Video Advertising: Your Small or Local Business Can Do it Too
So, you’re a small/local business and you’re wanting to advertise your business but you feel you may not be able to compete with the advertising efforts of bigger companies and brands…
Or maybe you have convinced yourself that advertising is too costly for your business…
Or maybe you just don’t know where to start…
Regardless, we’re here to debunk all the aforementioned reasons why your small business isn’t advertising the way it can and should be — with video.
When thinking of ads that you’ve seen play over and over on your social medias, television, websites, and platforms, you can probably recall the big name brands that have made a lasting impression on your viewership — for example, chances are you’re familiar with ads by Geico, Nike, Facebook, Target, All State, AirBnB, etc.
And from there you may be under the impression that video advertising is just for the big corporations who have millions if not billions of dollars to funnel into their advertising efforts, but advertising is NOT discriminatory to business size, so let’s break down that mental barrier right away! There’s no time to lose!
Main point: Everyone, businesses small and large, established and newly founded, can do digital advertising for their company. Not only can everyone do it, they can do it well… and without breaking the bank.
And to be clear, we are not talking about the seemingly old-fashioned static image advertising — we are talking about video advertising. The success and permeance of video in the advertising industry has taken over the way all businesses and brands operate, causing everyone to rethink their strategies and make video the forefront of their efforts. Likewise, your small business needs to follow suit on the industry’s shift to video by making pre-roll video ads. If not, you will fall behind. And that’s not to scare you, but encourage you that there’s never been a better time to start and find sure fire gains.
Right about now you may be asking, “wait, what is ‘pre-roll’?” And the answer is a lot simpler than you may have expected.
Pre-roll is essentially any video that is served as an ad (pre-roll is just a fancy advertising term used to describe a video ad unit).
Remember when we talked about big name advertisements you’ve seen from the likes of Geico and Facebook? Well, those are all pre-roll video ads. You’ve seen them everywhere because they are indeed, everywhere. It can almost seem like you can’t watch anything on a digital device without a pre-roll ad, whether that be on Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, or Hulu. And that’s why pre-roll is so effective, because it has utterly permeated any space where consumers lie.
Pre-roll advertising is effective because it is a highly measurable format that ensures future campaign targeting accuracy, all while being highly customizable, ensuring that ad dollars are more effectively spent (sending ads to only the right audiences online)!
Furthermore, more users online than ever before are completing videos because videos (and the platforms videos are showcased on) are becoming so much more precise with their audience targeting. These videos are delivering personalized content that is more likely to be watched since it caters to the specific individual’s tracked tastes and preferences. And targeting is key to any and all ad campaigns your small business will run, from geotargeting to device, demo, & tactic targeting, with video, these are all easy to do and bountiful in results.
Basically, it’s just a video that advertises your business, product, or brand. And you can do it, no matter how small, new, or inexperienced you or your business are.
And to help you get started, we’ve provided THREE ways you can begin using video advertising for your small or local business without draining your pockets!
Sometimes, advertisers of the past practiced the tedious process of buying ads from singular sites that they hoped their target audience would eventually see. This was always a gamble, and a gamble is always financially risky and unsupported. But now, digital advertisers have found a new way to reach their target audience more efficiently, with less work and less money — programmatic advertising.
Programmatic advertising is another term that sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. Don’t worry, we’ll explain.
Programmatic advertising is a method of ad serving that uses AI and machine learning as a means to automatically buy advertising in real-time, optimizing digital campaigns, instead of harboring over human negotiations and pre-set prices. Furthermore, with programmatic, you can have your ad running across thousands of sites, guaranteeing that only your target audience is seeing it as your ad will be served only on sites that your specific target audience is currently browsing on.
Essentially, the overarching goal is to increase efficiency and transparency between the advertiser and the publisher. This is accomplished through a system of real-time auctions, aka Real Time Bidding (RTB) that allows advertisers to buy ads at the exact same time as a visitor loads a website – this occurs within milliseconds!
RTB enhances and fine-tunes an ad campaign’s targeting abilities, allowing ads to be served on a case to case basis, meaning that only visitors who fit your target demographic will be shown your ad. When a visitor enters a website, a request is sent to an ad-exchange along with information about the website and visitor. Will this visitor be a match for your ad?
Next, this information begins to match with available advertisers. This is where the real-time auction/bidding takes place between different advertisers looking for ad space
For businesses, small and large, programmatic advertising is appealing because it’s low hassle in the sense that there are no middle man negotiations needed to serve your ads to viewers. Programmatic advertising has range. It exists on a plethora of digital channels such as display, mobile, video, and social. And instead of making itself only available to bigger companies with larger budgets as it onced functioned, programmatic advertising is now accessible to smaller brands with self-service tools so that they can finally compete with more established brands without having to overspend expenses on a middleman.
And due to the nature of how programmatic advertising works using real-time bidding (RTB), which is a method of buying/selling ads through real-time auctions (transactions are made within the 100 ms it takes to load a webpage), your video ads are guaranteed to be seen by the masses. And to be particular, they will be seen by a mass that has actual interest in your content, given programmatic is great for targeting an audience.
So if you’re looking for ways to spread your brand’s video content fast and far, this is a great path to take because of its ease and high speed and performance, multi-beneficial, and precisely effective features.
Since we’re solely focusing on pre-roll video advertising for your small business, it would be irresponsible of us not to mention bringing your ads to the most lucrative and bussing video streaming platform, Youtube.
YouTube is the most popular video platform in the world as well as the second largest search engine next to Google. Not only is it a platform with a total of 2 billion active users worldwide who spend 1 billion hours a day watching YouTube videos, but it’s also a place consumers go to specifically search for products and services, a perfect place to serve your related ads in front of. With numbers and functions like these, every brand in the world is thinking of how they can best serve their video ad on the platform.
Youtube’s video ad format is known as TrueView and is unique in its ability to give viewers and advertisers alike choices that are specific to their desired experience. The most stand-out feature of Trueview is perhaps its ability to allow viewers to skip an ad after five seconds, a feature we’re certain you’ve encountered before on the site.
Trueview is great because it gives a business’ marketing strategy the flexibility needed to successfully engage an audience with their video content. Between the in-stream and display models, advertisers have the power of choosing a format that best suits their customer base.
To add to the accolades, Trueview provides a cost-effective solution that promises enhanced ROI and likelihood of conversion, as companies usually only pay for the ads when the audience engages with the ad in some way. For example, if your ad is less than :15 seconds, its rendered skippable, in which case your company is only paying for your ad when a viewer clicks on your ad or watches it to completion. And for the instance you want to run a longer ad, rendering it non-skippable, target CPM bidding is used, so you pay based on impressions.
And perhaps, the most notable feature of video advertising for your company on Youtube is how much room the platform leaves for your needs in terms of what kind and how long of a video you want to serve to your audience. They offer a space for both long and short form content, which are both great options for your company but dependent on your goals and/or the message you are trying to get across. Furthermore, your company will have the option of placing your video ad in stream (skippable and non-skippable), in slate, in search, and/or in display.
And lastly, the platform’s keyword targeting abilities are almost unmatched. This means that your small business can get as specific as you want in the audience you are targeting and trying to reach. Whether you’re a small boutique or a local restaurant, there’s an audience for you and Youtube will help you reach them. In our opinion, buying by keyword on Youtube is a more effective use of your ad dollars than on other platforms.
There, you can buy by keywords and run pre-roll ads in front of videos that appear off those keyword searches. A benefit of Youtube’s Keyword Search technology is that your pre-roll ad will be served to a customer who is already looking for your product or service. For example, if someone searches for pizza on YouTube, a number of videos related to pizza will appear in the search. If you sell pizza ( let’s say you own a small mom & pop local italian restaurant ) your pre-roll ad can play in front of a Youtube video related to pizza, making the chances of a sale more likely.
All in all, Youtube is one of the best places to market your business for the biggest bang for your buck. And not only are you spending less, but you’re doing so with much more liberties than some other digital spaces would allow.
Social Media Advertising
With small businesses, we understand that most people are running their own social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram, most popularly. And typically an employee of the business is running and posting to the account, hoping for engagement and follows. This is great. Your business should have social media accounts and in-feed posts. But it’s not the only way to utilize social media for your advertising efforts, and certainly not the only platforms you should be using for business growth. Let us explain what we mean:
Video advertising on social media is proving to be the most powerful business asset for purposes such as gaining new followers, growing your brand, and driving sales.
Apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn have made it their new goal to center video as their format of choice and the rapid rise of TikTok has shown just how impactful and addictive a video-centered method can be.
And though you may not use social media as much as others, your goal is to reach consumers and most consumers are avid social media users, making it a hot-spot for advertisers. Here are a few specific reasons why this path is becoming the road most travelled by:
- Insanely More Exposure → More Engagement
If you’ve used any social media platform, you’ve most likely witnessed the app serving you video content within the first few moments of scrolling. This is because video content usually performs better than average with most app algorithms, due to the fact it keeps the viewer’s attention for longer than, say, a static image, would. And with most algorithms, the longer a user engages with video content, the more likely the app will boost that content to a larger audience.
This is the reason why videos on Instagram, particularly, generate more engagement than any other type of content; same goes for Tweets with video, which experience 10x more engagement.
And because video is king, most social media platforms are giving extra boosts to their latest video functions to encourage usage. That being said, its worth pursuing if you want more engagement, and therefore, should be one of the first places you look when serving video ads. This could look like posting a video ad to Instagram’s IGTV series or Reels, a feature Instagram is most recently promoting heavily, or uploading a TikTok video ad of your product or brand.
Whichever platform you choose for your video content and ads, there’s no doubt it will birth great results so we highly recommend starting your experimental and creative journey via social media as soon as possible!
- Longer Shelf Life
On top of increasing your engagement, video content is known to stick around and circulate longer and more effectively.
This is particularly apparent on TikTok as videos can appear on users’ For You Page for weeks to months after its initial launch due to the fact video content typically encourages more interactions and shares, allowing it to circulate in the online ecosystem for longer. Therefore, if you are posting video ads to the platform, you can expect to see longevity in your results!
- It’s Growing in Popularity Across All Channels
Over the past three years there have been massive strides in social media popularity. In 2018, a study proved that 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from brands and businesses they support. To support that, in 2019, users were reported to have spent a weekly average of 6 hours and 48 minutes watching online videos, which is a 59% increase from the same survey from 2016.
Similarly, Instagram and Facebook experienced a 40% increase in usage during COVID-19, Instagram and Facebook Live doubling in a single week. With that, businesses and brands have had to quickly adapt and alter their advertising strategies to cater to the new digital-first wave and they did this by serving dynamic video ads.
Consumers are now expecting the brands they see to be more engaging than ever before, and video is the best way to do so.
- It Can Reach Audiences Across Multiple Platforms
Though video creation is more time consuming than photo taking, as we mentioned earlier, once you have the content, you can repurpose, regroup, and re-serve across multiple platforms to a variety of audiences. And the greater the reach, the greater return on investment for the greater good of your brand.
One trend that exemplifies this cross-platform usage is TikTok and Instagram Reels as they both share the same 9:16 vertical video format with like-minded intent. To take it further, 16:9 videos can also be easily uploaded across IGTV, Youtube, and Facebook, and on these, there is room for longer form content. This means that if your ad is vertical, it is shareable across all of these platforms and more — little work for big gains.
When it comes to social media, the options of video sharing and repurposing are seemingly endless and the power is in your hands.
- It’s a More Personable Way to Reach an Audience
As the past couple years have brought about great challenges worldwide and societally, being a brand has become so much more than simply selling a product.
As of late, consumers care more about the values, ethics, and people behind the businesses they frequent & brands they buy from — and the best way to get that substance across to viewers is through video.
Showcasing the faces of your company and messaging behind it through video does an excellent job humanizing your business, which creates a deeper, more emotional, and thus, long-lasting relationship between you and your customers. Be more than just a product and make your buyers feel more than just a transaction, and do it through video advertising.
In a nutshell, video allows brands to show off their product or service in a complex and compelling way, allowing for valuable context that is not as easily achieved through static imagery.
With that being said, your small business should not only be on social media platforms but also ADVERTISE on the platforms. If you really want to grow your business and customer base, you will have to run double time on social media by hosting your content while serving video content cross platform as well. Think of it as a funnel. When you video advertise on social media, you will attract more customers to your business’ Instagram or Facebook (or other) page, and subsequently, your business itself!
This may seem like a lot of information to digest all at once, but the bottom line is that you can do it! Once you have video content, you can use and repurpose it for whichever platform you choose and just like that, a simple video becomes an engaging ad served to all the right people!
But, we also understand that you and your business still may need more help until you don’t need training wheels anymore. And if that’s how you feel, we promise you’re not the only one!
Most small businesses don’t know how to manage their campaigns, some don’t even know how to turn raw pre-roll into an engaging advertisement. Everybody is on their own advertising journey, but we’re just here to get your wheels turning so you can race to the top of the incline that is your business’ growth.
We’ve given you a great headstart to becoming a front runner of video advertising no matter how small or new your business is, but if you want even more information on the topic, we’ve got you covered! We’re offering a free digital report created by our very own video experts that you can download today — absolutely free. By downloading our free EBook, “5 Ways Video Can Change My Business,” you’ll learn just how essential video is to a successful and fruitful advertising campaign for your business. From the un-negotiable importance of creating & repurposing your own video content to use for captivating advertising to which platforms are best for your video ads, our report will open your eyes and increase your business’ profits & engagement.