How video ads on Facebook,Amazon and YouTube are taking over online advertising

In recent years, the biggest shift in the digital sphere has, without a doubt, been the domination of video across the internet. Digital video now accounts for 74 percent of all online traffic and over 55 percent of people watch online videos every day. Among the younger generations of consumers, online video — especially mobile — is even more popular while those watching traditional television has continued to decline.

YouTube alone has over one billion users, a third of all internet users, while 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day. When combined, 45 percent of people consume at least one hour of video content a week on Youtube and Facebook.

YouTube’s staggering popularity mixed with Facebook and Amazon’s recent prioritization of video content over more traditional forms has brands scrambling to optimize their advertising content for digital video. According to a 2107 study, although most brands are using video in their marketing strategy (87%), implementation and viewability are often lacking.

More specifically, only 10 percent of marketers optimize for vertical mobile viewing, 80 percent use the same video for both mobile and desktop, and 61 percent placed their videos on the bottom half of the web page where it was hard for consumers to see.

For brands who keep up with the curve, video provides much more consumer engagement than other content forms, which in turn can build brand awareness and increase conversions:

So needless to say utilizing Youtube, Facebook, and Amazon video ads is a must for brands in the current digital marketplace.

Here’s everything marketers need to know about advertising for video on Youtube, Facebook, and Amazon:

Facebook focused on mobile video

In response to online videos increasing superiority on online, Facebook has almost completely transformed their Newsfeed to a video-centric social platform rather than what used to be a heavily text-focused. Facebook videos now receive over 4 billion views per day and users watch over 100 million hours of video ads on the social media platform each day.


Facebook’s main advantage with video ads over its main competitors is its heavy focus and prioritization of mobile video as more young people continue to ditch their televisions, desktops, and notebooks in favor of viewing video on their mobile devices. Facebook video reaches 37 percent more Americans aged 18-24 than television.

On top of this, Facebook knows that successful ads need to capture the attention of the consumer quickly, which is tougher and tougher in this day and age (millennials only have a 5-second attention span when it comes to ads). To help brands capture consumers’ attention quickly, Facebook has worked to give marketers tools to make their videos snappy and right to the point.

Some ways Facebook has enabled this is by focusing on vertical, in-feed autoplay video ads with sound off (85% of ads on Facebook) and subtitles on to make quick viewing on the move easier for consumers. Facebook also gives brands the ability to pair product images with their in-feed video adverts in order to boost sales. And just recently, Facebook launched non-skippable mid-stream video ads.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Facebook’s video ads for brands is the social media leader’s Audience Network, which gives marketers the ability to launch their in-feed Facebook ads in several locations with just one-click. Moreover, marketers do not need to reformat or alter their creative at all. Facebook will optimize and deliver the ad. Facebook also gives brands powerful analytics tools to help target an audience and measure ROI and engagement.

One cause for concern with Facebook video ads, however, is viewability rate — meaning how many ads on the site are actually seen for longer than one second. According to some marketing agencies, Facebook’s video ad viewability rate is 20-30 percent, other sites on average see a 50 percent viewability rate.

In response to this, Facebook issued a statement: “According to independent Fors Marsh Group research, people can recall mobile news feed content at a statistically significant rate after only 0.25 seconds of exposure.

And a recent Nielsen study showed that 38 percent of brand recall, 23 percent of brand awareness, and 25 percent of purchase intent are driven by video impressions that are under two seconds. This is because people consume content differently on mobile devices and in News Feed. As people scroll quickly through their News Feed, they get exposed to ads, meaning duration can be short while still delivering value.”

Amazon joins the game

While Facebook has focused its attention on mobile-first video ads, Amazon is primarily aiming its attention at video ads that could help boost product sales on the retail giant’s e-commerce platform.

The ad platform, launched last year, gives brands the ability to reach out to consumers through outstream autoplay video ads across all of Amazon’s websites and apps, including, Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, IMDb, and Audible. The video ads are all optimized for viewing on mobile devices, tablets, and desktops and placed on both the home screen and product detail pages.

As for the autoplay aspect of Amazon’s video ads, they behave very similar to Facebook’s. The video ads begin to play when at least 50 percent of the video is viewable for more than one second on the screen. The sound is always muted on the videos until the customer clicks on it. Clicking on the background image will redirect the user to the brand’s site or product page.

While it’s true that Amazon’s main focus remains on product sales, it would be unfair to say that Amazon’s foray into video ads is about just that. Despite only bringing in $1 billion in ad revenue compared to Facebook’s $14 billion, the retail company is seeking to challenge the major players with its new advertising platform, and their push into video ads is just further proof. Amazon saw a 60 percent jump in ad revenue in 2016 alone.

Amazon’s major advantage when it comes to advertising, including video ads, is its ability to offer brands highly tailored audience targeting using its large data pool of shopping habits mined from its 180 million unique monthly visitors (Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world). For brands creating video ads for products they sell on Amazon, it’s invaluable — 55 percent of all product searches occur on Amazon.

YouTube still dominates

Source: WSJ©

YouTube, owned by Google, is still the top dog with when it comes to video ads. On top of having a 1/3 of all internet users as visitors, more than 500 million hours of video are watched every day on Youtube and the site attracts more 18-49-year-olds than any broadcast or cable network combined.

In total, Google’s ad revenue is over $50 billion. And according to a study by Aol Platforms, YouTube outperforms all other social media platforms in both introducing consumers to new products as well as leading to an actual sell. Facebook was a distant second followed by Google+ and Pinterest.

For this reason, it is no surprise that 48 percent of brands plan to implement video ads on Youtube into their overall content strategy in the coming year. And unlike other sites, YouTube is first, foremost, and solely about video.

This means that rather than blindly scrolling through a page and potentially zoning out ads, people are actually watching and engaging when the video is playing. Of the top 100 global brands, all ran YouTube video ads in the past year.

YouTube offers a variety of ads to marketers. The standard type of YouTube ads is called TrueView video ads. The three types of TrueView video ads are TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView video discovery ads, and Bumper ads. TrueView in-stream ads are the most common ads.

They can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a video and are skippable after five seconds. TrueView Discovery video ads are placed in strategic locations where users are searching for relevant content. And, finally, bumper ads are quick-hitting 6-second video ads that play prior to another video.

The biggest perk of YouTube’s TrueView videos ads is that brands only have to pay when a person watches their video to the end or interacts with the ad. Most other platforms charge publishers for each impression. The ads also appear in other locations across Google’s Display Network, not just on YouTube. Publishers of video ads also have access to YouTube’s powerful audience metrics and analytics tools.

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