MAY 4, 2023 | 6 MIN
How to choose the right short form video ad platform for your business
How to choose
the right short form video ad platform
for your business
MAY 4, 2023 | 6 MIN
TikTok made users addicted to consumption of short-form video content and, following the Chinese giant, other platforms began to implement similar formats and algorithms. Short form video has taken us by the storm.

What’s more, new studies show that by 2023, social media advertising, especially short-form videos, is expected to surpass all other platforms by volume. Let’s explore the differences between short form video ads on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest and find out the best solution for your business.

The Creatopy team conducted an experiment on short video platforms. They wanted to see which one would lead the most traffic to the site. On top of that, they looked at traffic quality. However, this parameter was an additional one. All platforms — TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Pinterest Ideas — used the same ad creative to ensure the purity of the experiment.

The experiment lasted 15 days, from August 16 to August 30, 2022. The budget was divided equally among the four platforms, with approximately $750 in each account and a daily limit of $50 per day.

So how do the major digital advertising platforms differ from one another?

Youtube Shorts — Provides the most traffic

YouTube Shorts is a new vertical video format that is designed to support the mainstream video content on YouTube and provide users with another way to promote their channels. YouTube Shorts targeting tools are the same as other platforms within Google Ads.

YouTube Shorts ads performed best with the most views and conversions but audience engagement lagged behind Instagram.
On YouTube, only 22.39% of the total audience liked, shared or commented on the video compared to 41.17% on Instagram.
Instagram Reels — Leads future customers to the site

Compared to the “in the moment” content popular on other platforms, Instagram Reels videos are generally more aesthetically pleasing. Videos are shot in a single frame and are easy to edit, thanks to the built-in editor.

If you’re looking for a tool that will help you attract exactly the right customers to your site, Instagram Reels could be a good place to test it out.

In Creatopy’s experiment, Reels ads drove the highest quality traffic to the site. Compared to YouTube Shorts or TikTok ads there was less traffic but those who came to the site from Instagram were more likely to scrutinize the page. It could be argued that Instagram videos were shown to the most relevant audience.
Pinterest Ideas — Provides deep brand impression

Advertising on Pinterest Ideas drove less traffic compared to YouTube, but brand engagement through video was much better than on the other platforms.

Pinterest videos were seen through by 20.16% of users, the highest of any of the four platforms; it also outperformed each of the others by a wide margin.

According to Pinterest, their advertising tools are best fit for raising awareness compared to other platforms. Their own user behavior study found that “on average, campaigns that use IdeaPins increase brand awareness by 56%,” and “on average, users who have seen IdeaPin ads recall the brand 59% more.”
TikTok — Has limited targeting options
and a high daily budget threshold

TikTok videos should look like they were made with little effort, while still being engaging and interesting. Editing is fairly straightforward, such as simple clipping and text overlays. However, videos usually have a few short scenes.

TikTok is very limited when it comes to choosing an audience, a country, a goal, and even a budget. It can be difficult to spend less than $50 per day per campaign.

TikTok provided fewer video views than YouTube but it outperformed all platforms in terms of impressions, i.e., the number of users reached.
In conclusion

YouTube Shorts ads are the best option for reaching a wide audience. TikTok needs to improve the quality of its targeting in order to keep up with the competition as Instagram, Google, and Pinterest. The latter are way ahead in terms of both targeting quality and flexibility of setup. Limitations are bound to cause dissatisfaction among advertisers who need more parameters when setting up ad campaigns.

One caveat: Don’t take this experiment literally and don’t be afraid to test different platforms for your business goals. Each can address specific challenges of social media marketing strategies: advertising on Instagram Reels helps you attract quality traffic, advertising on TikTok helps you increase your reach, and advertising on Pinterest IdeasPins is great for growing brand awareness.

Have you implemented short form video ads into your strategy?
Let us know in the comments below!
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