Trends & Insights, Video Marketing

Native video advertising best practices for connecting with new audiences

By Erik Mathes | Apr 2, 2019


Native video advertising has become one of the most effective conversion strategies for brand marketers to leverage. But that doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly difficult to get right. To create native video campaigns that resonate with viewers and earn you a positive ROI, you’ll need sound strategies. And that goes for both the buy-side and sell-side of the equation.

In order for native video advertising to be effective, creative brands (the buyers) must find the best platforms and/or publishers (the sellers) to place their content. Audience targeting, communication, and presentation are just some of the areas that need stellar execution for campaigns to convert. To help you start producing better native videos with more impactful results, follow the powerful best practices we’ve outlined below – then watch the recording of our webinar with Taboola to dive even deeper into your native video advertising strategy!

1. Understand who your native video advertising content is for

As marketing guru Seth Godin says, asking “who is it for?” is one of the most vital questions for marketers to ask. When it comes to creating effective native video campaigns, the key is understanding your own audience and the people who consume content on the platforms on which you’re advertising.

Think of it like a Venn diagram, where you’re trying to land your native video in the sweet spot that aligns with your branding and also fits where your ad is placed. That means you’ll produce different kinds of native video content for Instagram (and other social platforms) then you’d create for a niche publisher. With native video advertising, it’s all about nuance and fit.

The good news is that, according to our report on video advertising, 69% of people are still not willing to use ad blockers. Even better for native video advertisers, a whopping 85% of people surveyed claimed they’d be unwilling to pay a fee to remove ads from subscription content in their favorite digital publications.

So, well-crafted native advertising examples that hit the mark on demographic will almost always be watched — at least for a portion of the video.

Native video ad venn diagram

2. Keep native video content short

As the research that we discussed in our native video advertising webinar has shown, videos that get the most total views average 51 seconds in time length, while videos with the most views-to-completion average 47 seconds in length.

What’s more, people don’t watch as many videos per page visit on mobile as they do on desktop — by a wide margin. On average, only 1.3 videos per page are consumed via mobile, while a whopping 4.8 are watched per page visit on desktop. On top of that, videos are only watched to completion 45% of the time on mobile devices. On desktop, that figure rises to 87%.

With content consumption shifting to mobile devices more each year, you’ll need to create native advertising examples that cater more to these habits. And with people having an average attention span of eight seconds, your videos must establish connection fast if they want to hook viewers into sticking around until the end.

3. Use strategic motion (and emotion) in native video content

Native advertising examples that don’t focus on using enough motion feel stale. But too much movement in a native video could feel off-putting and weird to viewers. So, your creative team will want to make native video advertising that’s dynamic in ways that connect to the brand without overwhelming viewers.

On top of motion, showing emotion is key, especially if you want to appeal to Millennial and Gen-Z viewers. That’s why your brand has to feel “real” with the native video advertising content it creates.

Getting the right script (or influencers who’ve actually experienced your brand offering) is crucial to convey the right amount of emotion without going overboard. And if you have any avid customers who want to share their story, getting them on video could be an incredibly effective way to communicate your brand’s value.

Here’s a great native video example that was published on Shape’s Facebook page (and created with Wibbitz) to promote a Bloomingdale + Everlast collaboration through powerful (emotion) boxing (motion) shots and dynamic product shots:

Bloomingdales & Everlast Are Knocking Out Breast Cancer

Bloomingdales and Everlast have teamed up to auction off one-of-a-kind boxing gloves for the fight against cancer. 15 brands including Sachin & Babi, SWAROVSKI and APL – Athletic Propulsion Labs have taken "DIY" to the next level. These gloves will be on display for entire month of October at the 59th Street location.

Posted by SHAPE on Wednesday, October 10, 2018


4. Avoid native video advertising placement that feels disruptive

If you’ve established a perfect fit between native video buyer and seller and your content is ready for distribution, you’re almost there. The final piece of nailing your native video advertising campaign is in its placement, and if poorly executed, it could fizzle even the best-made ads.

Aim for ad placements that blend in with the content that already lives on the site you’re working with, as those get more clicks. Also, emphasize education and entertainment in native video advertising over direct product pushes, as those feel inherently disruptive.

On that note, never, ever use auto-play in your native video content. And if you do decide to break that rule, at least keep your native videos on mute as standard practices. Otherwise, your content will be used as native advertising examples that function more like interruptions than ads.

By creating native video advertising that feels 100% related to the platform it’s being shown on, it will stir up interest and intrigue without feeling intrusive.

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Erik Mathes

Content Marketing Strategist

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