4 Retailers Turning Heads on Social Media with Video Ads


As ecommerce and omnichannel retail advertisers look to stay ahead of their competitors, they’re increasingly turning to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to reach new audiences. In fact, eCommerce ad spend among Nanigans customers was 65% mobile in Q2 2016.

And as mobile advertising ramps up among retailers, so does spend towards mobile video ads. In Q1 2016, 26% more mobile ad spend was allocated to video formats in North America. That same quarter in Asia-Pacific, there was an astounding 46% increase in mobile video ad spend.

These numbers indicate that now is the time to join in the retail video ad trend.

To help drive purchases by conveying your brand’s products and style, take a page from these four retailers who are growing sales with eye-popping video ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter:

1. Kohl’s Goes Native

Because ads that look like native content will mesh well with the posts that surround them on social feeds – and will have a better chance of being viewed because they’re complimentary to the user experience – it’s important to adapt to the style of content on each social site.

When crafting video ads for a particular social platform, make sure that it fits in with the rest of the content on that site.

Facebook’s platform consists of friends sharing their thoughts and news in posts; therefore, retailer Kohl’s mimics native content with a Facebook video ad featuring students sharing their big plans for college. The video works because it subtly promotes Kohl’s back-to-school styles on each student; but doesn’t chase Millennial viewers away with an overt sales pitch.

2. Bose Is Boldly Beautiful

To get audiences to watch your video ads, you need to make them beautiful, interesting – and above all, fun to watch. If audiences don’t have a reason to view your ad to completion, they’ll quickly scroll past to other content.

On a visually-focused platform like Instagram, it’s especially important to push ads that are stunning and stylized.


In the Instagram ad above, audio company Bose promotes its products through a stylistic, vintage-hued video produced by a professional filmmaker taking viewers on a nostalgic journey through memories of a music festival. By building a connection between Bose products and the inviting imagery, this video ad creates a compelling atmosphere around the brand.

3. Nike Runs With Current Commercials

Already have a TV commercial? Then you have material for a social video ad.

Repurposing TV ads doesn’t just save you the time and effort needed to make a whole new video from scratch; it also helps reinforce your message through an additional outlet.

When choosing a TV spot to run on paid social, make sure it can be understood on a much smaller mobile device screen, and that it doesn’t require any contextual setup. It’s also helpful to pick a commercial that fits in with topics and events that are trending online.

Above, Nike repurposes its Olympics-themed TV commercial on Twitter, running the social version of the campaign at the same time as the games in Rio. The video ad fits in particularly well with the social channel’s conversational nature, as it features the names of Olympic athletes that people are already tweeting about. Because it’s tailored to keywords that Twitter users are already discussing, Nike’s digital video ad is also in a prime position to grab viewers’ attention.

4. Pandora Is Charmingly Helpful

One way to inspire social media audiences to watch your entire video is to offer useful tips and advice – if users have to something to gain from viewing your video, they’ll be more inclined to watch it and click through to your website for more valuable information. Just make sure that what you share speaks to your audience’s interests, and that you provide a clear call to action.

Jewelry brand Pandora offers a slew of styling tips in an Instagram video that showcases the versatility of its bracelet line while also offering seasonally appropriate fashion advice. With this approach, Pandora is able to put the spotlight on products and provide value to Instagram users at the same time.

This article first appeared in www.socialmediatoday.com

About Author

Carolyn Berk

Content Marketing Associate at @Nanigans. @StartupInstBOS Fall '13.

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