3 Undeniable Video Advertising Trends for 2021

3 Undeniable Video Advertising Trends for 2021

No one likes ads, right? Well, not exactly.

No one likes boring ads.

Let’s try that one more time.

No one likes boring video ads. The proof is in the pudding, or in this situation, the case studies.

In a case study of the U.S. Navy’s YouTube advertising campaign, Google reported that as a result of carefully crafted and targeted video ads, people who viewed the ads at least twice were over 15% more likely to think about enlisting.

In another YouTube case study, Missouri Star Quilt Co. reported over 14,000 ecommerce sales within six months of running video ads.

In 2021, understanding key video advertising trends can help your business avoid the dreaded “boring video ad” and foster positive interactions with your audience.

Here are 3 trends this blog post will cover:

  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) videos
  • Silent films
  • Storytelling

Some of those video advertising trends might seem a bit broad, but stay with me. Everything will make sense in the end.

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3 online video advertising trends for the next year and beyond

Video advertising trend #1: DIY videos

You don’t need a $10,000 camera and a professional film crew to make an interesting video ad.

While streaming services like Netflix and Hulu certainly push video production to the next level, video sharing platforms like TikTok and YouTube make it easier than ever for people and businesses to create and distribute engaging videos with minimal equipment.

If you’re unfamiliar with TikTok and its meteoric rise as a social media platform, this video sharing app allows users to upload short videos using catchy music and a variety of visual effects.

You just need a phone with video capabilities.

Quite often, TikTok videos are simple, featuring one person telling a story, dancing, painting, educating their audience, or doing another activity that their followers enjoy.


It’s here! #PS5

? Audience cheers 100 people clapping(832295) – straight


As you can see in the example above from Playstation, a video teasing the release of the new PS5 console (showing only a hand opening the box and using a fun sound effect) currently has over 250,000 likes, over 8000 comments, and over 1200 shares.

While YouTube might not have all of the video editing features TikTok offers, it’s just as easy to upload and promote your business with DIY videos.

Search for nearly any topic and you’ll find videos of one person sitting in front of a camera explaining that topic to their audience.

What matters most when it comes to online video advertising is not the production value, but the content in your video. You have to be able to hook your audience with your concept.

In the video advertising example below, featuring a YouTube discovery ad for a video editing software, the company stitched together screen recordings of their products in action, added a voiceover, and called it a day.

A YouTube Discovery ad at the top of the YouTube search results advertising a video editing software

This simple video ad has racked up over 690,000 views. It’s a small effort with a potentially large payoff that you can also do yourself.

You might need to use a basic video editing software to edit your YouTube videos (which you can learn about on our website), but it’s something that shouldn’t take more than one to two hours of your time.

To learn about how you can master the YouTube algorithm, check out our blog post and video about YouTube SEO.

Video advertising trend #2: Silent films

Picture it. Social media. 2021.

You’re out and about but decide to take a quick break to check your socials. You scroll through your feed and see a video ad. It plays as you scroll, but with no audio.

The visuals catch your eye, so you stop and watch. You don’t want to disturb the people near you, so you watch with the sound off.

This story isn’t an unusual one. On LinkedIn alone, fewer than 40% of mobile video viewers say they watch videos with the sound on.

You should keep two things in mind when considering how to conform to people’s silent viewing habits:

The visuals need to grab people’s attention

With this digital video advertising trend, you don’t have the luxury of grabbing people with a fun sound effect or captivating music.

You have to let the visuals do the work.

Reliance on strong visuals means if you use a product video, make sure it’s lit well, it’s high-quality, and you showcase the most interesting features of your product.

Show the product in action. If you sell chainsaws, show it cutting through a massive chunk of wood in slow-motion.

Some smartphones have a slow-motion camera built-in, but it’s best practice to shoot at regular speed and slow the video down with editing software. That way you’re not stuck with a slow-motion video if you change your mind or want to repurpose what you’ve shot.

Again, you don’t need a professional video camera to capture great videos.

Check out the video below from YouTube creator Peter McKinnon. He shows just how good the camera has become on iPhones when he compares it to an actual, professional camera.

If you aren’t able to shoot the videos yourself, you can take advantage of stock footage shot by professional videographers.

Sites like Storyblocks, Pexels, and Shutterstock have libraries full of stunning video clips. Just make sure whatever you download is royalty-free and approved for commercial use.

You need to give people a way to understand your dialogue

If you choose to use a video in which people speak, you need to give silent viewers a way to understand what the people in the video are saying.

Captions will solve your problems.

In the September 2020 video advertising example from Amazon below (watch the full video here), a man talks about his experience working for the company. Since this ad depends largely on dialogue, Amazon used captions to help tell his story.

An Amazon ad featuring one of its employees and captions

Captioning your videos helps people of all hearing abilities understand your content better, so it’s good practice for every video you create.

Fear not! You don’t have to type out captions on your own.

You can use a captioning service like Rev to properly develop caption files that you can upload to whichever advertising platform you’re using.

Video advertising trend #3: Storytelling

Storytelling grabs people. It gives them a reason to watch your videos.

While telling a story in your ads is nothing new, it is especially important in the age of digital advertising.

In this age of digital advertising, the ease with which people can make videos has created a wonderful problem. Since anyone can do it, everyone is doing it. With so many ads and videos on the Internet, your content has to hook people in order to succeed.

For example, on Facebook, millions of businesses take advantage of its advertising options.

According to YouTube, people upload over 500 hours of video per minute.

Standing out among millions of other businesses isn’t easy. Storytelling comes in as a video advertising trend because it can give you that hook to capture people’s attention.

A story helps you connect with your audience and their emotions. It’s what keeps people wanting more.

An excellent storytelling format for video advertising is the hero’s journey.

You’ve probably noticed the hero’s journey in any action or adventure movie.

You start with a normal person who is sent on a daring quest to achieve a goal. They find themselves working with an ally to achieve said goal. They face many challenges on their quest but conquer them with the help of their ally.

Spoiler alert: In the end, after a lot of hard work, they achieve their goal and live happily ever after.

The end.

You don’t have to write the next blockbuster film to take advantage of the hero’s journey.

Say you want to use customer testimonial videos on your website. Use these videos to express how your business helps people leave a positive impact on their companies.

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Wheeler Machinery Co., a Caterpillar dealer in Salt Lake City, Utah has been in the business of providing exceptional customer service since 1951. It was immediately evident to us that they valued treating their customers with a sense of partnership.
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Think about how your products or services can change people’s lives. What were people’s lives like before you came into the picture? How did they conquer their challenges using the tools you gave them? What is their life like now, and what results have they seen?

The focus isn’t on how great your business is, but on how great other people can or have become as a result of working with you.

Don’t ignore video advertising for your 2021 strategy

Keeping these three video advertising trends in mind can help make your business stand out against your competition.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” video advertising strategy, so it may take some time to figure out where you want your business to go.

Just remember to keep your business goals in mind when deciding how you’ll respond to these digital video advertising trends.

If you’re looking for a team of experienced content creators to help with your video advertising strategy, look no further than WebFX!

We’ve driven over $2 billion in sales for our clients, and we’d be happy to discuss how we can do this for your business.

Give us a call at 888-601-5359 or contact us through our website to learn how you can maximize your video advertising return on investment (ROI).