Short-Form Video Advertising 101 — A Marketers Guide
styles of video
Different Styles of Video and When Marketers Can Use Them
February 23, 2021
explainer video
Explainer Video: The Marketing Tool for Attracting Customers
February 24, 2021

A Marketer’s Guide to Short-Form Video Advertising

short-form video advertising BridTV

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 wants to miss out on such an enormous potential audience!

That is why there have been considerable advancements in the digital advertising industry in recent years. From display advertising to interactive video ads, online marketers have plenty of choices! Did you know that experts predict that digital ad spend 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 a worldwide shift from traditional advertising to online advertising, two things happened:

  • People’s attention spans have decreased drastically due to our faster lifestyles.
  • Everyone is now bombarded with ads at every corner.

Because of the above, 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? The answer is pretty simple — you have to adapt to the current global consumer trends. Luckily for marketers worldwide, a new, attention-grabbing type of advertising has become increasingly popular lately. We’re talking about short-form video advertising!

Before we get to how you can use short-form video ads to your advantage, let’s first learn what they are.

What Are Short-Form Video Ads?

Short-form video ads are video clips, most often 5–16 seconds long, that businesses use for promotion. Short video ads are much cheaper to make than their long-form counterparts but are equally if not more effective. These advertisements come in many different video 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 mobile advertising practice for many free versions of mobile apps is to require users to watch a short 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? Video-sharing websites like YouTube and online media sites love using these short video ads before their content for two reasons:

  • Users cannot skip them.
  • They don’t negatively impact user experience.

With the above in mind, it should be clear why short video ads are the go-to advertising choice for many!

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 building brand awareness.

What does that mean? It means that larger companies can make better use of them than small ones. If most people are already familiar with your products, you can use these ads to maintain and strengthen your position on the market

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 video ads are more focused on engagement and enticement, while their long-form counterparts on elaboration and conveying information. 

How You Can Use Short Video Ads 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 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

Statistics also show that video ads longer than 15 seconds have significantly higher abandonment rates than their shorter counterparts, making it clear that shorter ads are the best way to go.

As you can see, using short-form video ads can be quite profitable for your business. However, making a successful video ad can be challenging, especially if it’s a short-form one. But even if you’re an inexperienced video marketer, you can still make a potent video ad by applying these three crucial tips:

illustration of tease amplify and echo


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, 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 use short video 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.

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 like Facebook.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Short-Form Video Advertising

As we have illustrated above, short video ads can help businesses throughout most parts of the marketing funnel and are an excellent marketing tool. However, as there is no such thing as a perfect marketing tool, even short-form video ads have a few flaws. Here’s a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of short video ads for marketers:


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


  • 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 current needs.

One thing is certain — if you are advertising on YouTube or other social video platforms, short video ads are undoubtedly the best way to capture your viewers’ attention in these fast-paced environments.

Should You Adopt Short-Form Advertising in Your Marketing Strategy?

Taking into account everything we said, we’d be fools to say no. However, we have to emphasize once again that you should only adopt this advertising strategy if it fits your business model and goals. There is a time and place for everything, and even if you don’t find a video content marketing campaign to be your best option currently, that might change in the future!

If you enjoyed this article and are interested in learning more about the power of video, we suggest checking out our article on the importance of video for your business. Alternatively, if you’ve already set your sights on giving video a shot, we’ve prepared some useful video marketing tips you could check out!

Best of luck in your future campaigns!