Are you raring to go with social media video advertising, but wondering where to start? It can be a little intimidating - in contrast to traditional advertising media like TV or radio ads, social media ads are easy to simply scroll past.

Like it or not, consumers expect more from your online content, and it’s up to you to wow them with your brand.

Don’t worry – we’ve identified four simple steps to social media advertising success.

Why does
social media video advertising matter?

It’s a fact - digital video is forecast to drive growth in the UK advertising market.

The Guardian recently reported that UK advertising spend is expected to pass £20 billion for the first time in 2019, as the digital market more than makes up for the decline of traditional mediums such as TV and print.

According to IAB, UK digital ad spend enjoyed 15% YoY growth in the first half of 2018. Digital video accounted for £967m of this, experiencing massive YoY growth of 40%!

High demand for online video advertising is currently led by Facebook (which includes Instagram), but this is likely to change in coming years as other channels get involved. Twitter, Snapchat and Youtube all reported strong earnings from digital video during 2018.

So – how can you embrace social media video advertising and compete in an increasingly busy market?



Step 1. Identify your purpose

According to new research by, the most popular types of video ads for businesses are storytelling and explainers. This makes sense – the first type serves an emotional purpose for your audience, while the latter serves a more practical purpose.

Either way, don’t make it all about you. The research revealed that 63% of respondents find it best to show their brand at least 3 seconds into a video ad. Offer genuine value to your audience first, instead of just shouting about your brand.

Step 2. Find your look

Wondering whether to invest your budget in a film shoot or a design and animation team? Here’s the lowdown on what performs better in social media video advertising. found that of the most successful video ads, 67% show people - and another 13% show animals! Meanwhile, only 40% show graphics and 21% use animation.

Above all, successful social media advertising is almost always relatable. If we empathise with what we see on screen, the advertising message is far more likely to resonate with us. That’s not to say this can’t be done with animation or graphics – but picking the perfect cast for your video ad could be a great way to win over viewers.

Video content also needs to stay true to your brand values, whether it’s a short clip for Instagram Stories or a longer video to showcase on your Facebook. People need to be able to recognise your brand instantly within a crowded marketplace.

Step 3. Decide on length

You’ve probably read all about our shrinking attention spans, and it certainly holds true that less is more when it comes to social media video advertising.

In fact, 60% of the most successful video ads are 30 seconds or shorter, says Consumers are busy, almost always on-the-go, and likely scrolling past your video ad while also drinking a coffee, catching a bus and tuning into a podcast. With so much competing noise both on social media and in the wider world, you have to earn their attention almost immediately.

Got lots to say? Rather than trying to cram everything into one short clip, why not create a mini-series of snappy video ads. This encourages audience engagement by offering individuals unique clips with a singular brand message running through them all.

Step 4. Consider formats

It’s important to deliver social media video advertising in a way that suits your audience’s consumption habits. Nowadays, the majority of consumers frequent social media on mobile devices, which means you need to deliver your content in a suitable format to match their screen size.

For Facebook, Instagram Stories and Snapchat, this means going vertical. According to Facebook, almost 80% of video consumers find vertical video more engaging, which means that they’re far more likely to stop scrolling and stay watching.

Unfortunately for any brands with a heap of amazing TV advertising content on hand, it’s really tricky to edit your way between these very different dimensions without losing much of the meaning and artistic nuance. Round peg, square hole – you get our drift.

In our humble opinion, it’s best to film for your desired formats from the very onset, keeping social channels in mind throughout the entire creative process.

Work with us for social media advertising success

And that’s it, social content sorted! If you’d like to speak more about creating a campaign that your audience will love, give The Gate a call, we’d love to explain more.

Our expert production team has experience in shooting specifically for Instagram with big name brands like Public Desire and Nespresso. We’ve even come up with creative solutions for clients including Lookfantastic and Eurocamp. Whatever your campaign is, we can make sure you’re ready to shout about it on every social media channel going.

Insight  Social Media Video Advertising