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9 video ad best practice tips for Spotify Ad Studio

These creative best practices for DIY video ads will help you learn how to format, design, and activate video ads on Ad Studio—no matter the size of your budget.

If you’re not already running video ads in your Spotify Ad Studio campaigns, the time to start is now. Whether you work with a creative agency or take a DIY approach to video ads, you can reach your target audience across multiple formats and moments when video is part of your digital audio strategy.

We’ve put together a list of nine best practice tips to follow when developing your next video ad campaign. Read on for guidelines to help you format, design, and activate sound-on video ads for Spotify.

1. Understand the creative advantages of each video format.

Whether you run horizontal or vertical video ads (or both) will depend on your target audience and your product. However, no matter the orientation you choose, Spotify’s video ads are served "in focus" when the screen is on, and users are engaging with the app.

  • Think product first. Consider what shots will show off your product. Choose vertical video for your ad if you’re showcasing a single person or product that requires a full-length frame. Pick horizontal video if you’re showing many people or products at once in a single frame.
  • Design for mobile. Our listeners take Spotify with them wherever they go. And your message can be mobile, too. 69% of Spotify’s video ad inventory runs on mobile and tablet devices.1 Vertical video fills more of the user’s screen on these devices and, as a result, tends to see slightly higher engagement.2
  • Optimize for your viewer. 90% of smartphone users view videos in portrait mode and are unlikely to turn their phones for ads.3 But desktop and tablet users often watch videos in landscape mode.4 To create a frictionless experience for your viewer, run a mix of vertical and horizontal assets. We can then help determine when the correct format should be delivered to your audience.

2. Choose the proper ad length for your message.

Spotify accepts video ads of any length under 30 seconds, with no change in cost. So whether you’re introducing your brand or announcing a new offer, you can choose the ad length that best tells your story.

  • 30-second ads could be a good fit for emerging brands, new campaigns, or technical ads. They allow more space for storytelling, communicating benefits, and education.
  • Consider videos that are 15 seconds or less if you can deliver your message in a shorter timeframe. For example, if you have a quick reminder to share or run always-on campaigns.

3. Video production doesn’t have to break the bank.

Video ads can take many shapes—from photo slideshows to marketers speaking directly to the camera. Low-cost, low-fidelity (LoFi) ads perform just as well as big-budget productions.5 Creating connections with your target audience or fans with a clear call to action can drive results, even on a small budget.

Watch Visit Philly’s video ad for the Love + Grit podcast

This campaign incorporated user-generated content to help craft the podcast’s story and relate to the audience. The ad outperformed Spotify’s 3.1x click-through-rate benchmark for video by 200%.

“Adding user-generated content to our video ads helps our brands connect with audiences in a more relatable way.”
- Joe Mineo, Advertising & Analytics Manager, ChatterBlast Media

4. Plan for sound on.

Help your ads fit into the Spotify experience by using sounds that enhance your message. Aim to match your target audience’s mood or moment, not disrupt their listening. We’ve seen ads with background music resonate with our users and drive 4.3x higher intent than ads without music.6

5. Tailor your message and level of branding.

Your narrative should hit different notes depending on whether you’re an emerging or an established brand.

  • If you’re an emerging brand, keep your branding front and center. Brand your ad right away visually (with a logo) or audibly (say your name) within the first few seconds of your ad, so it's clear to the viewer who you are and what you’re offering them.
  • If you’re an established brand, remind your viewer what makes you different. Your audience is already aware of your brand, so you may want to consider taking more visual freedom with your creative.

6. Drive engagement with a clear call to action.

CTAs that encourage users to take a specific action tend to see more performance.7 Be sure that your ad has a clear CTA and matches the written CTA button in your companion display ad. Need some inspiration to help get you started? Check out our list of sample CTAs.

7. Remember to mention your brand.

No matter the size of your business or how well known you are, mentioning the brand name in your ad can generate more substantial results.8

8. Set the right frequency cap.

You can customize daily, weekly, and monthly frequency caps on your Ad Studio campaigns. Consider that your audience may need to hear or see a message multiple times before they’re ready to take action.

  • Recent brand lift studies revealed that top-performing campaigns have an average frequency of at least one per week.9
  • The barometer in your Ad Studio dashboard only shows the campaign total, so be sure to factor in weeks as you plan.

9. Pair video and audio ads together.

Standalone format campaigns perform well, but campaigns that combine video with audio see supercharged results. Multiformat campaigns on Spotify can result in a 90% increase in ad recall and 2.2x in brand awareness.10 Combine the unique superpowers of audio and video formats based on your campaign objectives and messaging.

That’s a wrap.

Video advertising can play a crucial role in your digital audio strategy and help you to build awareness for your business. When you’re developing video ads for Spotify, remember to create ads that will showcase your brand and your products, have a clear call to action, be designed for sound on, and fit seamlessly into the Spotify listener experience.

Whether you’re already using Ad Studio or this is your first campaign, creating a video ad campaign for Spotify is easy. Check out our video ad specs to get started.

  1. Spotify First-Party Data, United States, December 2020
  2. Spotify First-Party Data, December 2020
  3. IAB.com, Vertical Video Best Practices, December 2020
  4. IAB.com, Vertical Video Best Practices, December 2020
  5. Spotify First-Party Data, August 2020
  6. Nielsen Brand Effect on Spotify, October 2019
  7. Nielsen Brand Effect on Spotify, October 2019
  8. Nielsen Brand Effect on Spotify, October 2019
  9. NC Solutions & Oracle CPG Offline Sales Lift, 1/1/2018-6/30/2020 - 2020 Edition, US Version
  10. Nielsen Brand Effect on Spotify, March 2020

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