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A Marketer’s Guide to Short-Form Video Advertising

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With the rise of the internet and digital media, more and more advertisers have been funneling their efforts toward the online realm, and rightfully so. After all, 4.57 billion people use the internet, which is over half of the world’s population. And no business would want to miss out on such an enormous potential audience, right?

Precisely! That is why there have been considerable advancements in the digital advertising industry in recent years. From banner ads to interactive video ads, online marketers have it all! Did you know that experts predict that digital ad spending is going to rise to over $375 billion by 2021? That’s quite an astonishing number if you ask us, and it perfectly illustrates the importance of digital advertising.

However, with such a substantial increase in online content consumption and worldwide shift to online advertising, two things happened. Firstly, people’s attention spans have decreased drastically due to our faster lifestyles. Secondly, everyone is now bombarded with ads at every corner. Because of that, your business will have to compete with many others for consumer attention. 

So how are marketers dealing with these issues? How can your business stay on top of the advertising game? Well, the answer is pretty simple — you have to adapt to the current global consumer trends. “But how?” you may ask. Well, digital marketers have already found an effective way to tackle these issues and remain in the center of consumer attention. The solution is short-form video advertising.

What Are Short-Form Video Ads?

Before we proceed to show you how you can use short-form video ads to your advantage, it’s first essential to learn what they are.

Short-form video ads are video clips, most often 5–16 seconds long, that businesses use for promotion. These ads are much cheaper to make than their long-form counterparts but are equally as effective. These advertisements come in many different ad formats, such as:

  • Instream ads (pre-, mid-, or post-roll ads that play at different points of an online video clip)
  • Outstream ads (video ads that usually appear while the user is scrolling through content on a web page)
  • Mobile ads (a common occurrence in many free versions of mobile apps is to have to watch a video ad before being able to use a particular feature)

All of these ad types have found a home in many marketers’ repertoires and are widely used today. You’ve likely already seen some yourself. Take this Nissan ad as an example.

Does it ring any bells? Yeah, thought so.

Who Are Short-Form Video Ads For?

Although short-form video ads are effective advertising tools, they aren’t omnipotent. Namely, these types of advertisements are best suited for awareness advertising.

But what does that mean? Well, it means that larger companies can make better use of them. Because if most people are already familiar with your products, these ads can be used to maintain and enhance brand awareness

Due to these ads’ short nature, they don’t leave much room for product demonstration, which might be a better thing to focus on for brands new to the market. In essence, short-form ads are more focused on engagement and enticement, while their long-form counterparts on elaboration and conveying information. 

How You Can Use Short-Form Video Advertising to Enhance Your Marketing Campaign

Let’s talk about marketing tactics! Short-form video ads have many different uses, and your imagination is the only limit. Now, as we’ve already mentioned, they’re best used for awareness advertising, but there’s much more to them than that. 

First and foremost, short-form video ads are a highly lucrative advertising method. A Facebook study showed that six-second ads had 11% higher ad recall, provided a 12% rise in return on ad spend, and improved video completion rates by 271% over longer-form ads.

“Six seconds is far more digestive with short attention spans.”

Marwan Soghaier — Chief Product Officer at SteelHouse

Secondly, statistics show that video ads over 15 seconds long have significantly higher abandonment rates than their shorter counterparts.

So, as you can see, using short-form video ads can be quite profitable for your business. But now, let us give you a few concrete ideas on how you can utilize the power of these ads to enhance your marketing campaign.


A potent way of taking advantage of short-form video ads is to intrigue your audience. If you’ve ever seen a teaser before, you should know how effective this strategy is! 

By using your ads like this, in essence, you build hype around your product. By giving your consumers just a glimpse of what you have in store for them, you’ll get them curious and will likely make them return for more later. 

Do note that teasers on their own are meaningless if you don’t follow them up with a more elaborate product reveal further down the line. So make sure you’re ready for that too!


Who says you can’t use both short- and long-form ads in the same advertising campaign? The opposite stands true — the two can complement each other.

But what do we mean by that? Well, you can base your entire advertising campaign around long-form video ads that will get your brand’s message across and then segment the message in multiple parts and deliver them with some short ads!

How would that work, exactly? It’s simple — you’d start your campaign with a resonating message delivered through long-form video ads. However, later into the process, you’d either add to the story with some of your short ads or re-emphasize parts of your brand’s message at a time.

What you could also do is utilize contextual targeting to aim for specific audiences. That way, you’d ensure that each part of your brand’s message reaches its target demographic.


Another way you can utilize short-form ads is to reinforce your brand’s message as your advertising campaign comes to a close. These types of advertisements should be punchy, memorable, and should convey your campaign’s goals in brief.

However, you can also use short-form video ads during the mid-point of your campaign to encourage users to take action. This kind of tactic is particularly useful on social networks such as Facebook.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Short-Form Video Advertising

It should be abundantly clear by now just how powerful short video ads can be, but here’s a quick overview of why they’re so potent.


  • They’re easy to consume due to their brevity
  • They’re cheap to make but highly effective
  • These ads leave a lot of room for humor and imagination
  • They are addictive
  • They are sharable

We’d be remiss not to mention a few of their drawbacks as well, so here they are:


  • They are challenging to make due to the length constraints, and every second will have to count
  • These ads don’t fit every marketing campaign, so you might have to look for an alternative if they don’t meet your business needs

So Should I Adopt Short-Form Advertising in My Marketing Strategy?

Taking into account everything we said, we’d be fools to say no. However, it’s vital to emphasize once again that you should only adopt this advertising strategy if it fits your business model and goals. But even if it doesn’t, you can still use it to raise brand awareness! So it’s a win-win scenario either way.

Are you interested in more marketing content? Why not check out our article on the importance of video for your business? Or, if you’re more interested in learning about some video marketing hacks, we have an article with some video marketing tips for you. Tell us your thoughts on social media or by sending us an email. We’d love to hear your feedback!

Best of luck!

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