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How to Use Programmatic Video Ads

How to Use Programmatic Video Ads

Programmatic video advertising has taken one of the most engaging content forms and revolutionized the way marketers reach their target audience. With 75% of online videos automatically playing, this method of video advertising increases impressions and serves personalized videos to the right audience. In this blog, we will go over exactly how to use programmatic video ads so you can effectively use them in your marketing efforts. 

What Is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic media has become a necessity for companies that want to grow through a paid ad strategy. There are many channels - like programmatic display ads - but they all use real-time bidding on ad space based on set conditions; like the ideal audience and a set budget. The programmatic ad platform then takes the marketer’s data and budget to show their ad to an audience that matches their conditions. This ensures more targeted and relevant ad impressions, all within seconds. 

Where Video Ads Can Be Displayed

Much like the other channels of programmatic media advertising, video ads have multiple platforms and avenues that can be leveraged. These channels give marketers the ability to reach their audiences when, where, and how they see fit. Depending on the programmatic ad platform you use, your video ads can be shown on:

  • Social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok)
  • In-App Video Ads
  • OTT (Over-the-Top) Devices
  • CTV (Connected TV)
  • Web-based Video Ads (desktop and mobile)

Here at Concept, we are a partner of StackAdapt. Through this partnership, we help our clients deliver their ads, and access harder-to-reach real estate such as Disney+. Who wouldn’t want their ad showing up in the same venue as Iron Man?

If you are interested in leveraging programmatic media in your marketing strategy, we’d love to discuss what approach is best for you. Contact us.

Formats of You Can Serve Them On

There are different types of video ads to consider when crafting your campaign.

Instream Video

If you’ve ever watched a video on YouTube, then you know what an in-stream video is. There are three different types of in-stream videos. Pre-roll videos are 15 to 30-second videos that play before the video starts. There are mid-roll videos that play in the middle of the video like a TV commercial. And lastly, post-roll videos run at the end of the video. 

Outstream Video

These are the video ads you see in the middle of online articles. They’re highly viewable as they automatically play when the video is onscreen, resulting in a higher CPM and earnings for you.

Interstitial Video

Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that cover the entire screen of the app they are served in. You will typically see them displayed at natural transition points, such as between activities or during the pause between levels in a game. When an app shows this ad, the user can either tap on the ad and explore the offering or close it and return to the app.

Native Video

Native video advertising is content that you create specifically for a certain platform. So when it is served on Instagram Reels, it looks like it was created specifically for that platform. Your audience has an expectation of what TikTok videos look and feel like, so the ad that is being served should match that feeling and appearance. This helps provide a smooth experience, rather than disrupting a user’s content consumption.

Reward Video

We have all played Candy Crush or a similar phone game. Reward videos are the videos users opt into in order to get an extra life, bonus, or feature in a game. So when Duo (the owl from Duolingo) is messaging you about picking German back up, this video offers a little support on your journey. These are commonly used by eCommerce brands, rather than a B2B organization.

Best Practices for Programmatic Video Ads

Simply serving programmatic video ads won't quite cut it. As we all know, capturing demand and attention is not always easy. Here are a few best practices to help your ads do just that.

Generate Scroll-Stopping Content

If you expect your ad to stop the ever-scrolling fingers of your user, it needs to be top-notch. As always, content is king and you should treat it like royalty. By taking advantage of current memes and trends, coming up with something truly unique, and putting effort into your video - you are likely to see better results.

Build an Audience That Matches Your Campaign

Now that you have some quality video content, it is time to build and target the appropriate audience. Understanding the balance between too broad and too defined will take some time, and perhaps an expert eye. However, this is crucial for proper delivery. Many platforms give you the ability to use first-party data from your CRM, which can be extremely powerful.

Use a Programmatic Platform to Find Your Supply Source to Serve

To get your video in the places you want, you will need to find a programmatic platform that can grant you access to these channels. Many of the more desirable locations are not as easily gained, and some may require a third-party platform.

Serve Your Programmatic Video Ads, Monitor, and Optimize

Like all paid media efforts, you must let them run. Once you have some data to look at, you should continue to monitor their performance and optimize as you see fit. Even if they are performing well, there may be some glaring corrections that can help you use your budget in the best way possible.


Around 91% of businesses use video as a marketing tool - and the majority of ad spend seems to be shifting to programmatic video ads. This is for good reason, too. Video has been, and continues to be a dominant content performer. If you are looking to incorporate this into your strategy, or any other programmatic media, our digital marketing team is here to help. Start the conversation, today.