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7 Ways Video Advertising Changed in 2018

10 Min Read

This year has been huge for the world of video marketing. From new technology to changing consumption habits, video is changing the way we interact online, which has huge benefits and challenges for marketers in every field.

Stay ahead of the game by making sure you know the latest! Keep these seven changes in mind as you plan out the rest of your video marketing strategy now through 2019.


1. Mobile advertising grew and led to higher ROI.

The bigger 2018 trend here is the shift from television-first ad campaigns to digital-first campaigns. More advertising dollars are now being spent on online advertising than commercial advertising, and a big chunk of that is going straight to mobile spend.

In 2018 alone, mobile ad spending increased 20 percent, accounting for 75 percent of all ad spend, or just over $70 billion. In 2017, video marketing brought in over $2.6 billion in revenue, a number that’s on the rise. In-app mobile video advertising is also on the rise, predicted to grow from 78 percent in 2018 to 84 percent in 2023.

What does this mean? Video advertising is necessary, but specifically focusing on mobile video can help you bring in more customers, more sales, and greater brand growth.


2. Advertising focus shifted to vertical video ads that were shorter in length.

Thanks to the prevalence of video and our increasingly shorter attention spans, brands are turning to shorter and shorter video ads (as short at 10 seconds) to reach their target audience.

“There’s more value in multiple six-second clips than one 30-second clip,” previous Director of Video Media Solutions at Yahoo! Matt Wickersham wrote in Adweek. “It offers the chance to accumulate repeat viewers — and those are the best kind. Give your viewers the option to watch multiple videos and they’ll stay with your content longer.”

In 2018, the growth of platforms like Snapchat and the newest Instagram TV also caused more resources to be put toward the creation of vertical video. This is a drastic change from years past, where horizontal video was not only preferred, but optimal for viewing experience. Industry research shows that phones are used vertically 98 percent of the time, so video finally caught up to user behavior.


3. More money was spent on influencer videos.

Brand spending on influencer marketing is predicted to reach $101 billion by 2020 – a huge amount marketers hope translates to even bigger revenue. And it makes sense. Consumers look to influencers at every stage of the buyer’s journey, and especially when they’re making product decisions. That means influencers carry a lot of weight when it comes to helping your company close a sale.

“I’ve spoken with several influencer campaign managers who are experimenting with new ways to drive engagement in more meaningful ways,” video expert Dillon Becker writes, “including live video and unique incentives.”

Becker knows influencer partnerships and collaborations will continue to grow and there will be a big focus on video specifically, which helps influencers not only engage with their audience more effectively, but helps companies with brand awareness and recall.


4. Better data and technological advances led to more personalized video experiences.

Better analytics and data reporting means it’s easier to tell where customers are on the buyer’s journey and who’s most likely to convert. That makes video a more effective sales tool than ever before, helping marketers target those likely to buy via a medium shown to help users convert at a higher rate. Add in personalization and customization, and you’ve got a message that resonates more strongly.

The growth of video personalization was also facilitated by a growth in the technology and software sector, with new platforms making it easier (and cheaper) than ever before to customize video content at scale. Whether you’re adding a user’s name or birthday to a video, or sending them updates on products you know they’ve viewed before, personalization makes users more likely to buy.

2018 was a huge year for customized video, and it’s a trend that isn’t likely to go anywhere.


5. Interactive video ads became the new craze.

More than the interaction itself, incentivized interaction became the trend that helped spur greater viewer engagement in 2018. This was an especially popular trend in the mobile gaming industry, where participating in a mobile game video ad could lead to extra lives or game time, but was also seen across other industries, where video ad interaction could mean free points or cash rewards redeemable on a site’s ecommerce store.

This interactivity – and the subsequent reward – helps transform the passive experience of watching an ad into an active one that stays with the viewer longer. It’s memorable and takes away the feeling that you’re being ‘sold’ to, one of the hallmarks of a successful advertisement.

Though we’ve been seeing incentivized video for a long time, 2018 was the first year it was adopted more wholly across industries. In the future, interactive videos will become cheaper to produce and a greater budget will be put toward incentivized rewards, leading to greater payoffs.


6. Resources shifted to cross-platform advertising.

For a long time, Facebook was the dominating social platform every brand had to be active on. In 2016, Facebook started leaning heavily into video, investing more than ever wholly in its video advertising, live streaming, and video functions – if you wanted to be seen, you had to have a video on Facebook.

In 2018, the tide changed. Sure, being on Facebook is still as important as ever, but 2018 was the year of cross promotion, cross device marketing, and reaching the consumer across multiple touchpoints – not just Facebook. Video marketing efforts targeted all platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more, with brands dedicating higher budgets to reach more people on more platforms. Video advertising on sites like YouTube, Hulu, and Pandora even became the norm, with desktop and in-app ad units available for brands.

This is thanks in large part to the changing browsing habits of consumers. Consumers are no longer on one single social site – they’re everywhere. And with so many brands vying for our attention, brands have to make more of an effort to get their videos seen as many times as possible in order to be remembered. This is a trend that popped up this year, but will continue to hold in the coming years.


7. More companies took advantage of cross-industry video ad collaborations.

Thanks to the success of video as a visual medium in certain industries, like food and cooking, makeup and fashion, and a few other niches, co-branding and video sponsorship across industries is bigger than ever.

This year, we saw brands like Walmart and Kroger partner with companies like Buzzfeed and Funny or Die to create short-form viral video content to share across social platforms and beyond. Though a lot of these companies have budgets big enough to create and distribute their own video content, taking advantage of larger, more diverse audiences helps introduce these major brands to a younger target market that’s less susceptible to traditional advertising.


No matter what else happens in 2018, video marketing is here to stay. As advertising starts shaping around the growth of video, we’ll see brands adopting new formats, increasing their budgets, and taking on new platforms in an effort to stay on top of consumer habits.

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