For decades, the crown jewel of advertising was the TV commercial. It had it all. The visuals, the audio, the prime placement. It was everything an advertiser could hope for. Fast forward to the digital age and video ads are more accessible than ever. The advancement in technology and the shift in viewer behavior has turned the video ad into a commodity.

Programmatic advertising is one such technological advancement to revolutionize media buying across the digital landscape. Programmatic video advertising offers marketers a more targeted and strategic platform than traditional TV commercials ever could. Let’s look at what  programmatic video is and how it can help elevate your brand.

Types Of Video Ads

Video ads are more accessible because they’re no longer beholden to our televisions. You’re just as likely to come across a video ad while reading an article than you would be watching TV. Programmatic video can appear on your desktop, laptop, mobile device and your connected TV [1]. However, with more options comes more planning. So let’s dive into the different types of video ads.

In-stream Video Ads 

In-stream is the more traditional video ad. These are the ads you see while you’re getting lost in your endless binge of YouTube videos. In-stream video ads can be effective because they’re reaching an already captivated audience. The trick is to make sure your content is relevant so that it feels like a natural fit with the featured video. 

There are three kinds of In-stream video ads:

1. Pre-Roll – These video ads run before your desired video starts. They’re usually 5, 15, 30, or 60 seconds long. On some platforms (Twitter) these ads are skippable, while others (YouTube) offer non-skippable ads.

2. Mid-Roll – Much like a traditional TV commercial, mid-roll ads run during breaks in the featured video. Mid-roll ads are typically short, 5-15 seconds. Like pre-roll, these ads may or may not be skippable based on the platform and ads. The longer the featured video, the more mid-roll ads you’ll see.

3. Post-Roll – These run after the video is complete. They’re typically 10-15 seconds long. With post-roll, you run the risk of viewers simply closing the video once its complete. However, if your brand is relevant to the content, it could be a relatively inexpensive way to advertise.

Out-stream Video Ads 

Out-stream refers to video ads you see basically anywhere outside of online video content. Out-stream comes with its own set of benefits. For starters, the opportunities are seemingly endless as marketers are no longer limited to just running their digital video on a video platform. This variety of selection allows for better targeting, especially if your target audience has a particular interest.

Furthermore, out-stream videos may effectively catch the viewer’s attention since the video will stand out against an otherwise static backdrop. One important thing to remember is these videos usually run without sound. As with in-stream, it’s also important to make sure your videos appear on relevant content and safe sites.

There are five types of Out-stream video ads:

1. In-Banner – Video ads that run as standard display ads on a website [2]. In-banner ads have three types. They can be click-to-play, where the user must click on the video. They can also autoplay with no sound, where the user must click on it to play the sound. Lastly, there is also hover-to-play, where the video plays once the user hovers over it.

2. Interstitial – Mobiles ads that cover the entire screen. These videos usually run for 5 seconds before the user can close the ad. Interstitial ads help combat banner blindness from the user.

3. Native Ads [3] Native video ads mimic the look and tone of the website or publisher they’re advertising on. They intentionally blend in to make the ads feel more authentic, organic and relevant. These videos are typically more informative than promotional.

4. In-Feed – These video ads appear in your social media feed. The video can play for up to 30 seconds with no interaction. However, if the user interacts with the video, it can play for longer.

5. In-Article – These videos appear between paragraphs of an article. Like In-feed videos, in-article ads usually play up to 30 seconds, unless the user interacts with the video.

“Programmatic video is a fantastic opportunity for any brand to tell their story to a new prospecting audience at scale and at an efficient price.”

Garrett Wright

Programmatic Media Manager, Wingman Media

The Benefits Of Programmatic Video

Programmatic video advertising refers to buying video ad space using computer software. Gone are the days of speaking to another human on the phone to place your media buy. Well, maybe not completely but programmatic buys do make up 88.2% of all digital display ad spend [4]    with video being the main driver. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as programmatic video offers marketers game changing benefits.

“Programmatic video is a fantastic opportunity for any brand to tell their story to a new prospecting audience at scale and at an efficient price,” explains Wingman’s Programmatic Media Manager, Garrett Wright.

Here are some of the top benefits of programmatic video advertising:

It’s relatively cheaper 

Programmatic video advertising is less expensive than going to the publisher directly. However, the prices do vary based on how specific your audience is as well as how competitive that target is.

You can serve cross-channel 

Programmatic video advertising lets you reach your audience across different channels, platforms and devices. You can serve ads on desktop, mobile and TV as well as video, social media and mobile gaming.

You have the power to optimize quickly 

Programmatic buying is lightning fast. You can see real-time metrics as soon as you launch your campaign. As a result, you can adjust and optimize quickly to boost the effectiveness of your campaign.

You’re able to dictate parameters 

The transparency of programmatic buying is another huge plus. You can see exactly what sites your ads are running on and make adjustments in real time. By setting parameters and having transparency, you can ensure your ads are running exactly where they should be.

How To Create Effective Programmatic Video Ads

“You can’t just slap a TV commercial on the web and call it a digital video ad,” explains Wingman’s Creative Director, Michelle Khayat. “You need to account for the user’s digital behavior, which is far different than their TV viewing behavior.”  There a few things to consider when you’re developing a programmatic digital video ad.

Write like no one’s listening 

A recent study showed that 83% of US consumers watch videos with no sound [5]. It’s important to write and design your video script with the assumption it will be muted. This means making sure the video is visually compelling, both with the acting and the visuals. And, of course, use captions.

Have a clear CTA 

Again, this isn’t a TV commercial where people are passively watching. Digital video ads give you the opportunity for the viewer to interact. So encourage them to take action with a strong and clear call-to-action. Be obvious with what you want your viewers to do after watching the video.

Don’t forget about mobile 

People won’t just be watching your video on their desktop. Many will be viewing from their phones. So be sure to use the right aspect ratios and consider a vertical video that is optimized for mobile. It’s also important to make sure the landing page is easy to navigate through on a smart phone.

Let Wingman Help With Your Next Programmatic Video Campaign

Programmatic video advertising can be an extremely effective tool. But it has to be done correctly. With over 20 years in the game, Wingman knows a thing or two about how to create successful digital video campaigns. Talk to us today to see how we can help you plan, buy and create video magic.