Image ads vs. Video ads. Which performs better?

Wondering if video ads or image ads are better? Learn which ad format is the best choice for your marketing campaigns with this data-backed post.

In the ever-evolving e-commerce world, where every click counts, you need to find the most effective advertising strategies to boost engagement, drive conversions, and ultimately, maximize ROI.

Among the myriad of options, a heated debate rages on Image ads vs. Video ads. Which ad format is the ultimate champion? Which should you use in your marketing campaigns?

In this post, we’ll break down the latest data, and present the best use cases for both Video and Image ads. By the end, you’ll know the pros and cons of both ad formats, and have a plan to achieve the best results.

Let’s jump in!

Image Ads vs. Video Ads: What the Data Says

Let’s cut straight to the chase: the numbers don’t lie. 

When it comes to ad performance, data from industry experts showcases that video ads tend to perform better in most scenarios.

Let’s dig into the data and see how the performance differs between the two ad mediums, on average.

1. Video ads have higher reach and lower CPMs

Across all platforms, social media algorithms are showing a growing preference for video content over image content.

While images are not dead in online advertising, it’s clear that video content drives more social media engagement (more on that in a moment). 

And the more likes, shares, comments, etc. your content gets, the more likely it is to be distributed by social media algorithms.

For example, eCommerce retailer Nik and Noha’s tested running static Pinterest images, vs dynamic videos. The results? Thor video pins got over 60 times more impressions compared to their image pins.

A graph showing image ads vs video ads

Such a star difference is partly a factor of Pinterest’s algorithm. However, in almost all tests we’ve seen on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and all other platforms, video formats get exponentially more impressions at the same cost, when compared to static image ads.

2. Video Ads Have Higher Click Through Rates (CTR)

Impressions are one thing. They’re good for top-of-the-funnel marketing and creating a buzz around your brand. 

But how does video stack up when it comes to driving clicks to your website? Yup, you guessed, they generally outperform image ads of the same quality.

For example, digital marketing agency ClearPivot reported that video ads outperform image ads by a significant margin, driving up to 30% more clicks at equivocal ad spend.

In another test run on Tik by cosmetics brand Ogee, they found that video ads had a 58% higher CTR when compared with their static image ads.

What’s more, clicks from video ads translate to conversions too. A/B tests conducted by Cardinal Digital Marketing reveal that video ads generated a whopping 47% higher click-through rate (CTR) compared to their static counterparts. And per lead, the video cost $2.75 compared to $14.22 for the image.

So, not only do video ads reach more people, but in general, they also drive more clicks per impression than image ads.

Why Video Ads Outperform Image Ads

When it comes to Video ads vs Image ads, the available data shows something important: videos grab people's attention better than pictures do. 

And in the online advertising world, attention is the gateway to your customers' wallets.

They're like mini-movies that draw you in with movement, sound, and a good story. 

Plus, once videos grab your attention, they tend to keep it longer. Instead of quickly scrolling past, people are more likely to stop and watch a video all the way through.

This gives advertisers more chances to connect with viewers and get them to click on their ads. 

Derrick Hathaway from VEM Medicals agrees, saying that videos are just better at keeping people engaged and clicking.

“For us, videos have driven more clicks in our Facebook ads. The reason for that, I have observed, is that compared to static graphics, videos have the potential to grab consumers’ attention and increase engagement. A more immersive experience can be produced by combining motion, sound, and storytelling, which can enhance audience engagement and click-through rates.”

Another cool thing about videos is that they help advertisers retarget the right people more effectively. 

When you watch a video, advertisers can tell how interested you are by your video view time. This lets them segment their retargeting lists, to advertise to customers who they know are interested in their products.

Jonathan Merry from Moneyzine points out that this kind of targeting is much harder with just pictures.

“One advantage of video ads is their ability to retarget viewers based on their level of engagement. This level of precision is not achievable with image-based retargeting. By segmenting viewers who have watched at least 30 seconds of the video, for example, we can target them with personalized offers or discounts to further guide them through the conversion process.”

What are the Drawbacks of Video Ads?

Ok, so far we’ve extolled the benefits of video ads over image ads, but what’s the catch?

1. Images Can Outperform Video Ads Sometimes

On average, video ads tend to outperform image ads. But the key phrase is ‘on average’.

In some cases, image ads may be the optimal choice depending on factors such as your audience, your advertising goal, the structure of your conversion funnel, and your placements.

Each advertising strategy is unique and requires an individual optimization process.

While video ads perform better in the majority of cases, image ads still have a place in your advertising strategy. 

As with everything in online advertising, it’s important to continuously run a/b/ tests of video ads vs image ads to see where you can improve your key metrics.

2. The Content is More Important than the Medium

Here's the kicker: good advertising is not just about using videos instead of pictures. 

No matter the format, the most important thing is the content itself. A poorly made video won't do better than a really good picture. 

As Tim Woda from White Peak wisely puts it, what matters most is how interesting and relevant the content is to the viewer.

If you can’t make good video ads, they won’t magically perform better than a well-made image ad.

3. Video Ads Can be Expensive & Difficult to Make

Traditionally, video ads are typically more resource-intensive to create than image ads.

While it might only take an hour or so to make an image-based ad, crafting a video ad can require several hours or even days of planning, shooting, and editing. 

Additionally, video production often demands specialized skills and equipment, adding to the cost of creating such ads.

The Solution: Minta’s Generative AI Technology

Ultimately, we know that video ads typically perform better than image ads. Generally, this is by a significant margin.

Videos get exponentially more clicks, more engagement, and more conversions.

However, badly made video ads won’t get these results. And making good video ads can be expensive and time-consuming.

So, what’s a merchant to do?

Thankfully, with Minta’s generative AI technology, you can overcome these challenges and create hundreds of quality video ads in minutes.

You don’t need a big budget, or a creative team to design and shoot your video ads. 

By leveraging Minta, you can overcome the hurdles of video ad production and unlock the full power of visual storytelling to drive engagement, conversions, and success in the competitive e-commerce landscape. 

Let Minta empower your business and take your advertising efforts to new heights today.

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