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Social Video Advertising – Unconventional & Powerful

May 2021


Social video advertising is one of the most powerful ways your brand can upgrade its content marketing strategy and connect with new and existing customers. Here is a closer look at why you should invest in high-quality video creative to continue communicating with your customers effectively.

The Explosion of Social Video

Consumers have had a high interest in video content, especially from brands they like, for a while. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing kept millions of people at home and separated many of them from their usual social activities. Online content consumption – including video – skyrocketed as people looked to fill their time.

Research from DoubleVerify found that the amount of time people spent consuming online content (primarily video) each day more than doubled — from 3 hours and 17 minutes to a whopping 6 hours and 59 minutes.

People are spending more time than ever watching social video content — and this represents a big opportunity for your brand.

Time to Explore New Platforms

One of the most important things to consider when creating paid social video campaigns is what platforms to target. We believe that Facebook and YouTube are still great options, but there are many other rapidly-growing platforms that can provide even higher returns on your advertising investment.


TikTok has seen an explosion in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the pandemic, the time users spent on the app each month nearly doubled between October 2019 and March 2020. Many may only know TikTok for it’s dance videos, but the platform is actually filled with a wide variety of sub-niches and communities, creating excellent opportunities to target an active and engaged audience. 

Social video advertising on TikTok operates in two primary ways. First, TikTok offers full-screen ads that work similarly to non-skippable YouTube ads. Brands create ads that display to users in a select audience. Second, TikTok offers in-feed ads that allow for more direct audience interaction. In-feed ads let users shoot their own videos with the same sound used in an ad, creating an avenue for UGC and further brand awareness. Additionally, brands can create branded hashtag challenges, encouraging users to create their own content centered around a campaign.

A screenshot of a profile on TikTok - a growing platform to produce social video ads.
A screenshot of the official TikTok profile on TikTok


Platforms like Twitch are also getting more involved in video advertising. The live-streaming platform boasts an average of 2.5 million viewers at any given time and is incredibly popular among video game enthusiasts and younger audiences. The platform’s expansion into video advertising creates even more opportunities for brands with target audiences active on the platform.

Creating Relevant Videos

In all cases, video placements should be as relevant as possible to your brand’s target audience — especially when purchasing pre-roll ad space on videos. The previously cited DoubleVerify study also noted that 69% of viewers “are more likely to look at an ad that is relevant to the content they are viewing,” with food and beverage brands experiencing the biggest gains.

At the same time, brands should avoid paid video placements on content that is viewed as inflammatory or controversial. Over 50% of consumers said that such placements would make them less likely to buy from a brand. Your brand is safest avoiding political placements whenever possible.

The Platform Should Guide the Creative

The introduction of social video platforms like TikTok has changed what makes an effective video ad. A TikTok ad isn’t going to look as highly polished as the video ads you’ll see on TV or YouTube. The most successful ads more closely imitate the type of content users already expect to see from friends and influencers on the platform.

Consider these findings published in AdWeek: “Exaggerated emotions like expressing surprise and anger led to an average of 1.7 times boost in the number of six-second views, while cycling between four or more emotions in a single video led to a tripling of conversion rates. […] Clickthrough increased by 1.7 times when the subject looked directly into the camera for less than half of the video’s duration compared to more than half. Conversion rates boosted 44 percent when the ad’s call to action is included within the first few seconds of the video.”

Needless to say, when filming a social video ad for TikTok, everything from the framing of the shot to the content, structure, and emotions evoked within the video requires a different approach than most brands are used to.

Of course, TikTok may not be right for your brand — and that’s okay. However, the principle of tailoring your video content to the social platform you are using should always be top of mind. Paid promotion is about building awareness and generating leads. A strong call to action will boost engagement and allow brands to reach customers again later with additional video content.

For example, brands that are more technical in nature could benefit from additional video content explaining how their product or service works. This could include “live” demonstrations of how to use their product or responses to frequently asked questions. This type of content is usually best used to retain customers and nurture current leads rather than to prospect and build awareness.

Are You Ready to Grow Your Video Social Advertising?

Social video consumption has grown rapidly the past year and isn’t going anywhere. Brands that use social video in creative ways and adapt their content to new and growing platforms are better able to connect with their target audience and achieve the growth they’re looking for.

If you need help getting your video advertising off the ground, Darkroom can help. As a full-service digital agency, our team is uniquely positioned to help you create extraordinary video content on proven platforms and new ones. We provide the results your brand needs. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and see what we can accomplish together.

Featured photo by Angela Compagnone on Unsplash


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