Aug 2021
Clare McKinley

What is Video Advertising?

Video advertising is promotional content that plays before, during, or after streaming content. It can also run as a standalone when it's placed natively within content.

The Rise of Video Advertising

With streaming video consumption on the rise, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing similar trends within marketing investments. TV ad spend will decline 15% this year, while digital video continues to capture additional dollars with an expected 11.3% increase by the end of 2020. This exponential growth is expected to continue with video ad spend doubling it’s current levels by 2024, reaching $69.4 billion.

Types of Video Ads

As digital video increases, so do the variety of formats to choose from. The chosen type will depend on asset availability, objective you’re aiming to accomplish, and platform.


While there are a wide array of video formats available, they predominantly fall within two main categories:

  • In-stream: Served either before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll), or after (post-roll) within streaming video content. These can be in skippable or non-skippable formats.
  • Out-stream: Video units that show up outside of video player environments. Placements can include in-article, native, in-feed, or interstitial videos. These can be auto-played or viewer-enabled.

A variety of video lengths are possible. However, it’s important to align video length with your chosen platform and objective.

  • :05-:10: This length is quicker to produce, garners strong completion rates, and is highly shareable. Prominent within Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and native inventory.
  • :15-:30: This length mirrors linear TV creative, and also garners strong completion rates. Prominent within pre and mid-roll video inventory.
    • Note that while long video is accepted (:60+), shorter content is recommended

What KPIs Work with Video Ads?

Video has historically played a larger role in the awareness and consideration phases of the consumer journey. However, it is an integral part of the marketing funnel, contributing to lower funnel metrics. Your video strategy and the formats you choose will be tailored based on the objective you’re trying to achieve:

  • Upper-funnel: Video completion rate, cost-per-completed view
  • Mid-funnel: Engagement, shares
  • Lower-funnel: Cost-per-conversion, return on ad spend (best suited when evaluated via first touch or positional attribution)

With the increasingly blurred lines between digital and traditional, digital allows for a one-stop shop for video inventory transactions Video inventory can be purchased digitally to run across a variety of devices and platforms:

  • Desktop
  • Mobile
  • Tablet
  • Out-of-Home
  • Connected TV/OTT
  • Linear TV

It can also be transacted through a variety of means, depending on the priority objective. See the table below for an overview:

Campaign Type Inventory Objectives
Programmatic Open Exchange Efficient CPMs
Enhanced targeting
Ample scale
Inventory variety
Minimal inventory control
Private Marketplace Premium CPMs
Enhanced targeting
Ample scale
Inventory variety
Increased inventory control
Direct Site/Partner Direct Premium CPMs
Potential targeting limitations
High inventory control & transparency

Why Digital Video Should be a Part of Your Strategy

  1. Build Connections with Your Target Market
    Sight, sound, and motion bring brands to life and create emotional connections with your audience.
  2. Ensure a Full Funnel Approach
    Video can play an important role in each part of the marketing funnel to achieve business objectives.
  3. Align with Shifting Consumption Habits
    Digital video consumption is on the rise. Daily time spent with digital video is expected to surpass the 2-hour mark in 2020 up from 1:42 in 2019. Without video, you’re missing a significant touchpoint with your target audience.