7 Key Trends in Digital Video Advertising for 2021

In Business Strategy, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Video Marketing by Vikas KhalwaniLeave a Comment

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Video advertising is booming.

Marketers are shifting more of their marketing budgets from traditional television advertising to digital video advertising. 86% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool and 78% of video marketers have said that video has led to a direct increase in sales.

To drive results with your own video marketing strategy, it helps to pay attention to trends that are shaping the industry. In this article, we’ll cover key trends in digital video advertising for 2021. 

Here are the trends we’ll cover here:

  • Increased Spending on Video Ads
  • User-Generated Content
  • Vertical Video Ads
  • Instructional Videos
  • Connected TV Advertising
  • Personalized Video Ads
  • 360 Video Ads

1. Increased Spending on Video Ads

Let’s start with the obvious — spending on digital video advertising is on the rise. Spending is expected to reach $37 billion in 2021 and $45 billion by 2025.

What’s fueling this increase in spending? Consumers are watching more video content than ever before.

One report forecasts that the average person will spend 100 minutes a day watching online videos in 2021, up from an estimated 67 minutes in 2018. That figure is only expected to increase, especially as high-speed data connections improve.

As more attention is shifting to online video, advertisers are taking notice. This explains the continued increase in digital video advertising.

Key Takeaway

More consumers are turning to video to inform their purchasing decisions. Video marketing can greatly improve your value chain — activities that allow you to deliver more value when creating and delivering a product.

If you don’t already have a strategy in place for online video, then it’s time to start thinking about developing one. One way to leverage video into your marketing strategy is to create explainer videos for your products or services. A good example comes from Recipe Fairy, a website that regularly uploads videos to show their readers how to realize specific recipes.

(Image Source

You can use these types of videos on your product pages, or even as advertisements in a video advertising campaign. If your email provider allows it, you can incorporate them into your newsletters as well. 

2. User-Generated Content

One trend that we’ll see more of in video advertising is user-generated content (UGC). This is content such as text, videos, and images that are created by the people buying your product. It’s an important distinction because much of what gets advertised comes from brands themselves.

One survey found that consumers are 2.4 times more likely to say that UGC is more authentic compared to branded content. Up to 79% of people said that UGC impacted their purchasing decision.

User-generated content can boost your brand’s credibility when done right. It’s also incredibly effective because the content is coming from actual users who are simply sharing their experience.

As an example, look at how EarlyBird, an app that enables families to invest in their kids future, uses a compilation of user videos on its homepage to promote their app:

(Image Source)

The video is only about a minute long and features short clips of users sending future messages to their kids. UGC works because it taps into our natural desire for human connection. Better leverage UGC by combining different user stories in compilation videos - you can use a free video editor to get this done seamlessly. 

Key Takeaway

UGC will continue to be a huge trend in video advertising. The best types of UGC are those that show your customers using your products or services while highlighting a key benefit or feature.

Encourage your followers on social media to tag your brand with relevant content. For this, you can use a dedicated hashtag. Be sure to get written permission before you repost or use UGC in an ad

3. Vertical Video Ads

It’s impossible to talk about video trends without also mentioning mobile. Internal data from Google found 70% of total watch time on YouTube occurs on mobile devices.

What we’ll see more of are vertical video ads. These ads are in portrait format, which makes it easier for viewers to watch without switching their phones to landscape orientation. They also take up more screen space than square videos.

Here’s an example of a vertical video ad from Hyundai on YouTube:

(Image Source)

This format resulted in a 33% lift in brand awareness for Hyundai.

Key Takeaway

People naturally hold their phones vertically when engaging with their devices. This is true even when watching videos. 82.5% of smartphones are in portrait orientation on video sites.

(Image Source)

It’s important to adapt to viewing behaviors and create ads in different formats. Of course, you’ll want to experiment with both square and vertical videos in your own video marketing strategy.  And, if you’re a smaller shop, you may need some type of YouTube editing software to help create the ads as well.

4. Instructional Videos

How-to videos have always been popular and will continue being a trend in 2021. It’s an engaging format that we’ll see more brands use in their video marketing strategy as time goes on.

A whopping 86% of US viewers say they go on YouTube to learn new things. By providing valuable information, you can increase brand awareness and drive more traffic to your product pages.

Look at this video on how to start a podcast from Buzzsprout:

<style>.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }</style><div class='embed-container'><iframe src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gejf39h3_IY' frameborder='0' allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

The video has over 500,000 views and provides detailed instructions on a topic their audience wants to know more about. Anyone who wants to learn more about starting a podcast will find this video helpful.

Key Takeaway

Many people are loyal to various business directories. For example, most food lovers would always look for restaurants on Yelp, while travelers prefer checking TripAdvisor for hotels at their preferred destination. Getting your business listed in such directories

People aren’t just watching videos to pass the time. They’re also turning to this format to learn about certain topics and to solve problems.

To take advantage of this trend and establish your brand as an authority, research topics that your audience is searching for. Then, get to work on creating your videos.

Just remember that your job is to educate your audience. Focus on providing quality content so that your videos will have an impact. Then, add these videos to your social channels and website to drive engagement.

Remember, quality content will help you build backlinks naturally. will allow you to get referral traffic from these sources, which could prove valuable for your business.

5. Connected TV Advertising

Another trend worth paying attention to is Connected TV or CTV advertising. 

CTV refers to streaming content over the internet through smart TVs, desktops, smartphones, and tablets. It also includes streaming through devices like Roku and Apple TV.

The number of CTV users in the US is projected to reach 204 million users by 2022. That’s an estimated 60.1% of the population.

(Image Source)

Here are the main types of CTV ads:

  • In-stream ads: These are video ads that typically last 15 to 30 seconds and can play before, during, or after a program. In some cases, these ads can be skipped after a few seconds.
  • Interactive pre-roll ads: As the name suggests, viewers can interact with pre-roll ads and click through to a landing page. 

CTV includes programmatic video ads — using automated processes to buy advertising on digital media like streaming services.

Key Takeaway

More consumers are “cutting the cord” and ditching subscriptions to cable TV. Many are switching over to online streaming services like Hulu and Netflix instead.

By placing ads on over-the-top (OTT) media services like Hulu, you can reach audiences that are no longer on traditional cable. This allows you to increase your reach and drive more product sales. The use of interactive ad elements such as shoppable QR codes with logos can be used to acquire leads from OTT and cable TV ads effectively.

6. Personalized Video Ads

Video ads aren’t strictly limited to brands. Content creators on revenue-sharing websites are also creating personalized video ads to draw attention to their products or services.

Along with, personalized video ads offer your user a personalized view once s/he lands on your website with a website chatbot!

This page from Preply highlighting Spanish tutors offers a good example.

(Image Source)

Visitors can hover over a profile and watch a video to help them select a tutor. These aren’t “ads” in the traditional sense, but they influence purchasing decisions all the same. Someone learning Spanish (or any language) can “meet” their instructor to see if they’re a good fit.

Key Takeaway

Personalized video ads add a more personal touch to your marketing. 

Depending on your business, you could shoot product demos that feature actual customers. If you operate a revenue-sharing website, you could also encourage your users to create personalized videos to showcase their products or services.

7. 360 Video Ads

Finally, another video advertising trend we’ll see more of going forward is 360 video ads. 

These ads are more immersive than standard videos, as they allow viewers to interact with the content

To test the effectiveness of 360 video ads, Google ran two ads that featured a 60-second spot for Columbia Sportswear. One ad was shot in 360 video and the other was in a standard format.

The 360 video ad had higher click-through rates and drove more engagement than the standard version. In addition, viewers were also sharing the 360 video ad more.

Key Takeaway

Creative 360 video ads require more resources. But as we’ve seen from the experiment that Google conducted, they can be an effective way to increase engagement.

Conclusion

More people are consuming digital video than ever before. This represents an opportunity to increase your reach and close more sales.

Understanding these video advertising trends as detailed above will help inform your video marketing strategy. Of course, what works for one business may not necessarily produce the same results for yours. 

Experiment with different strategies to see what works with your audience and make sure to track your results. 

About the Author

Vikas Kalwani is a product-led growth hacker and B2B Marketing Specialist skilled in SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. He works at uSERP and is a mentor at 500 Startups.


Share this Post

Thank you so much for reading 7 Key Trends in Digital Video Advertising for 2021 . We really appreciate it! If you have any questions about our article, or can suggest any other topics you think we should explore, feel free to let us know.

Be sure to sign-up for our newsletter to receive monthly emails on all of the latest trends and happenings in the digital marketing space. You will also receive our FREE E-Book with the Amazing Marketing Tools for Powerful Business Growth. Sign-up below!

Also, if you received some value out of this article, please share with your friends or colleagues, or leave a comment/question below. We really appreciate you reading our blog and every share/comment means the world to us and allows us to continue producing valuable tools to help you grow your business!


Awesome Marketing Tools for Powerful Business Growth

Discover the Best Digital Business Growth Strategies!


Join 10,000+ Other Digital Marketers, Consultants, and SEO Experts Now:

"If you use the advice given in the emails, your business will grow, guaranteed."

-Mark Davidson, KeenVision Financial

Robb Fahrion
Robb Fahrion, Partner
Flying V Group