terms of both content and design, as long as they’re provided with a heartwarming story of real people facing the same challenges as them. So, basically, as long as you create videos that capitalize on the emotional triggers of your target audience, you’re good to go!

Videos are small-screen friendly
As far as digital video viewership goes, mobile’s small but mighty screen has been creating waves in the market for nearly half a decade at this point. In fact, 50 percent of Youtube’s global viewership actually comes from mobile devices.

Today, consumers, instead of stumbling upon a few “moments of truth”, are experiencing innumerable micro-moments (that are “the new battleground for hearts, minds, and wallets”) throughout the day while solving problems, exploring interests, searching for specific products, and making decisions. Please note, micro-moments can be defined as moments where we “reflexively turn to a device to act on a need and mobile video is increasingly playing a significant role in meeting that need.

Most people, especially millennials (born between 1981 and 1996), are 2X more likely to pay attention to a video advertisement on mobile as opposed to the TV. What plenty of brands fail to realize is that mobile is no longer a “second or third screen” for the majority of their target demographicit’s now the first. A recent Google research also confirmed that smartphone users consider the process of watching a video on mobile “far less distracting than TV”. They also are more likely to share and personally connect with branded video content that they come across on mobile than people watching on TV and desktop.

Source: thinkwithgoogle

While unboxing and tutorial-style video ads might not seem very appealing at first glance, they encourage customers to check out a company’s website or visit their store, engage in further discussions about the company + their offerings with their peers, (positively!) change their opinion about a brand’s products/services, and even share a video ad across their online channels.

Source: thinkwithgoogle

Overall, videos are not only small-screen friendly, but are an integral part of any mobile marketing strategy, as they help customers in predicting the experience of product ownership.

Brands that are successfully using videos

GoPro: Fireman Saves Kitten
Quick Adbeat breakdown: In the last 6 months, GoPro has paid $221.4K (out of their total ad spend of $235.7K) to Youtube, their primary platform for running video ads. Moreover, a whopping 94 percent of their ads are videos (as compared to native, programmatic, etc.)—a strategy that seems to be working out well for them.

Source: Adbeat

Let’s look at one of their campaigns:

If you’ve come across GoPro’s user-generated content before, you can probably tell right away that this isn’t one of their “typical advertisement videos”. As a brand, GoPro has gone far and beyond to portray themselves as adventurous, so it comes as no surprise that their online channels feature videos of people filming (using a GoPro) while jumping out of airplanes or surfing gigantic waves.

However, the following video is slightly different and “off-brand” from the rest of their content.

A firefighter saves a kitten from a deadly house-fire.

Why did GoPro choose to cut, polish and promote this particular video for their own marketing? Sure, the video is unique, inspiring, and plays right into the widely-revered theme of “everyday heroism, however, it strays further and further away from the brand’s image of athleticism and extreme sports.

With more than 42,149,234 views, the video seems to have resonated well with a wider audience that’s not into bungee jumping in the Bahamas, or underwater sea- diving at Galapagos.

The Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats and topics when creating a successful video advertisement campaign. Pushing the boundaries of your brand’s image isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you’re able to dabble into the various themes that amplify your brand’s personality. 

BuzzFeed for Purina: Puppyhood
Quick Adbeat breakdown: In the last one year, Purina, out of their total ad spend of $12.1M, set aside $15.4K to run video campaigns on Youtube. In 2019 alone, they’ve spent upwards of $500K each on four of their successful video ads between September to November.


Let’s look at one of their campaigns:

In 2015, Purina, an American pet food brand, teamed up with Buzzfeed to create a native advertising campaign that highlights the unbreakable bond between a puppy and a man. Moving away from the 30-second TV commercial format, the 3.5-minute short film relies on strong storytelling and improv-heavy format to engage viewers and create brand awareness. Overall, the video doesn’t appear to be an ad, and comes across as something you’d share with a dog-loving friend.

The Takeaway: Create stories that showcase how your product can make a difference in the life of an average customer without making it feel like an ad. That way, your video ad will not only get its point across and move the marketing needle in your favor while also engaging whole-heartedly with the viewers.

Nike Women: Better For It
Quick Adbeat breakdown: Out of $14.6M (Nike’s total ad spend in the last 6 months), the brand set aside $2.8M to run video ads on Youtube. Not only this, 19 percent of their total ads are videos.

Let’s look at one of their campaigns:

Developed by Wieden + Kennedy and Nike Women, the ‘Better For It’ video uses humor to highlight the “inner thoughts” that women often experience during workouts at the gym. The first-hand account from a real person instinctively connects with the audience because it’s “one of those things that all of us have gone through but haven’t talked about enough”.

This ultimately gives them a leg up on the competition, as a sense of empathy often goes a long way when it comes to influencing a consumer’s preferences.

The Takeaway: Add a little humor into your marketing messages. Although it can be tough to pull off, it can lower the barrier between you and your audience and establish a sense of relatability.

Surbhi Dhawan

Contributing Writer |