You have a lot of possibilities when it comes to choosing the best ad creatives for a digital campaign. The list of decisions is nearly endless. What kind of font do you want to use? How much copy fits in that format? Are the colors right for the audience? Does the call to action align with the campaign objectives?
After all that, you have another big decision in front of you: static versus video creatives.
The first step in establishing the Return on Investment (ROI) of your static and video creatives is their base cost to produce. Banner ads could cost as low as $20 from beginning freelance designers, or the price may be rolled into an ad agency's hourly rate of $100-$200+. How much do you spend on putting each ad design together? Typically, you're going to see a larger upfront investment in your video ads. You have to account for the resources required to shoot the film, create an animation or motion graphics, or purchase the stock video, depending on the approach that you want to take. After that, you also need to handle the post-processing to make it suitable for a display advertising on channels like Google Display Network or YouTube.
For static creatives, you don't have to go through quite as much trouble. Stock photography is more readily available than stock video, and you most likely have a faster turnaround time on the post-processing. Even if you're taking the photos yourself or doing your own graphic design, the equipment needed to do that doesn't cost as much as a fully fledged video setup.
How much are you paying designers, photographers, videographers and video editors during the creatives' development? This overhead cost should be calculated and compared to the overall development time for your ads. The longer that you have to wait for this part of the process to finish, the more you're paying these professionals.
Consider accounting for opportunity costs as well. Do you have the internal resources to produce static or video assets? If you do, would it eat up time that could be put to better use? If the answer to this question is no, how much could you afford in additional costs? Quantifying this number is not easy, but the indirect costs can play a big part in whether video creatives are feasible for your organization.
Video creatives drive more audience engagement since they have an easier time catching the eye. You can also convey more information through the animated content compared to a static display ad. The users that click through and engage with your brand following a video ad may have a better idea of what you're offering. They get enough information to know whether or not they're interested. They can self-screen themselves out of your marketing funnel if you're a poor match.
Static ads excel in industries that are highly-regulated. Trying to get approval for a rich media ad when you have a lot of compliance and legal checks to go through could add a significant delay in launching your marketing campaign. Static ads go out much quicker.
Where do your ads show up? If you have an audience that's primarily browsing from older smartphones, then they might not appreciate a video ad that eats up a lot of their resources. Consider the viewer and their situation. Even details like viewing your ad in portrait mode versus landscape should be accounted for in this process. A poor channel and creative match could drive your ROI lower.
You may be able to increase your ROI simply by changing the advertising channel completely. Sometimes it doesn't matter if you're using a static or video ad if the site is a bad match for your campaign. Spend time testing out a variety of traffic sources so you can see how your audience responds to each, before you move into pitting static and video creatives against one another.
Determining the Right Metric to Measure Your ROI
Your ROI calculations may be inaccurate if you don't know which advertising metrics to look at. Start with your advertising goals. Are you trying to generate new leads, driving middle of the funnel prospects to a conversion, boosting your conversion rate or attracting a new audience to your brand?
Tie your campaign goals to the appropriate performance metric, such as impressions for brand awareness. You get a better idea of the efforts that deliver positive ROI, as well as underperforming campaigns that need some help.
Choosing the Right Option for Your Campaign
You don't have a one-size-fits-all button for choosing static or video ads. While video ads have a lot of benefits and they're a newer type of ad format, that doesn't necessarily appeal to your audience.
The best thing that you can do in this situation is to split test each type of creative extensively. You can calculate the ROI for each A/B test by using the factors previously mentioned so you can quantify their performance. The average click-through rate on display ads is 0.16 percent, and 0.27 percent for rich media ads, but your results will vary based on your industry, products, branding and more. You may personally prefer videos more, but if your audience overwhelmingly wants to click on static ads, then that makes the most sense.
Videos versus static display ads is another decision that you have to add to your campaign launch workflow. The ROI may not make sense for you to take on video production since the base costs are so much higher. You could run into a situation where you don't have the talent on-staff to work with that type of asset. On the other hand, static display ads could blend in with all the other ads that a consumer sees on a daily basis. Even though the development costs are lower, you could end up losing out on the bottom line.
It's time to put video and static ads head to head in a campaign and see who comes out the winner.