Creative 7 Min Read

Show, Don’t Tell: Why Your Ads Need Video

Written by Tim Edmundson

The essence of storytelling is to show and not tell your audience what’s going on — and your ads should be no different. Your ad campaigns need to be able to grab user attention while at the same time deliver your message and convey your brand’s story. That’s a tall order for something that can be the size of 250 x 250 pixels. 

Thankfully, a picture is worth a thousand words — and a video perhaps a million. That’s why leveraging video in your ads is so important. Well, that and the fact that adding video has the following benefits.

  • Video is more effective at capturing user attention than static ads
  • Viewers are 95% more likely to remember a call to action after watching a video
  • Over half of marketers say video in ads gives the best ROI

The problem with video, though, is not every advertiser has their own HD assets to leverage in their campaigns. What’s more, even advertisers who do have video assets are limited to what they have in the can, and it’s expensive and time consuming to generate more. 

So how can advertisers either get access to video if they don’t have it, or get access to more video in order to integrate into their ads more often? The answer is to leverage high quality, 3rd party sources, and that means using an advertising solution that gives easy access to the video footage you need.

See how easy it is to integrate high-quality Shutterstock video into your ads with the SteelHouse Advertising Suite – request a demo today.

Access to Video Means More Video Ads

Video assets are crucial to a high-performing campaign, but advertisers can struggle with this due to availability. In working with thousands of brands over the years, we know how this can be a pain point, and it’s why we made solving for it such a large part of our Ad Builder. If given the opportunity to leverage video, advertisers should take it.

SteelHouse is a member of the Shutterstock API partner program, which means anyone using the SteelHouse Advertising Suite’s Ad Builder gets full access to the Shutterstock library at no additional charge. With countless high-quality video assets, any advertiser is able to put their ads in motion with brand-friendly video footage. And we’re not kidding about the quality, either. Shutterstock’s footage library features 20 categories and over 14 million compelling, royalty-free video clips, with over 15,000 new clips added daily — ensuring any brand can find video to help bring their ads to life. 

“Today, more video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major US television networks have created in the past 30 years,” says Kyle Trotter, director of video content at Shutterstock. “Marketers are responding to this trend by making video a top priority in their marketing mix.” 

It’s important for advertisers to incorporate video whenever they can, says Trotter, because it’s quickly becoming the expected standard for marketers. “The pressure to produce high-quality content quickly and at scale has never been greater. Shutterstock’s collection of high-quality, fresh video content is tackling this challenge head-on, providing marketers, vloggers, and creatives with millions of fresh, high-quality video clips and effects that are affordable and can elevate any video project to stand out in a crowded arena.” 

By removing the barrier of entry to high-quality video content, more advertisers can take advantage of video’s distinct ability to drive better performance and get their ads noticed. And with Shutterstock and SteelHouse’s combined capabilities, they can do just that.

Adding Video to Your Ads Grabs User Attention

Video ads have surged in popularity over the past few years. 2018 saw advertisers spend over $15B on video ads, with 2019’s numbers expected to eclipse $17B. Why are they dropping huge amounts of cash on video? Because it works. Visit rates and CTR are higher for ads with video thanks to their ability to attract user attention. They’re a great cure for banner blindness because their motion automatically attracts interest, and thus engagement. 

“The brief animation gives us an opportunity to amplify our voice on busy page space, and enhance our communication with our audience,” reports Noah Hoag, internet advertising manager at Displays2Go. Half the battle is getting noticed, and there’s no better way for your ad to jump out at users than with motion. Rich media display ads featuring video have high completion rates as well, with users spending an average of 72 seconds with them in-view. That means users are not only noticing the ads, but spending enough time with them to really let the message sink in. 

All this stacks up to better performance. In a recent A/B test for a fashion retailer’s creative, we found video display ads generated 25.7X ROAS, compared to 18.9X for the static image ads. Meanwhile on Facebook, we’ve recorded video campaigns that drove 6.5X higher click-through-rates when compared to static ads. The numbers don’t lie — video ads lead to better results.

Get Your Ads in Motion

With easy access to HD video through Shutterstock, and video’s well-documented impact on ad effectiveness, advertisers are well positioned and incentivized to add video to their ads — regardless of whether it’s through display, social, or any other format.

“We recently started utilizing Steelhouse’s video capabilities for our dynamic display banners and we’re seeing great results,” says Ria Taylor, paid media specialist at The Travel Corporation. “The process was so simple for our designer using the pre-built templates and YouTube connection. With video becoming so integral to our marketing strategy and within the travel industry as a whole, it’s great knowing that we can use our creative in several different channels including display.”

Advertisers who are leveraging video in their ads across all channels are reaping the rewards, so what are you waiting for? Get started today — request a demo and let us show you how easy it is to get your ads in motion.