Are you looking for new avenues when advertising your business? Perhaps you are already using Facebook or Twitter, and you’d like to broaden your horizons. While banners and pop-up ads can do great for exposure, video marketing is the ultimate game-changer.

Video marketing is a medium that reaches billions of people on a daily basis. With this in mind, it seems easy to want to hop online and start creating content. This form of promotion, however, entails many skills and strategies. Here is how to actually be successful with video marketing.

Table of Contents:

  • So, What is Video Marketing?
  • Why is Video Marketing Important?
  • Popular Platforms for Video Marketing
  • Where To Start
  • What To Not Forget
  • What To Avoid

So, What is Video Marketing?

person with camera pointed at marketing

Video marketing is defined by the use of video to promote a product, service, or brand. This form of advertisement has been around for many years, dating back to the 1940s. It all started with television. In fact, it’s said that advertisements were the main purpose of TV back in the day. 

As technology evolved, so did the avenues of marketing. Nowadays, video marketing is just as likely to be found in online spaces. This all began with YouTube, a small site that was turned into a tycoon within a decade. 

Need graphic design help?

Try Penji’s Unlimited Graphic Design and get all your branding, digital, print, and UXUI designs done in one place.

Learn More

The History

The first YouTube video was uploaded in 2005, with Google buying the site for $1.6 billion only a year later. Since then, Youtube began its global expansion. The site introduced In-Video Ads in late 2007. These were short commercials that played just before a selected video. As of 2022, YouTube has a variety of ad types, from skippable, non-skippable, to bumper ads. 

As these changes in advertisements took place, the site’s atmosphere changed as well. Gone were the days of random, nonsensical videos being published and going viral. On modern YouTube, the most popular videos are specifically and strategically tailored to make it onto your homepage, search results, and the “Suggested Videos” section.

The Modern Era

Over time, promotional videos began to show up on a variety of platforms. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have short video ads that appear when a user scrolls through their feed. Instagram has multiple forms of video ads, including ones that show up on a user’s feed, ones that show up in the search engine, and ones that appear when swiping through daily reels.

So, what can your average marketer learn from this? While video marketing can seem like a challenging endeavor, there is no single way of doing it. Not only are giant corporations using videos for brand exposure, but small businesses and content creators have also seized the opportunity. 

As it turns out, learning how to make engaging content will attract potential customers, regardless of whether you have the resources to spend on an actual ad. What every video marketer does need, however, is the correct tools and equipment.

Why is Online Video Marketing Important?

A woman staring at her desktop computer. There is a camera standing in front of marketing

People are slowly switching out their cable in favor of social media and streaming services. Television ratings have declined among the younger generations. This means that advertisers must travel somewhere else to get their views.

While television will always need its sponsors, it is much more beneficial to keep online audiences in mind. Online audiences are the ones most likely to see your ads and to buy your product or service.

Video advertisements are proven to be one of the most effective ways of marketing. This is mainly because people are both auditory and visual learners. Combining those two aspects is a great way to relay information to a potential customer.

Common Advertiser Concerns

Because online video marketing is a relatively new concept, there are still many advertisers who stick to the usual image-based ads. They are wary of the costs and amount of production time that can come with making a video ad. 

While there’s a lot of benefit to using regular image banners and displays, advertisers should always be aware of the possibilities that come with videos. Compared to images, videos are considered more persuasive and engaging. They often convey a clearer message. According to Bitable, 95% of a video’s core message is retained by its audience. 

If you’ve got a lengthy message for your audience, an image just isn’t going to cut it. The truth is, in a world filled with technology, it’s likely most people won’t read unless they have to. When it comes to video marketing, lengthy messages are not much of a concern. 

What’s more of a concern is how that message is conveyed. Video marketing is a great avenue of creativity. These advertisements can tell stories that both entertain and inform the viewer. Promotional video content can provide an interpersonal relationship with the audience.


Although it is a bit more expensive, you do not have to break the bank in order to promote something through video. Most platforms allow advertisers to choose their budget plans; from a daily budget that keeps the money from draining quickly, to a campaign budget, which creates a fixed amount of money that the platform can spend.

Furthermore, creating advertisements is not the only way to market a product. Many small businesses and innovators will create their own channel or platform to host promotional videos. An indie game developer, for example, may create a YouTube channel to post videos of their process, snippets of game-related content, and teaser trailers. 

Viewers respond very well to personable content compared to an ad. Even better; creating a YouTube channel or a TikTok account is completely free. Uploading, optimizing, and sharing content has never been a more easy and cost-free process.

Popular Platforms For Video Marketing

Tiktok, YouTube, and Instagram marketing

When it comes to video streaming services, YouTube is the first thing that comes to everybody’s mind. Of course, that’s no surprise; YouTube has owned a monopoly on video services for more than a decade. That being said, avenues for video marketing are definitely not limited to YouTube. This article will go over the three main options.


TikTok has skyrocketed in popularity since its launch in 2016. Starting off with a simple lip-syncing app called, the parent company decided to merge it with another one of their platforms. Thus, TikTok was born; an app that runs an endless stream of short videos, and is very reminiscent of Vine, the discontinued app centered around six-second long, looping video clips.

As of 2022, TikTok is considered the hubspot of Gen Z culture. Known for its lipsyncing content, dance challenges, and endless memes, it’s easy to see how a large audience would grow. 

Marketers have been all over TikTok in recent years. The app can be easily used as a means to place ads or host promotional content for a personal brand. It’s not uncommon to spot a nail artist showcasing the acrylics they have on sale, or a chef crafting the popular dishes of their restaurant.

Major corporations constantly tailor their ads towards TikTok. Regardless of your product or service, there is always a creative way to make it resonate with a young audience.

Instagram Reels

Did you know that Instagram is more than just a photo-sharing service? The popularity of TikTok has caused other social media platforms, most notably Instagram, to borrow some ideas. Instagram has recently introduced a new feature; Reels.

The option to view Instagram Reels has been placed front and center of the app’s menu. This means that new users are more likely to explore that feature than anything else on the app. Reels have become massively popular in the last year.

Professional marketers are provided with the opportunity to reach an even wider audience. While TikTok’s short, vertical videos are attractive to a younger demographic, Instagram is a long-established network that’s filled with both young and old folks. People who wouldn’t be otherwise interested in TikTok will be drawn to a new feature on an app they’re already familiar with.

Instagram Reels are a great investment for advertisers who enjoy the format of TikTok, but would like to broaden their target audience.


YouTube is the number one platform for video marketing. Not only is it the second most popular website to visit, but it also has the broadest demographic. YouTube gets billions of views per day from over 90 countries. In terms of notoriety, it blows all other video services out of the water. Better yet, you can rely on YouTube to not go anywhere any time soon.

As mentioned earlier, there is a multitude of ways to advertise on YouTube. Here is a brief summary of each one;

  • Trueview Instream Ads: This is what most people consider a YouTube ad to be. It is a skippable advertisement that plays right before a video. 
  • Trueview Discovery Ads: These are advertisements that show up as a thumbnail in both search results, and above the suggested videos. 
  • Non-Skippable Instream Ads: Ads that cannot be skipped. They appear right before or in the middle of a selected video.
  • Bumper Instream Ads: Very short non-skippable ads, typically around six seconds long.
  • Sponsored Card Ads: An ad that appears as an “i” symbol in the corner of a selected video. When clicked on, it expands into a promotional image with a link.
  • Overlay Ads: Small rectangular banners that appear at the bottom of a YouTube video.
  • Display Ads: Larger image banners that appear near the “suggested videos” section.

The sheer amount of options that YouTube has in store for advertisers makes it the perfect platform for video marketing. To get the full details on YouTube Ads, check out this article.

YouTube’s Personalization

When it comes to content creation, YouTube provides an ideal space for marketers to personalize their platform. When creating a YouTube channel for business, there are many customization options, from designing a channel banner, adding in a channel trailer, to writing a description of what your channel is all about. 

YouTube has been around for a long time and is constantly updating itself. If you are new to marketing, this site should always be your go-to. It is the most basic and accessible platform to host video content.

Where to Start

An expensive camera on a marketing

After getting to know the basics, it is time to turn your ideas into actions. Where should a business owner start when it comes to video marketing?

Before you dive into branding, optimization, or even deciding on a platform, you need to create the advertisement first and foremost. After all, it is impossible to get your ad out there if you don’t have an ad in the first place.

As you may have noticed, most online video ads are functionally the same as television commercials. So when creating a video for a social media platform, it’s a good idea to think of it as a commercial on a smaller screen. 

To make a commercial for online marketing, you’ll need several things;

  • A script
  • A storyboard
  • A high-quality camera, or better yet, a camera crew
  • Actors
  • Editors
  • Possibly animators

Actions To Take

Your first action to take is to brainstorm. You must envision a target audience, as well as an overall goal for your ad. It is a no-brainer that ads are there to sell a product or service. However, your advertisement should encompass a more narrow goal.

Advertisers often use their videos to create brand awareness, influence the buyer’s decision, increase brand loyalty, or grow sales. Each one of these goals come with their own positives, negatives, and tactics to succeed. 

Tone and personality go a long way in video advertising. Not only does it establish a voice for your brand, but it also helps retain the audience’s attention. Viewers tend to feel more safe and secure when a commercial has an established tone.

Reaching Your Viewers

It is always important to keep the audience’s attention at all times. In our modern-day society, people are moving quickly. People don’t often feel the need to sit through a skippable ad, unless it is particularly captivating. Fortunately, there are many quick tips that work to prevent ad-skipping. This way, your precious time and effort will garner new customers in return. 

After filming and producing an ad, you’ll want to decide on a platform. As stated earlier, YouTube is the most popular and reliable platform for video marketing. TikTok and Instagram are also known for hosting video ads. In order to pick the right one for yourself, think of your target demographic, your video’s format, and the overall risk factors. It is also a good idea to have multiple platforms; it is very common to see businesses that are both on YouTube and Instagram, for example.

Make sure to keep in mind that promotional content is just as important as paid advertisements. While you can certainly comprise your entire channel for producing ads, it is better to have true content that people can seek out and view. 

What Not To Forget

Three blocks stacked on top of each other. Together they spell "SEO"video marketing

Here’s where all of the technical stuff comes in. When promoting anything online, you’ll always want to reach as many viewers as possible. In order to accomplish this, you must study the ins and outs of the platform’s algorithm. Whether you’re running things on a long-established site such as YouTube, or a new app such as Tiktok, figuring out the algorithm is crucial when promoting a video.

An algorithm is described as “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer,” according to Oxford Languages. In terms of social media platforms, it defines how content gets pushed to users. Although two apps may seem to function similarly, every platform’s algorithm is unique and complex.

You will also want to keep SEO in mind when uploading videos. SEO, shorthand for Search Engine Optimization, is a technical process that works to improve the positioning of webpages and platforms when showcasing search results.

SEO is an important aspect of any type of marketing, as it helps your content show up when people search for something. While most people think of Google or even Bing when it comes to search engines, any website or online service with a search bar uses SEO.

Youtube Algorithm

Take YouTube, for example. It is known as a video sharing service, though in reality, it also functions as its own video search engine. Its search bar is showcased right at the top of the website and never leaves no matter what feature is being used. This is because YouTube wants you to search for content in order to better understand your interests.

YouTube is comprised of multiple algorithms, the main ones being for the homepage, the suggested videos, and of course, the search engine. These systems work together with one goal in mind: to tailor every recommended video to the individual user. 

There are quite a few ways to optimize your videos on this platform;

  • Research keywords. Your keyword should be included in the title, tags, and video description.
  • Encourage likes, comments, shares, and even dislikes. Negative engagement is still engagement in the eyes of Youtube. 
  • Add tags in order to alert YouTube of your video’s subject matter.
  • Use eye-catching titles and thumbnails

TikTok Algorithm

Because of the way TikTok is set up, getting views is a very simple and random process. Therefore, the app cannot rely on this to determine whether a video is worth watching. Instead, TikTok’s algorithm runs on the number of likes, comments, and overall engagement a video receives.  

Instagram Reels Algorithm

When it comes to Instagram Reels, the algorithm works to push videos based on engagement, user history, and direct interaction with content creators. To get your content on people’s feeds, you need to interact with your audience. Respond to people’s comments and DM’s whenever you can.


While each platform may have its own algorithm and SEO tactics, there is one thing that remains universal on almost every social media platform; hashtags. Everyone has heard of them, and everyone has seen them. But in case you need a refresher; a hashtag is a word or phrase accompanied by a “#” symbol. It is used to identify digital substance with the same subject matter.

Hashtags can be used on practically any video platform, usually within the description. They help the algorithm better categorize your uploads, while also connecting your video to a larger community. Always remember to use hashtags; they are easy to implement, and do wonders for your reach.

What To Avoid

A person crossing their arms as if to say "No"video marketing

While there are so many things that advertisers can do to grow their platforms and garner a viable audience, there are also potential mistakes that new video marketers make. Let’s take a quick look at some of the common pitfalls;

Improper Tags

Although it was previously iterated that hashtags are important, it is worth noting that there is a limit. Filling your description with an abundance of popular hashtags, regardless of if they relate to your video, is a bad idea. Not only is it a cheap way to attract viewership, but it also makes the algorithm confused in terms of where to target your videos.


Nothing makes people skip an ad or click out of a video quicker than being aggressively told to buy something. Most viewers want to be thoroughly informed, motivated or entertained. If your ad doesn’t do any of these things, then it’s time to get back to the drawing board. 

No Clear Call-To-Action

Advertisements must always entice the viewer to do something, whether that be buying a product, donating to a cause, or simply visiting a site. Your ad should have a closing statement on what to do after watching.

Not Branding Your Videos

Many marketers spend so much time promoting their individual products while forgetting about the branding as a whole. Make sure that any advertisement or promotional video has the company’s logo, tagline, or URL displayed at some point. You want your brand to stick in the customers’ minds to build trust and loyalty.


Video marketing has never been a simple task. Though with the right tools, information, and motivation, there is no stopping you from gaining loyal customers from a video player.