The Ultimate Guide to In-Banner Video Ads for Advertisers
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Everything Advertisers Should Know About In-Banner Video Ads

in-banner video ads

The popularity of online video has been growing rapidly over the years. That is evident from the fact that videos on YouTube alone get over a billion views daily. So it should come as no surprise that video advertising has become a booming and highly profitable industry.

Experts at Cisco predict that more than 82% of consumer online traffic will consist of online videos by 2022. And in a survey conducted by Nielsen, more than half of the respondents noted they’d gladly watch ads in exchange for free video content. So when you put the two together, it should be clear why video advertising is becoming so popular. 

But if you’re new to the video marketing and advertising world, you should know that not all ads are born equal. There are many types of video ads to choose from, and beginners may have difficulty picking the best ones for their business. But whether you’re entirely new to the industry or have only dabbled in display advertising, there’s one type of video ads suitable for beginners and anyone wishing to test the video advertising waters — in-banner video ads.

What Are In-Banner Video Ads?

In-banner video ads are GIFs or short videos embedded into a banner ad on any given web page. These ads are usually 300×250 pixels, contain a thumbnail image, and include a brief text description. Also, they are much more engaging than traditional display banner ads. That is likely the primary reason they are seeing such a surge in popularity.

in-banner video ad illustration

Overall, there are several kinds of in-banner video ads:

  • Click to play — These ads consist of a static image displaying until the user clicks the ad. That way, they control when it starts playing.
  • Autoplay with no sound — In this scenario, the video ad will automatically start as soon as it’s in the user’s sight but will play muted.
  • Hover to play — The ad will begin only when the user moves their mouse cursor over it.

These ads don’t have strict duration limits; you just mustn’t exceed a particular storage limit (the exact size may vary). That leaves advertisers with a lot of flexibility. 

Instream vs. Outstream vs. In-Banner Video Ads

Although these ads sound fantastic, how do they compare to the competition? Let’s first look at what your other choices are — instream and outstream video ads.

Instream Video Ads

Instream video ads are short video clips that play before, in the middle, or at the end of an online video. These video ads are most often 15–30 seconds long, but the latter is deemed optimal. Some advertisers allow you to skip these ads after five seconds by pressing the “Skip This Ad” button in the bottom-right corner. Although having this option is one of the online video advertising best practices, not all advertisers allow it. 

If you frequent platforms like YouTube, you’ve undoubtedly seen them before. Nevertheless, here’s an illustration to help you visualize them.

instream ad example

Instream ads come in several different forms. Here are the three most popular types:

  • Pre-roll ads — These show up before a video starts.
  • Mid-roll ads — These start during a video by interrupting it.
  • Post-roll ads — Played at the end of a video.

People generally have mixed feelings about instream ads — some despise them, while others are more understanding and don’t mind them. That’s why you must make your video ads captivating and engaging. Otherwise, you risk leaving your viewers indifferent at best and wasting your precious investment. 

Although most people are OK with pre-roll or post-roll ads, that is not the case with mid-rolls. Mid-roll ads are universally hated and were even voted as one of the most intrusive ad formats on the web in a survey by the Coalition for Better Ads. So we cannot suggest you ever use them.

Outstream Video Ads

Outstream video ads are video advertisements that can appear in different places on a website, such as in-between text, on the side page, etc. These ads usually entail a video player popping up somewhere on the screen (often muted). Depending on where these ads appear, there are two primary types:

In-Content Outstream Ads — The video ad appears in-between paragraphs of content at a specific point on the page once the user scrolls down to it.

in-content outstream video ad example

In-Slide Outstream Ads — The ad pops up from the side of the screen and follows the users’ scrolling until they watch it or close it.

in-slide outstream ad unit

Because outstream video ads are deemed less intrusive and don’t disrupt the user experience like their instream counterparts, they have 25% longer view times.

graph showing that outstream video ads have higher visibility duration than instream video ads

Why Choose In-Banner Ads?

Unfortunately, in-banner ads aren’t as widely used as their instream and outstream counterparts currently since they’re relatively new to the market. However, they have several significant advantages over them:

  • They are the least intrusive of the three — In-banner ads provide the best user experience since they give users the most freedom whether they want to interact with them or not.
  • You don’t need a video player or video content to run these — The advertisers are the ones who will provide the GIFs or video clips for your in-banner ads.
  • No length limitations — Unlike with instream ads, the only limit to your in-banner video ads is that they mustn’t exceed a predefined storage limit. However, you shouldn’t go overboard; it’s still recommended you keep these ads shorter than four minutes.
  • You can use them in conjunction with other outstream ads — Since these ads take up your banner ad inventory, you can still use other outstream ad units alongside them. That way, you can maximize your site’s video advertising revenue.

As you can see, in-banner video advertising is an excellent addition to the digital video advertising world. And when you compare in-banner ads to the current most popular video ad formats, you can see they are an excellent addition to your video advertising repertoire.

Pros & Cons of In-Banner Ads 

Although in-banner video ads have many advantages, they also have a few significant downsides. Let’s check both sides of the coin in more detail:

Benefits of In-Banner Ads

We’ve already mentioned some of these upsides when we were comparing in-banner ads to some of the other video ad types, but here’s a more comprehensive list of pros:

  • Excellent user experience — They’re considered one of the least intrusive video ad types out there.
  • No need for a video player vendor — As we’ve already mentioned, you don’t need a video player to use these, making them one of the most accessible video ad types on the market.
  • They allow you to target your audience selectivelyProgrammatic advertising has become much more common nowadays, and you can also apply this technology to in-banner video ads. That way, you can maximize your campaign’s ROI by showing ads to the people who’ll be more likely to convert into paying customers.
  • Higher engagement and clickthrough rates — In-banner ads have a better track record than the standard display banners by driving more clicks and appealing to more consumers.
  • Drives more sales — These video ads increase sales by appealing to more users and attracting more clicks.

As beneficial as in-banner video ads can be, they have a few notable downsides worth mentioning.

Problems With In-Banner Ads

The first and most detrimental flaw is that the demand for these ads has dropped significantly in the last two years.

a graph illustrating the decline in popularity of in-banner video ads

As it’s evident from this graph, the number of in-banner impressions has tanked. That is likely because many browsers recently introduced restrictions to autoplaying video ads. However, even though it might not be warranted to use in-banner ads as a standalone advertising method anymore, you can still combine them with other video ad types to get the best ROI. 

Another noteworthy downside of these ads is that they can prove heavy on some websites and reduce their loading speed. If that happens, it can negatively impact user experience and your site’s SEO. So always keep that in mind and don’t go overboard with them. And if your website’s infrastructure is outdated, you might even want to skip on them entirely.

A Few Final Tips for Advertisers

Despite these minor downsides, there’s no reason not to give in-banner video ads a shot. They are still an excellent way to transition from display to video advertising. They are also a wonderful addition to your existing video advertising repertoire as they only take up your banner ad inventory. 

If you feel like trying them out, here are a few tips to help you maximize your success:

  • Keep your in-banner ads as short as possible, never longer than four minutes.
  • Make sure to include your brand’s logo in the ad.
  • Get your message across within the first few seconds of the ad.
  • Make sure your ad is mobile optimized.
  • Don’t make your ad expand automatically — let the users do it willingly.
  • Explore and experiment with different ad creatives with various audiences.

We hope these tips help you get your in-banner video ads rolling. But even if you decide this type of advertising won’t pay off for you, you can’t go wrong if you opt for outstream or instream ads. Just don’t forget to find a lightweight, feature-rich HTML5 player like Brid.TV to handle your video ad delivery and monetization.

Want to learn more about how Brid.TV can help you maximize your video ad revenue? Send us an email and book yourself a meeting and a free trial!