Your competitors are ignoring video ads – should you?

Video advertising is a powerful customer acquisition channel that’s often overlooked.

The most common barriers are:

  • I don’t know if it’s going to work for me
  • I don’t have a video, and it’s a pain to produce
  • My PPC ads are kinda working, so why bother
  • Video ad agencies are way too expensive
  • I have no idea where to start

That’s EXACTLY why video can be a great opportunity for you!  All your competitors have a website and immediately start bidding up the same keywords as you.

Your SEM agency may be doing a great job, and you’ll still see customer acquisition costs rising.  It’s just a matter of time.  And forget about scaling that channel.  PPC is very saturated and we most often see the cost of keywords skyrocketing within months.

When video ads fail

A tiny fraction of your competitors have a video, and an even tinier fraction know how to use it.  Maybe they used someone on Fiverr to cobble something together and test video by posting it on YouTube, they got 45 views and that was it.

Everyone knows this: if you underinvest in a channel, you’ll get what you pay for.  Low-quality video will hurt your brand and no prospect will want to engage with you.  So you don’t want to invest in video because you’re not sure it’s going to work, and it ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Why video ads make sense

Intuitively, it makes sense that:

  1. All competitors have a website and bid up PPC so your customer acquisition cost will keep creeping higher
  2. Less than a handful of your competitors have a video and know how to use it properly for customer acquisition
  3. So shifting some of your budget to video will be like finding an awesome new playground that no other kid knows about!

At the very least, video ads deserve some funds to test the channel.

How to test video ads

There are ways to start slowly without betting the farm.  Because you’re right, there’s no way of knowing it’s going to yield the amazing results you expect, and it takes time for video ads to deliver.

So you can start on Facebook, where your video ad can be just 10-15 seconds and are cost-effective to produce.  You can even produce these internally to save money.  Though you should consider this: if someone can get me ads that are converting at twice the rate, how much money am I leaving on the table for my business?

Pitfalls of video ads

Unfortunately, video ads are quite a bit trickier than text/PPC ads.  You can blow through your budget thinking you’re targeting the right people when you aren’t.  Or you can have very low conversions because of the low-quality of your ad.

So even if you know PPC well, you should probably start with someone who knows Facebook and YouTube video ads specifically.  To ensure you have the right video for each platform and you’re monitoring your targeting properly.

It can make a huge difference, and eventually you can fold the campaigns in-house for savings (the trade-off here would be that you’re giving up the continued optimization).

The bottom line is this…

Your competitors are focusing on PPC ads because it’s the easiest channel, but that means it may also be the most saturated and expensive channel.  If you’re spending more than $25,000 per month on Google Ads, you’re probably in the right spot to at least test Facebook and YouTube video ads.