Video Advertising

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Video Advertising

Video Advertising: A Complete Guide for Publishers

Video ad spending is predicted to amount to $28 billion in 2020 with a 9% year-on-year growth from last year. 

How did video advertising gain traction so quickly?

It started with the user’s interest. Most users prefer video content over other forms of content. With countries readily embracing digitization to improve their economies, the internet is becoming more accessible. Hence, users now have a better data connection to surf video content.

Since users prefer videos, marketers and advertisers are investing more into it. Thanks to technological advancements, advertisers have all the right tools and software at their disposal to create a video and launch video ad campaigns.

Looking at the growth of ads in video format, we created this guide to help publishers get started with video advertising.

What is Video Advertising?

As the name suggests, video ads are short videos containing a brand’s message to their users. Initially, only publishers with video content (like YouTube creators) used this method to monetize their traffic. And they still do.

Looking at the better engagement rate, editorial publishers started investing their time in video ads. Programmatic advertising made it possible for publishers to target, manage, and scale video advertising strategy just like their display ads. 

Video ads are served by four mediums, these are:

  • Social media (Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat)
  • In-app video ads (game applications)
  • OTT (over-the-top) devices (PlayStation, Chromecast, Amazon Fire stick)
  • Web-based video ads (desktop and mobile)

We are only covering web-based video ads (also called programmatic video) in our post.

Why You Should Include Videos in Your Ad Inventory?

Video advertising allows you to engage with audiences that ignore banner ads or text. A lot of marketers are increasing ad revenue by investing in video ads. If you overlook this trend, you’ll face a competitive disadvantage.

By the way, if you want to know about innovative ways of increasing your existing ad revenue, you’ll find this Adsense guide really useful.

What Are the Types of Video Ads?

  1. Outstream video ads: This format allows publishers to show video ads irrespective of video or non-video content. Meaning, publishers with editorial content can show ads in video format and monetize with better engagement promised by these.

Noticed autoplay ads on Forbes pages? Those are examples of outstream ads.

Outstream video ads on Forbes

Outstream video ads can further be classified as:

  • In-page ads: Use a dedicated video player to show video ads within content.
  • In-banner ads: Update the existing ad units (dedicated for banner) to show video ads as well.
  • In-text ads: Designed to appear after certain user engagement click 50% scroll and hover over a specific part of the page.
Oustream video advertising types

2. Bumper ads: These are short 6-second non-skippable ads. Originally launched for YouTube by Google in 2016, bumper ads slowly became really popular by offering better engagement.

As per a report, 90% people remembered the brand who participated in a bumper ad test campaign. This made advertisers put more and more money into the tech, hence a better revenue opportunity for publishers.

Looking at the success, Google launched it for web publishers as well. If you are new to video advertising, then starting with bumper ads would be easier as these are low on size (no increased page latency) and easy to implement (takes the existing ad units to show videos). 

3. Interactive video ads: You might have noticed this ad type on mobile game apps, a short video appearing after you complete a level. Interactive video ads launch after a certain activity completed by the user – it can be completing a level, clicking on a certain part, or hovering over it.

Publishers with low bounce rate also place these interactive ads on desktop and mobile websites. As these ads generally appear only after certain user interaction, they tend to offer a better engagement.

What Are the Platforms Involved in Web Video Ad?

Just like display ads, there are tons of platforms involved in the case of ads in video format. Here are some important ones

1. Video ad networks: These platforms facilitate the exchange of a part of (video) inventory allowed to them by publishers, SSPs, or ad exchanges. Then they connect to high paying quality advertisers or DSPs, present them the inventory and sell for a higher price. Before choosing a video ad network, evaluate their revenue models, reporting, and traffic requirements.

2. Video SSPs and Exchanges: These are marketplace for video ads. Advertisers and DSPs looking for video inventory can find them here segmented by targeting options. Their services include analytics and reporting, yield management and optimization, and inventory management. Names of few popular ones are Google AdX, OpenX, Pubmatic, and Cedato.

3. Video ad servers: Once an auction is concluded or a deal is made, the video ad server puts the ad onto the webpage. It acts as a centralized storage system for all ad creatives and takes cares of timely delivery. Names of few video ad servers are – Google Ad Manager, SpringServe, and Epom.

4. Video DSPs: These are advertisers’ side platforms used to set the right campaign for their brands. DSPs help advertisers with targeting, finding the right audience, helping them set their bidding model, and finally share their creatives with ad servers.

What Are the Technologies Involved in Web Video Ad?

Publishers take on video content on platforms to capture ever-increasing video ads opportunity for publishers

Video advertising is always considered more complex than display advertising. Additionally, video ads need a video player to run. This is why, earlier, only video content providers were running video ads. They had a video player in place already, just needed interested advertisers and then they could easily patch advertisers’ videos with their own video content.

Ad tech was facing two issues when it comes to showing video ads with editorial content—serving format and player. These were solved by a technology called VAST or Video Ad Serving Template.

IAB introduced VAST and the recent version in use is VAST 4.x. Before this, the industry was investing in VPAID (Video Player Ad-serving Interface Definition), another technology by IAB released in 2012. VPAID offered limited transparency and created various issues in the industry associated with trust, vulnerabilities, negative user experiences and poor fill rates. Hence, the adoption of video ads was low. 

From our supply-side perspective, VAST 4 will help relieve a lot of issues we see from misuse in the market of VPAID. More importantly in premium long-form video environments such as CTV the introduction of the mezzanine file will mean that the quality of the ad will always be suitable for the size of the screen it is being displayed on. By solving these issues we’ll see an uplift in successfully delivered impressions and a better quality user experience across all types of supply.

James Young, General Manager, Telaria

However, VAST and VPAID, both are being used in industry right now as many brands are still working on shifting from VPAID to VAST. Google uses the latest version of VAST for video ad serving via Google Ad Manager.

How Are Video Ads Served on a Website?

video player with ad server

Video ad serving is pretty much the same as display ad serving with the addition of steps related to VAST signal exchange. Here are the exact steps:

  • A user appears on the publisher’s website with a video ad unit. Ad tag (VAST code) inside the ad unit sends a signal to get a video for the impression.
  • The signal is passed to connected ad networks, SSPs, exchanges to auction the impression and find the right bid as per the floor price and targeting options.
  • Winning advertiser is chosen and the ad server is directed to show a video ad.
  • Ad server fetches the video, places it on an ad unit, and calls it an impression.

For faster delivery, ad servers sometimes take help of CDN (content delivery network) for faster delivery of videos. Hence the speed of video ad delivery depends on the performance of ad servers.

Best Practices: Tips to Succeed at Video Advertising

If not used wisely, video ads are very likely to disrupt user experience. Here are some tips for publishers running video ads on their websites:

  1. Keep the audio off, always: As per the Coalition for Better Ads, autoplay ads with audio on are marked as the most intrusive ads by users. Moreover, many browsers block such ads from appearing on their webpages (including Chrome by a method called ad filtering). If you have autoplay video ads with audio on, reconsider your strategy before advertisers and browsers start blacklisting your websites.
  2. Maintain minimum viewability standards: Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Media Rating Council (MRC) definition of viewability for video advertising—a minimum of 50% of the ad is in view for a minimum of two continuous seconds. If your video ad falls into this criteria, only then you will get the advertiser’s money.
  3. Page load time: Video files are bulkier than a banner, hence add to the page load time. We already know 40% of users leave websites that take more than 3 seconds time to load and 47% expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less. These are tough numbers to achieve, with ad monetization as your primary source of money, publishers need a better solution. In such a case, lazy loading ads help. With lazy loading, the content of the page is allowed to load first and heavy ads appear after a certain user engagement (like >30% page scroll). Going back to the Forbes example, video ads only appear when a user scrolls down a little. This ensures appropriate load time and impressions from users.
  4. Try video header bidding: The rest of the process remains the same as just the auction method changes in the case of video header bidding. Basically, header auction is designed to maximize demand while keeping auction time under control. Using this methodology with video ads, publishers can save time during the auction and use it for timely video ad delivery.
  5. Don’t overwhelm users: Too many ads are never good. It decreases viewability score as users are unable to focus on content or ads, adds to page load time, and worst of all, leads to adblocker installation. It is recommended to start with layout optimization to understand the potential of your website. Then put ad units carefully based on time spent by users on different parts of your page.
  6. Set up an ad ops team: With video ads, there would be complications related to page load time, use of proper placements, the requirement to understand the technology and serving process. All this, in return, will get a better revenue stream. Having an ad ops team taking care of ad monetization will make your efforts more lucrative. It is also advised to consider getting external help with ad operations, this should help with streamlining the process and bring new ideas to the table.
  7. Consider creating video content: Ads in video format complement video content. If you are looking for means to improve audience engagement and time-on-site; video content is just the thing you need. In 2020, 86% of users want to see more video content from brands. Investing in video content should not only help you with brand recognition but also with better video ad monetization.

 In case you wish to improve your video ad revenue, then give us – AdPushup – a try. We offer:

  • Multi-format ads: meaning if video doesn’t win the impression, then banner or native can take place to avoid loss of revenue
  • Top video demand partners: offering you quality video ads for your users and good revenue for your business

How Publishers can Transition From All-display to Video Advertisement

Making the switch from display ads to video ads is a delicate task. Publishers need to make sure they have all the resources they need to make that process a successful one. Some of the best paths to success include:

  • Turn static images into video and slideshows
  • Establish inventory specifications that maximize user engagement.
  • Use analytics to constantly improve ad effectiveness.
  • Optimize ads to not rely on audio
  • Start building your own content environment.
  • Implement the Right Video Monetization Solution

Refer to our advertisement documentation for more detailed information. 

Publishing Video Ads on Your Website

There are several ways to monetize video content. But, the most effective strategy is through serving ads in video format. Publishing video ads might sound a straightforward task, but it isn’t. Well, our job today is to make the process as simple as possible for you.

1. Sign up for Relevant Video Ad Networks

2. Buy a Subscription for the Right Video Player

3. Set up Your Website for Video Ad Display

4. Select Videos to Start Displaying Ads In

5. Monitor Your Performance

Refer to our ads publication guide for more detailed information. 

How to Choose the Best Video Player for Monetization

Video players bridge the gap between the user and the ad. Some ads like in-stream cannot be served without a video player and the user cannot view without it. Furthermore, they come with additional features such as providing insights, integration with different ad networks.

Here’s how publishers can choose the best video player for them:

  • Choose a video player that can support Google IMA SDK Integration.
  • Choose a VAST/VPAID compliant player
  • Opt for video players that is customizable in nature with proper documentation available for tweaking the settings
  • Opt for a video player that offers adoption and implementation of any ad format should be the ideal choice. 

If you’re still looking for a suitable video player but cannot decide among all the available options, here’s an unbiased review of top video players for monetization

How to Run Video Ads in Google Ad Manager (GAM)

Understanding the process of running ads in Google Ad Manager can get tricky in the beginning and publishers may face technical difficulties. But the growth that video advertising will bring to your revenue is worth the effort. 

In case doing this on your own is too difficult, here’s the process of implementing video ads in Google Ad Manager is a 5-step process: 

  1. Create ad units
  2. Video ad tag generation
  3. Create video line items
  4. Add creatives to line items
  5. Create reports

If you want step-by-step guidance on this process, be sure to read the video ads setup in GAM guide all the way through to get the full benefit.


As you can see, video advertisement has already massively benefited many businesses. It’s unlikely to go anywhere so you might as well start reaping the advantages it can provide.

If you’re ready to try your hand at video advertising and see how it speeds up your ad revenue goals, then why not book a complementary demo call with us? We’re so excited to get your feedback on the features that we spent months developing. 

That’s all for now. Stay safe, and keep AdPushing!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. What is Video Advertising?

Video ads are short videos containing a brand’s message to their users. Programmatic advertising made it possible for publishers to target, manage, and scale video advertising strategy just like their display ads. 

Q2. What are the best practices for video advertising? 

  • Keep the audio off, always:
  • Reduce page loading time 
  • Try video header bidding 
  • Don’t overwhelm users
  • Set up an ad ops team 
  • Consider creating video content 
  • Maintain minimum viewability standards 

Q3. How to Choose the Best Video Player for Video Ads?

Here’s how publishers can choose the best video player for them:

  • Choose a video player that supports Google IMA SDK Integration.
  • Choose a VAST/VPAID compliant player. 
  • Opt for video players that is customizable in nature 
  • Opt for a video player that offers adoption of different ad formats 

Q4. Why You Should Include Video Ads in Your Marketing Mix?

Video advertising allows you to engage with audiences that ignore banner ads or text. A lot of marketers are increasing ad revenue by investing in video ads. If you overlook this trend, you’ll face a competitive disadvantage.

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