Your Complete Guide to Programmatic Video Advertising

Illustration of a laptop playing a video ad with a potted flower next to it

Programmatic video advertising is the perfect channel for creating an emotional connection between your brand and your audience. This medium will capture the undivided attention of your target audience, provide an opportunity to educate them, build brand awareness, and develop trust.

This guide covers the basics of video advertising: what video advertising is, current video marketing trends, video ad formats, and best practices.

What is Programmatic Video Advertising 

Video advertising allows you to reach potential customers wherever they may be watching video content online. Audiences may see a video ad ahead of streaming a TV series, or while scrolling through a blog.

Let’s explore 5 key trends in video advertising which show the growing relevance of this channel.

1. Video is Becoming a Daily Habit

More than 75% of US adults spend up to 2 hours watching short-form digital video content each day. In 2022, more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic watched online videos, which is 15 times higher than in 2017. Time with video is growing fast, and many videos are going viral on a daily basis. 

2. Video Is an Increasingly Popular Programmatic Channel

According to eMarketer, US advertisers increased their spend from $52.17 billion USD in 2021 to $62.96 billion USD in 2022. And that spend is expected to climb to $74.88 billion USD in 2023. More than 20% year-over-year growth signals that marketers are increasingly recognizing and investing in the value of video.

3. Video is a Memorable, Shareable Format 

According to Forbes, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it on video. This makes video really stand out, because when reading a message as text, viewers will retain just 10%. Other studies have shown that videos get roughly 12 times more shares than text and images combined.

4. Connected TV (CTV) is Taking Center Stage

According to a report created in conjunction with Standard Media Index (SMI) and Advertiser Perceptions, CTV spend increased 57% in 2021 and is expected to grow an additional 39% in 2022 to $21.2 billion USD. This is more than double where it was in 2020. That’s compared to a 49% growth in digital video advertising spending overall, and a forecasted increase of 26% in 2022.

5. B2B marketers are Turning to Video

According to a study by Accenture, 94% of buyers conduct online research, searching for solutions anytime and anywhere. B2B marketers are taking notice of this trend, and leveraging video to reach professionals exactly where they are. With video, B2B marketers have an opportunity to get creative and differentiate their messaging. 

The Benefits of Programmatic Video Advertising

Video marketing comes with several benefits, which make this channel a great addition to your programmatic strategy. 

Programmatic Video Advertising Leverages Data 

Video advertising comes with enhanced targeting capabilities, just like other programmatic channels. It uses data to reach fine-tuned, relevant audiences. Aside from the benefits of programmatic targeting capabilities, a video campaign also means you’ll have access to video marketing metrics that inform measurement and attribution. 

Video Ads Convey a Lot of Information, Fast

Video combines visual and audio elements, which means you can convey a lot of information in a short time. This benefit makes video stand out from other programmatic ad formats, which typically have just a moment to capture a user’s attention. With video, you can convey tons of information in a short period of time. You’re able to do more than just introduce a product or service. You can educate the viewer, and start building trust between them and your brand. 

Video Marketing Is an Engaging Format 

According to HubSpot, the amount of digital video watched has almost doubled since 2018. It isn’t surprising that time spent with video is on the rise, because it’s an immersive format. Video combines the power of visuals and sound, which makes it the perfect medium for storytelling.

Video Advertising Builds Brand Awareness and Identity 

The engaging nature of video means it’s a channel where brands can express brand identity and build brand awareness. Brands have also found that viewers have stronger brand recall after watching video ads that tell compelling and engaging stories.

Types of Video Ads

Let’s break down the 3 main video ad types that you can leverage in your programmatic campaigns. 

Native Video

Native video advertising seamlessly integrates your branded video into existing content. Typically, video ads are uploaded directly to different platforms. Native video doesn’t interrupt the user experience and so users are likely to engage with the content. There are a couple different formats for native video: 

  • In-stream: A classic of video advertising. Your short form video ad is delivered before, during or after a user’s intended video.
  • Interstitial: With interstitial video, the video expands to fill a mobile screen. 
  • Native outstream: This is a non-intrusive user experience because it delivers a video ad between the paragraphs of an article. The outstream format delivers high-performing video content that plays only when in-view.

Connected TV (CTV)

CTV offers the precision targeting of digital advertising, with the lean-back experience of television. When a viewer is watching CTV, they are experiencing it in the same way they would watch traditional TV on a big screen, within the casual environment of their living room. 

When compared to the small mobile or laptop screen, a CTV ad is more immersive and relaxed, and typically delivers significantly higher completion rates. Since CTV placements do not have click options, ads can’t be skipped. This makes CTV best for awareness campaigns. You’ll want to track the performance of a CTV campaign through metrics like video completion rate (VCR) and cost per completed view (CPCV). 

Blended In-Game

Video is a common format that’s leveraged in blended in-game ad campaigns. Blended in-game ads appear on objects such as billboards, walls, jerseys, and more during video game play. The goal of blended in-game advertising is to insert ads that get noticed while not interrupting the player’s enjoyment of the game. 

Blended in-game video ads are non-intrusive, highly viewable, and they drive high brand recall. You can deliver these ads on gaming consoles, mobile devices, or on PCs.

Digital Video Advertising Best Practices

Video is a unique channel because it combines visual and audio elements together to tell a story or communicate a message. When creating a video marketing campaign, follow these best practices to help make sure you make the most of this versatile format.

  • Consumers are sensitive to ad clutter, especially on mobile. As a result, your video ads should be well targeted, relevant, and enjoyable! 
  • Consider what screens your ad may be viewed on. Ensure brand logos, brand cues, and product shots are large enough to be easily seen on smaller mobile screens.
  • Keep the messaging concise and to the point. It’s recommended that video ads can still convey a message even if shortened to 10–20 seconds.
  • The first few seconds of a video ad must hook your audience. The initial frames of an ad should be well branded and engaging to capture their attention and still have an impact if closed or skipped.
  • Get creative with your video content. You don’t necessarily need to focus on your product or service, instead use video to educate viewers about how your brand aligns with their lifestyle. 

Get Started With Video Marketing

Video is an amazing channel for conveying complex or emotional stories, which makes it perfect for certain types of brand building. When including video as part of your media mix, consider a holistic approach. Leverage video as part of a multi-channel strategy by integrating display to supplement inventory and increase reach and product recognition, and native ads to drive interest and engagement.  

Learn more about video advertising with CTV by reading our guide, Understanding the Differences Between CTV and OTT Advertising.

Erin Hynes
Erin Hynes

Content Marketing Manager


Erin is a content marketer with experience crafting thought-provoking content that drives awareness and supports customer acquisition. She is also a travel writer and podcaster in the tourism space.