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TV Ads vs. Youtube & Social Media Video Advertising

Trying to figure out if you really need to jump on this whole video advertising bandwagon? You've come to the right place. Here’s what you should consider before buying in.

Traditional Advertisements vs. Video Ads

So, if you're reading this, you're trying to figure out if you really need to jump on this whole video advertising bandwagon. Lucky for you, you've come to the right place. Let me break it down for you. First, let's talk about traditional advertising.

TV Spots & Other Traditional Marketing

When's the last time you sat through a TV commercial? I mean, sat through it and watched it? If you're like me, commercials are only something you "see" if you didn't pay for the upgraded non-commercial version of whatever streaming service you're watching. And even then, do you really watch them? Aren't commercials just bathroom, texting, and phone scrolling breaks?

What about Billboards, Radio, Magazines, and those dreaded junk-mail flyers? How often do those advertisements break through your day and really get your attention?

Why Digital Video Advertising is so Powerful

Now think about the last time you watched an ad on IG, or the ad you watched to get to your YouTube video, and then the one you had to watch because your video paused to play it and then continued.

Now when these ads popped up, did you walk away from your phone and get a snack, or did you just impatiently sit through it? I'll bet you sat through it. I'll also bet these ads were slightly more interesting to you than the ones you tune out on the radio, ditch on TV, and the junk-mail you toss in the trash. Wanna know why? It's because the video ads you see on IG and Youtube and everywhere else you go online are targeted to You.

Traditional Advertising is great and serves its purpose, but it's more of a Slap and Stick method. You slap your ad on some media channel and see what sticks with whoever sees it.

Target Your Video Advertising to the Right Demographic

Digital Advertising, and specifically Video Advertising, allows you to direct your hard-earned marketing dollars specifically at your target demographic. That's right; you get to direct your ads, right at the specific demographic that needs your offerings most. What do you think that will do for your sales? Since we've already established I like making bets, I'm gonna go ahead and bet I've got your attention now, so let's dive into video advertising.

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It’s where the people are.

According to a Google-commissioned Nielsen study, in March 2020, YouTube reached more adults ages 18 to 49 in the U.S. than all traditional TV networks combined. No matter where they are, people always have their phones, aka the internet, aka the ability to see your ad in their back pocket.

Video Advertising Cost Advantages

One of the biggest advantages to online video advertising is the cost. Why spend a fortune on junk mail, radio ads, and prime-time viewing slots, when the internet is always accessible and being viewed by someone.

Real-time Analytics

The real-time data analytics you can get back from your video ad campaign is almost limitless. You can see how many people view your ad at any given time, where they’re located, how long they viewed it, and even get instant feedback on what viewers do and do not like about your campaigns. That’s an invaluable edge to have when planning future ads.

Global Reach

Aside from a few countries without broadband or that have content restrictions, your online video campaigns can span the globe. You create content that goes viral, and your business can explode overnight.

The Best Video Ads Follow Youtube's "ABCD" Creative Guidelines


What it means: Capture the attention of your audience right from the start by delivering the hook or most interesting piece of content at the very beginning of your video ad.

How to do it:

  • Leverage familiar faces of celebrities, influencers, and respected leaders in your industry.
  • Properly frame products and faces within the video ad to help your audience focus on the key elements. Make sure those elements are also clearly visible on mobile screens.
  • Draw your viewers in with humor that’s relatable to them.
  • Use a plot twist. When viewers can’t predict the outcome, they’re much more likely to stay engaged throughout your entire video ad.
  • Keep the language clear and concise and avoid using jargon or buzzwords.


What it means: Brand naturally and with purpose. When and how you introduce your brand in a video ad depends on the objective of your video ad campaign.

How to do it:

  • Is your goal to drive upper funnel metrics like Ad Recall? Then integrate your brand within the first 5 seconds of the video ad.
  • Are you working to drive mid-funnel metrics such as Consideration? Then introduce your brand later in the video ad to encourage user engagement and higher watch times.
  • Show how your product or service can be used in the daily life of an average customer to make your message more memorable and relevant to your audience.


What it means: Connect with your audience through emotion and storytelling. Consumers are more engaged when they hear and watch stories of people who face the same challenges as they do.

How to do it:

  • Rather than simply focusing on what you do, focus on why you do it and how your business contributes to the community. Tie your mission to your marketing.
  • Use messaging that empowers your consumers and acknowledges relatable human emotions like anxiety or self-consciousness.
  • Stimulate your audience with a fast-paced format.
  • Pair the power of visual and audio together, use both to reinforce your key brand message.
  • Have a person speak directly to the camera so you’re having a conversation with your audience. This approach is associated with higher Brand Lift and helps people remember your message.


What it means: Include a clear call-to-action to direct the viewer what to do after viewing your video ad.

How to do it:

  • Infuse your message with a sense of urgency to make it more compelling and actionable.
  • On YouTube, you can use formats like TrueView for action and call-to-action (CTA) extensions to tell them what to do next. For example, include a button with a CTA such as “sign up” or “get a free quote.”


Choosing the right type of video ad is critical and depends on your marketing objectives. A campaign with a goal such as an increase in short-term sales is different from a campaign aimed at  brand building. One size does not fit all, especially in a year of change and uncertainty that has impacted every market differently. While maintaining a healthy appetite for test-and-learn experimentation is key, we at AMST can help you find the right fit faster. Don’t waste time and money on blind trial and error. Our experts at AMST can help make your campaign a winner.

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