Video Marketing or Video Advertising? Know the difference!

Video Marketing or Video Advertising

Content marketers are currently riding a wave of video marketing that shows no sign of cresting any time soon. A recent study by Vidyard and the Aberdeen Group revealed some staggering statistics related to video marketing success.

Highlights include:

  • Increased company revenue- marketers using video grow company revenue 49% faster year over year than those who don’t use video.
  • Clickthrough rates were 27% higher.
  • Web conversion rates were 34% higher.
  • Marketers using video reported 41% more web traffic from search. 

Video advertising is another recent trend that shows no sign of slowing down any time soon- especially when it comes to social media, where hyper-targeted ads can reach a wider audience than ever before. This means your brand has unprecedented access to consumers ready, willing and able to engage with, and buy from, the brands they encounter on social media platforms- one study determined that 71% of consumers found Facebook ads either relevant or highly relevant

Though it may seem like the terms “video marketing” and “video advertising” are interchangeable, the two are related but not identical. Curious how they differ? Read on! 


This one is pretty simple. Your video marketing content may sell your product or brand, but selling is not its sole purpose.

Video marketing grows from a plethora of different purposes. You can:

  • Use video marketing to educate and inform your audience- not just about what your product can do for them, or your brand’s backstory,
  • Cover associated topics,
  • Dive into competitive analysis,
  • Or go more high-level into relatively generic tips and tricks.

The “explainer video” is considered a cornerstone of many video marketing plans, but video marketing goes way beyond that. Video marketing is also a great way to entertain and inspire your audience—this type of video marketing is what we typically consider ultra-shareable and it’s these videos that frequently “go viral.” Give them insight into how or why you began your business, tell them stories about the impact your ideas have made, or engage them with case studies, vlogs, and behind-the-scenes details on what goes into what you do.

Video marketing can be instrumental when it comes to major announcements, capturing events, and highlights of annual occasions like a CEO keynote or fiscal responsibility report.  Video marketing boasts an incredible versatility, by remaining relevant through all stages of the marketing “funnel:” from customer awareness all the way through thought leadership, lead generation, and customer interaction/retention. 

On the other hand, video advertising has a single and specific purpose: selling. To that extent, video advertising pretty much always contains a call to action- whereas video marketing may not even mention a brand or product. 

Video marketing has the power to define an entire brand- video advertising is a small piece of the puzzle, but it can define certain products, features, or benefits. And with social video ad spending expected to hit almost 15 billion dollars in 2021 (44% higher than 2019 levels) it is becoming a crucial part of the digital marketing landscape. 


Video content marketing can also span multiple formats. Video webinars are on the rise, and here are 10 more examples of formats one might consider when creating video marketing:   

  • Demos
  • Explainers
  • Live Video (i.e. going live on Twitter, Facebook Live, Instastories)
  • Customer Videos
  • Product Videos
  • Thought Leadership videos
  • How-Tos
  • Unboxing Videos
  • Talking Head Videos
  • Video Testimonials

Video advertising, on the other hand, is often clipped from one of the above or created and hosted on a specific platform (i.e. Google video ads must be hosted on YouTube). Since a video ad is usually paid and dedicated to driving conversions, it tends to be shorter and sweeter. 

The Two Qs

The final distinction between video marketing and video advertising?

Quantity and quality.

As evidenced by this excellent Wistia study, there is a huge fluctuation in video ad cost. It’s as easy to spend $1,000 as it is to spend $10,000. And of course, in terms of quantity, a $1,000 video ad is far more scalable than a $10,000 ad.

It boils down to your budget and goals.

But when it comes to video marketing, it’s absolutely crucial to drill down to your ROI- given the overhead costs of production, including variables like licensing music and paying talent, a 5-10 minute piece of video marketing content can be 5 to 10 times more expensive than a video ad. 

With some video ads flickering by in the blink of an eye, they’re often lower quality than a video content marketing piece. However, they may ultimately account for more of a company’s overall video budget, given their quantity.  And luckily, major video advertising platforms like Google and Facebook can give you real-time insight into how your ads are performing, so you can make instant decisions to adjust your ad spending. 

TruScribe visualizes words, ideas, and stories to change how people see, think, and act. If you have a project in mind or want to learn more, get in touch.