We’re all aware that video has moved from the ‘up and coming’ online advertising format to one of the most popular forms of digital activity. However that doesn’t mean that it’s becoming easier to choose the right online video distribution channel. Each campaign will require something a little bit different, and with so many online video formats it’s not easy to understand which will deliver the results you’re looking for.
We have looked at the spectrum of online video distribution options and come up with four key categories that encompass the most common video advertising formats. This post is a (relatively) jargon-free guide to understanding them.
In-Stream Video Ads (Pre-Roll, Mid-Roll, Post-Roll)
In-stream video advertising (widely known as ‘pre-roll’) is by far the most common video ad format. In-stream video advertising presents a video ad before, during, or after a piece of video content is consumed by a user. YouTube, for example, sometimes serve 30 second adverts before a video.
The benefit of in-stream ads is the significant reach they can offer brands. With so much video content on the internet, in-stream ads can reach an audience of millions. This reach doesn’t guarantee engagement though, as most in-stream ads now offer consumers the ability to skip the ad, something many are choosing to do.
In-Banner Video Ads
Another prevalent form of video advertising is in-banner video advertising. Video ads are placed in standard display ad units on websites. The video can then be presented to the user in a number of ways.
- Videos can sit in a standard MPU (Mid-Page Unit) banner, and will play when clicked on, rolled over or automatically when the page loads.
- Some banners will present a video in a pop-up player when the ad is engaged with. Pop-up video players can be presented in full-screen or smaller sizes.
These ads tend to offer the user more of an interactive experience, supporting the content with a variety of additional features that are designed to engage the user.
In-Content Video Ads - ‘Native’ advertising
Content based ’native’ advertising is an expanding advertising format that enables branded video content to be placed within contextually relevant editorial. Video viewers engage with the branded content as part of their interest in a topic and desire to learn more.
Brands often sponsor premium sites to enable their content to be included within a post. Content can also be included voluntarily by the author. One of the main benefits of in-content video ads is the implied credibility the website, author and supporting content given to the brand. A sponsored story on a trusted, premium content website will make the consumer react positively to the video.
Social Video Ads - Social Networks, Gaming
Social and gaming apps have become a priority platform for ad distribution, thanks mostly to the influx of mobile consumption. Video is a major part of this, as consumers engage with and share content on the move. Ads are used to drive social engagement with a brand, either incentivised or non-incentivised, but the platform can be used to drive e-commerce.
Whether it is distributed within Facebook or Farmville, video consumption on mobiles provides advertisers with significant reach and also the ability to target ads to specific audiences.
Ultimately, it’s going to be a mixture of video distribution methods from the above four categories that will combine to make a successful video campaign. The key is choosing the right content and setting smart objectives to maximise the potential of each channel.