In today’s world, video ads are the most effective way for businesses to reach their target audience and promote their products or services.
During my SMX Next presentation, we reviewed three innovative trends for video, which helped create a deeper conversation around the role that data and analytics play, along with targeting and optimization.
Let’s revisit some key strategies, questions and thoughts from the presentation.
The rise of vertical video
Each year, I try to think of the most valuable impression in our ad space. For many years, I’ve always sourced the answer to YouTube TrueView Skippable Ads. Rightfully so, since you don’t pay for a user until they watch 30 seconds of an ad (or, if the video is shorter in length, they complete or engage).
However, I’ve changed my opinion recently. I am convinced that vertical video is the most valuable impression on the web today.
Vertical video is a must for any advertiser in 2023 due to the following three ad types:
From a creative standpoint, you can run the same, if not similar, ads across all three platforms. Each carries its own unique set of targeting, which separates them in their ability to drive quality user volume.
- For ecommerce: My recommendation would be Reels first due to the Instagram shops integration. Followed by TikTok due to trends, audience, and engagement opportunities.
- For B2B: I would start on Shorts, a better transition from this ad to the YouTube channel to engage with more content. Also, you can leverage the power of Google Ads and Analytics to serve ads to audiences who have either shown interest in the brand or provided a level of intent within Google Search and/or YouTube.
TikTok for B2B
Using TikTok for B2B is a common concern for marketers. Can it really be effective, specifically when targeting executives?
The short answer is, “yes.” The long answer, however, includes some nuance.
When targeting executives, we can assume these busy individuals are not necessarily on TikTok, but those who relay key messages to these executives (partners, assistants, managers) would be the ones to relay this type of messaging to the decision-maker.
Thus, I don’t think TikTok needs to hit the target to be effective. Rather, the creative, messaging, and product need to attract the target audience to take action – to learn more and deepen the impact to take the next step of passing it up the ladder to the executive.
While TikTok can be very effective for brands, we find that it is more effective for some vs. others. However, the platform is building tools to help B2B advertisers, including the following:
- Hashtag targeting: For the first time, we can leverage the power of search intent and video by targeting specific keywords users have either searched or tagged.
- Lead gen campaign: Decrease friction by allowing users to convert directly from an ad to your CRM with a max survey of 10 questions.
- Video length: Organic length has increased to 3 minutes from 1 minute earlier this year, and I believe 10 minutes would be the next jump as TikTok looks to capture longer time spent, where YouTube currently holds the crown.
- Influencers: While not a specific product, this is a tactic we have seen to be a clear advantage. Leveraging product integration with an influencer with your target demographic following can work for B2B.
Jumping on a video trend vs. creating a compelling ad
Another key question from the audience during the presentation was, “Is it better to jump on a video trend or create a compelling ad” from a video perspective.
If you have the budget, you should strive to test both so you understand the impact. There is no right or wrong answer here I would just use my best judgment.
Here are a few points to consider:
- If you are a larger brand, I believe you have a better opportunity to win with a video trend due to your current audience being willing to latch on and push the trend even further. If you are a smaller brand, you are looking for a home run which is rare but not impossible.
- The compelling ad is always a go-to for both large and small brands, in my opinion, because it is designed to grab the viewer’s attention and persuade them to take a specific action. Compelling ads can be effective at reaching a wide range of viewers.
The future of advertising
The future of advertising in the near term is vertical video. Thus, taking a deeper look into the platform opportunities for these placements is extremely important.
Since the presentation, the Variable.Media team and I have been able to generate a few more case studies and gather data specific to these vertical placements.
This is a must for anyone currently running YouTube ads. We see strong engagement, average rates (CPM/CPV), but longer watch times.
The longer time spent could be due to the user and state of mind within a story, having watched all the other content from the subscription or search tab, thus in a short from the home tab.
Hashtag targeting works, but we’re finding limited scalability, especially with B2B brands.
A great audience target, however, we will need to see growth to perform at scale.
A much more engaging placement than stories or the newsfeed at a fraction of the cost.
For most brands, we run reels as we find the audience is likelier to share, comment, or save than click through, a new behavior that has shifted from newsfeed to stories and now reels.
Maximize vertical video in your advertising strategy
Video creates a unique opportunity to reach a wide range of audiences on platforms while increasing engagement and conversion rates.
Vertical video ads offer a powerful way for businesses to promote their products and services.
However, it is important to remember that the most effective approach will depend on a business’s specific goals and target audience, which can play a critical role in maximizing the impact of vertical video.
Watch: 3 innovative video marketing trends for 2023 and beyond
Below is the complete video of my SMX Next presentation.
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