How to Optimize Your Business’s Video Advertising Strategy

Kimberly Burghart October 12, 2016

Advertising your business through video can be a great idea. Your success, however, depends on choosing the right platform that will deliver your ads with the greatest results. In the past, YouTube was simply the go-to choice for anything video. Now that the market for online video advertising has significantly grown, more providers have tried to get in on the action. Facebook began claiming their share of the market, now providing live feeds and YouTube-style video marketing. Then you have Snapchat, a black horse creating its own unique form for delivering video advertisements.

So where should you start and why run video ads in the first place? This blog will take a closer look into where to start with video advertising and which platforms would ultimately be best for you.

Why Run Online Video Ads?

Video ads, whether promoting a brand or specific product, can help businesses reach consumers as they go through the decision making process. It’s also a great way to connect with consumers on a deeper visual and emotional level. While video ads are not for every business, if your consumer base commonly uses one of the major video platforms, it’s a great opportunity to influence them. As a bonus, if people can truly relate to your video, it’s a great way to gain free advertising through social shares.

Getting Started With Video Advertising

There’s a good chance more than one platform will be ideal for your business, but it’s important to understand the audience and features of each platform to figure out how to give your advertisements the best chance. Your understanding of the platforms and how exactly they deliver their videos will drastically shape how you design your ads. Currently the top platforms for video advertising are YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat. Here we’ll break down the user base of each video platform, their approximate costs, and give examples of successful ad campaigns:

YouTube Advertising

Holding the title as the video giant, YouTube’s video advertising has been the leader of the pack, but recent years have brought along tough competition. Here’s what YouTube has to offer:

Audience: 1 billion active users worldwide.
According to comScore data, YouTube reaches 81.2% of internet users in the US with nearly 200 million unique visitors each month.

Notable Features:

  • Non-skippable in-stream YouTube ads – (pay per view)
  • Skippable TrueView ads – (pay only when 30+ seconds are viewed)
  • InDisplay and InSearch ads – (pay per click)

YouTube Advertising Costs: Average $.10-$.30 per view, depending on how specific your target audience is and the competition for it.

What Counts as a View: 30 seconds (or the full duration of the video if shorter than 30 seconds)

Successful Ad Campaign:
In 2015, Android came out with their “Friends Furever” ad which quickly went viral. It’s no secret that people love light hearted videos of animals. Android used their ad to play on people’s emotions using fun videos of animals playing with their unlikely animal friend counterparts. This also cleverly explains the diversity of their Android platform being used on many different phones (rather than Apple’s inclusive offerings). While Android no longer pays to air this ad, it still lives on through social shares.

Facebook Video Ads

As the leading social platform, Facebook entered the video marketing scene with more than a billion active users. Here’s what Facebook has to offer:

Audience: 1.7 billion active users worldwide.
Facebook has the largest and most diverse user base of any platform. With in-depth user profiles (likes, interests, personal details) you’re able to create very specific targeted audiences. It’s also the most used mobile application, so it’s a great way to reach users both on mobile and desktop.

Notable Features:

  • Ads placed in live feed (pay per view)
  • Autoplay advertising
  • Unrivaled audience targeting (extremely detailed user profiles)

Facebook Advertising Costs: Average $.10-$.30 per view, similar to YouTube’s pricing, your costs will depend on how specific your target audience is and the competition for it.

What Counts as a View: 3 seconds (auto plays without sound).

Successful Ad Campaign:
Invoking the emotions of their target audience, Always – the feminine hygiene brand, used video advertising in combination with a strong hashtag (#LikeAGirl) to drive home the identity of their brand to consumers. To successfully make an impact on Facebook, Always used this phrase (pictured right) in the early seconds of their video to catch the attention of viewers as they scroll by. Always was able to create a movement on Facebook where consumers joined in by sharing and using the #LikeAGirl hashtag, helping them gain over 250 million views. While the original ad is no longer being sponsored or paid for, the hashtag lives on.

Snapchat Video Advertising

Snapchat is the newest of the bunch, offering a totally new style for video advertisements. Here’s what Snapchat has to offer:

Audience: 150 million active monthly users.

While Snapchat’s user base is much smaller than YouTube or Facebook, it is the most active as far as time per user spent, but also the least diverse in terms of age with most of the users being under the age of 34.

Snapchat Notable Features/Advertising Costs:

  • Snap Ads ($.02 per view)
  • Sponsored Geofilters ($5 per 20,000 square feet surrounding selected location)
  • Sponsored Lenses ($50,000-$750,000 per day)

What Counts as a View: 1 second (on tap).

Successful Ad Campaign:
The most innovative Super Bowl ads last year weren’t on TV. Launched alongside the giant event, Gatorade put their audience in the shoes of a winning coach using this fun and interactive filter (pictured right). Using the SnapChat platform allowed the ad to reach more than just football fans. Through additional social shares, user created videos gathered over 165 million views – more than the 115 million viewers who tuned into the Super Bowl.

Strategizing Your Video Content Advertising Budget


If you’re looking for the safest option, YouTube has features that make sure you’re spending your money in the right place. While it’s targeting isn’t quite as in-depth as Facebook’s, when partnered with skippable ads, it helps to weed out any viewers who are not truly interested without costing you a cent. Posting videos on YouTube also allows you to easily share them across most other platforms. If you understand your audience and can tailor a video that appeals to their needs, YouTube will make sure your money is being spent smartly.


This social platform has truly become part of many people’s everyday lives. Using Facebook’s video advertising can be a great way to connect with your audience as long as you understand how their video advertising format works. You should keep in mind that with Facebook’s autoplay feature, it’s important to capture the audience’s attention within the first 3 seconds (before you are charged for a view). Additionally, because the videos play without sound until they are clicked on, you should focus on telling your story and impacting the viewer through visuals. Make the beginning of your ads visually intuitive, exciting, and enticing.


If your target audience is between the ages of 13-34, Snapchat’s cheaper options of Snap Ads and Geofilters are great options – especially if your business is a local landmark. Theme parks and local amusement centers have taken advantage of Geofilters, whereas brands who are advertising products have been more likely to use Snap Ads.

Looking for help on your next online marketing campaign? Consult the experts!

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