Online video ads are going through the roof – here’s how to make the most of it


For marketers in 2016 it shouldn’t come as news that online ad spending is now surpassing most offline forms, including  the massive TV market.

online takes over tv

What could come as a slight shocker is HOW fast it’s outgrowing other media.

According to IAB, European online ads surpassed TV in May 2016 when online ad spending  sprang to a record high of 36.4 billion EUR ( while TV “lagged behind” at 33.3 billion EUR).

online ad spend growth

In fact it has grown to 6 times its value since recordings from a decade ago.

When broken down to specific countries, the UK is by far the largest market with over €11,000 million, followed by Germany at almost €5,800 m and France with €4,200 m. Other big spenders in the top 10 include the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, and Switzerland and finally at the 11th place: Belgium with a striking €817 million.

Where videos fit in

In one sentence: videos are blasting the ceiling but still have room to grow (making up on average 16% of the total online display ads market in Europe). Thanks to a surge in spending and producing videos it has accumulated almost 36% in year on year average growth.

online ad format

It’s easy to see why with a basic rule of economics: the ad spending goes where the consumers want it. If users want more videos, it will result in an increase in video spending. If we for example favoured click on banners instead (hands up anyone?) we would be seeing a surge in new cool banners popping up all around. But we, users adore videos for their creativity, easy messages, entertainment and shareability.

Putting money behind it

You can always put your video up on YouTube and your landing page and consider it done with. But the real ROI comes when you put money behind it on social media.  The top one of course: Facebook and Twitter have had business schemes tailored for video for a while now. However a new player is emerging in Europe very soon: Instagram.

In May this year, the online photo sharing service announced some big changes in the business platform: better analytics, the ability to turn posts into ads automatically, and best of all: longer videos.

Instagram is already a place to be for most brands. As Instagram Global Head of Business and Brand Development, James Quarles told Techcrunch, “fifty percent of people follow a business on Instagram, and sixty percent learn about products and services on Instagram.”

Having the ability to post up to 60 second videos on one of the most popular platforms for brands is a big step Europe will be fast to explore.

There’s some great how-to guides already out there on how to create the best video ad campaigns for a variety of social media.  On our end we’ve got some basic quick tips:

  • Get the content right: even if you put your yearly budget behind it and push it one every medium out there, unless your content is right, it won’t make the break
  • Utility over interruption: or re-phased engagement over nuisance. As more marketers turn to online video and as more platforms emerge it will get harder to stand out. You want to make sure the content you provide is useful, valuable, entertaining and not a nuisance to your audience
  • Keep it short: people don’t like 5, 4, or even 3 minute ads; staying below 2 minutes will assure higher and longer views
  • Don’t forget about thumbnails: though they may be the last thing on your mind but they are the first your audience will see: personalize the thumbnail to show the most intriguing and clickable shot
  • Customise: customising your audience may take some time but the return will pay off: the better you target the higher the chance the message gets to the right people. Don’t forget that you can also create multiple audiences in your ad campaigns


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