9 Reasons People Don’t Like Your Video Ads (Hint: It’s Not All About the Content)

By Ferdie L. Eusebio Native Video Ads

Native video advertising is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after ad types of many brands, companies, and startups in the digital space. In 2022 alone, native video ad spending reached $27.21 billion! It’s expected to grow by at least 13% this year.

mistakes in native video ads to avoid


Those who implement them effectively often can't believe the results they reap from their campaigns. However, there's much more to running an effective native video advertising campaign than just allocating a budget. 


It takes careful thought on every detail — from picking eye-catching videos and titles to ensuring users have a seamless experience when they visit your landing page.


If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might commit all the blunders in the book. Instead of capturing new customers, you may end up turning people away!


So rather than learning the hard way, why not have a look at common mistakes in native video advertising so that you can avoid costly errors?


Let’s enumerate them.


Native Video Ad Mistake #1: Not Using Titles and Captions Properly

Adding a title is easy, but making them interesting? That’s a different matter. Even when most of the focus is on the video, users refer to the title to remember what they are looking at. 

To Solve This: Craft attention-grabbing titles and captions.

Make it short and to the point, but don’t forget to entice the user’s curiosity. Aim for something original that stands out in the crowd, something pithy and inviting like ‘The ABC guide to XYZ’ or ‘We’re talking ABCs and XYZs – don’t miss out!’ 


Some good video ads use a question directed at the audience, while others remind the audience of their pain points


Finally, ensure that your accompanying text or title matches the content you created. Leaving your audiences guessing what they should expect from the video can do more harm to your campaigns.

But what about captions? Captions help the audience understand what you are talking about, especially if they keep missing out on what you are saying.


But if you don’t add your own captions and rely instead on auto-generated closed captions, you will end up hurting your conversions. Many videos give viewers the wrong impression because of the wrong captions.


wrong captions


Key components such as essential information, humor, or deep introspection are often left out when a viewer has to decode what is being said from only the audio track.


Remember that there are those who do not fully understand the audio because of:

  • Hearing impairments
  • Limited language skills
  • Not being fully focused on the video.


To Solve This: Upload your own video transcript.


Captions help contextualize and ensure that everyone gains access to all the elements of your video, regardless of any outside factors. So don’t leave them out!


Native Video Ad Mistake #2. Not Maximizing the First Few Seconds of the Video

Native video ads can be a great way to get your message out, but it is too common for marketers to make one of the biggest mistakes in their campaigns: not properly utilizing those first few seconds. 


Apps and websites that offer native video advertisements have the skip ad button, allowing viewers to avoid your video altogether, so if you don’t capture your audience’s attention right away, say goodbye to those viewers!


This can be a total budget waste, as viewers typically only need about 5 to 8 seconds to decide if they are interested. Therefore, putting effort into creating captivating content within those first five seconds is crucial to engage with your target audience.


To Solve This: Ignite their curiosity!

From clever copywriting, eye-catching visuals, and high-energy audio effects, there are plenty of ways to create an interesting start in grabbing your viewer's attention early on in your native video ads!


When creating a native video ad, you must grab your audience’s attention in the first few seconds of the video. The average person's attention span is only 8.25 seconds, so you must ensure those first few seconds are optimized.


To maximize the impact of your ad, make sure your message is crystal clear and easy to understand from the start. Your visuals should be gripping and relevant to your message. 


Here’s a great example of a video ad capturing the first audiences’ attention within the first 5 seconds (4.9 seconds, to be exact).


toyota 5-second video ad


Native Video Ad Mistake #3. Not Checking Video Aspect Ratio

Many video ad campaigns tend to fall into the same trap of not properly optimizing their video creatives, leaving them vulnerable to errors when they appear across different devices or platforms. Through an unlucky combination of bad luck and ignorance, these adverts get distorted or see their vital features cut off because of incorrect aspect ratios.


It’s a common mistake amateur advertisers, and even veteran marketers make. It can cost you dearly in terms of engagement, costs, and campaign success if your video creative isn’t optimized to the right size. 


video aspect ratio


To Solve This: Test different ad formats on multiple devices before launch.

Regarding native video ads, a "measure twice, cut once" mentality is the key to success. Testing and creating different ad sizes on multiple devices before launch can seem tedious and time-consuming, but it's worth the effort. 


Doing so helps ensure your ad performs optimally across devices and looks as great in-app on the phone as online on a laptop. Any potential technical issues can be identified before consumers ever have the chance to encounter them firsthand. 


Additionally, by testing these ads in various formats and platforms beforehand, you can make necessary changes before your face any audience backlash or ad network rejection due to a bad user experience or a poor aesthetic.


Native Video Ad Mistake #4. Too Narrow Audience Targeting

When creating a native video ad, marketers often put too much emphasis on having a narrow audience targeting, in an effort to hit up the right people with the ad. 


While it is important to ensure relevance, narrowing down your target audience too much can actually be counterproductive and prevent you from achieving desired results. Too narrow targeting may even lead to very few impressions!


too narrow targeting

To Solve This: Cast a broader net.

Avoid missing out on potential viewers by ensuring you strike the perfect balance between targeted personalization and broad appeal that emphasizes reachability. 


For instance, you can target a specific location, like city or state, and mix it up with device type, but try not to limit browser type and viewing times (hours of the day). 


Once you have enough data, that’s when you can start narrowing it down.


Remember: lesser specifics do not always mean lesser success!


Native Video Ad Mistake #5: Making the Copy Too Long

In a world where ads can be everywhere, consumers crave the simplest, quickest viewing experience possible. A long video ad may seem like a small roadblock to achieving this goal. 


Customers are all too aware of how much time they are wasting, and after a few seconds, they might begin to feel overwhelmed or untrusting by the product or service being advertised. 




Instead of providing the quick information customers need to make an educated decision, long videos often put off viewers because they feel it’s too complicated, or worse, too boring. More time doesn't always mean better conversion rates, and ads that go on for too long could sap customers’ interest! 


To Solve This: Keep it short!

To create an effective advertisement in such a busy market, marketers need to balance brevity with impactful messaging. This way, you ensure that customers stay engaged throughout the video presentation—without turning them away.


Here are a couple of quick tips for you:

  • Start by pinpointing the exact message you want to communicate to viewers, then make sure those points are stated clearly and quickly. 

  • Use simple language with as few words as possible to ensure your message is understandable. You can also break up long sentences into shorter ones, which helps keep your copy short and easier to follow. 


Native Video Ad Mistake #6: Missing CTAs on the Video Itself

If you don’t include a compelling call-to-action (CTA) in the video, you won’t achieve your video ad’s goal.


A CTA is essential as it effectively signals what action viewers should take post-ad viewing. If it’s either absent or too ambiguous, chances are people will forget about whatever product or service you are advertising altogether. 


That being said, developing an effective and engaging CTA requires more than just adding a few words at the end of the video. Consider placement, language, tone, and the desired outcome when creating the perfect CTA for your video.


To Solve This: Make a killer call to action!




For any campaign involving native video ads, it's important to follow five key steps that will guarantee maximum success. 


  • Mention or show your CTA at the beginning or towards the middle and repeat it at the end of the video. This ensures that you inform your audience of what to do even if they choose to skip the video early.


  • Use strong visuals in your native video so it stands out from the competition and grabs people's attention swiftly. Use something funny and familiar!


  • Add urgency. Saying “now,” “today,” or “don’t miss out” can increase the sense of urgency.


  • Use animation if possible. Studies have shown that adding animation can drastically improve how audience members perceive the effectiveness of a CTA! 

Native Video Ad Mistake #7: Using Clickbait-y Headlines

When constructing titles for native video ads, getting creative can be fun and beneficial but don’t stretch the truth too much. Attempting to grab viewers' attention with headlines that are misleading and sensationalist can backfire quickly. 


Customers may lose trust in your brand if they feel like you've pulled a fast one on them, which may make them less likely to buy whatever it is you're selling.


Sure, clickbait headlines might get someone's attention in the short term, but once they realize they’ve been tricked into watching an ad, it could cause long-term damage to your relationship with customers. 



To Solve This: Come clean!

Lay things out plainly and succinctly. Playful wording can draw viewers in if used strategically while still being honest about what you are presenting.


Go for something punchy but always add context that will help people understand what the content is all about — after all, no one likes surprises when they click on an ad!


Native Video Ad Mistake #8: Making the Video Too Salesy

Ah, the dreaded sales video — it's often the fastest way to find yourself with yawning viewers and a dusty product page. 


Audiences are already aware nowadays, so don’t oversell yourself in your video. Nobody likes to feel like they're being sold to, and audiences can quickly detect when a video is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to push a product or service.


To Solve This: Think about what you can offer to your audience.

First off, make sure your messaging focuses on identifying and solving a problem that matters to your target audience. Instead of using corporate jargon and industry phrases, keep the conversations light and natural — this helps add credibility to your ad. 


solve problem


Try to avoid stating prices unless it is necessary; instead, emphasize the benefits of what makes your product unique from its competitors. 


Finally, try to stay away from telling customers exactly how to make a purchase in your native videos; let them connect with the story and make their own decisions about how to interact with your brand.


Native Video Ad Mistake #9: Not Split Testing with Various Video Ad Creatives

A/B testing can make a huge difference when it comes to native video advertising, yet many businesses choose to skip this important step. 


This could be a grave mistake since split testing allows you to optimize and refine your campaigns, ultimately making them more effective in customer outreach and brand visibility. 


To Solve This: Split testing is always golden, so do it!

Fortunately, the process of A/B testing is relatively straightforward and well worth it for those who take advantage of its unique potential.


Implementing split-testing into your native video ad campaigns can be a fantastic way to maximize results rather than just launching an ad and crossing your fingers that it works. Testing different versions of the same ad allow you to see which resonates more with your target audience, so you can focus on utilizing the ones that get the most engagement and views.


put pieces together


This enables you to optimize results and avoid costly mistakes when building your campaign strategy. Ad testing gives you crucial insight into user preferences, ensuring you create diverse, engaging content that directly links to your audience's needs and interests.


What's more, expanding upon this testing model helps you explore how changing up small elements of an ad can make a big difference in its performance for better or worse — allowing for a truly tailored approach when creating new ads in the future.


Wrapping Up

From paying attention to the first few seconds of the video to regularly split-testing different creatives, there are many elements of video marketing that need to be taken into account if you want to grab people's attention. 


If you make sure all of these components of your video ads line up in an attractive way, people won’t hate them but actually enjoy watching! 


Ultimately, achieving success with video advertising is about understanding your audience and utilizing video in a way that resonates strongly with them. Make sure you don't let those 9 reasons above be the death of your video marketing strategy!


Still don’t know where to start with your native video ad marketing strategy? We’ve got you! Book a demo with us so we can show you how the Brax Team can help improve your business.