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Smartphone users have an abundance of choices when it comes to apps. While new user acquisition is not a cakewalk, it is even more challenging to retain those users and convert them into paying customers. An average smartphone has more than 60 apps, of which only 30 are used in a month[1].

Amidst this myriad of choices (or distractions), app retention has fallen from 39% in 2018 to 32% in 2019, which is the lowest in the last 7 years[2]. Well, as a marketer, you would already be aware that retargeting ads can help you reduce your churn rate and even boost your overall Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Retargeting ads can leverage several formats including rich media, images (static and even GIF), text, and video. As recent years have witnessed a significant increase in the popularity of video format among consumers, more and more marketers have adopted it. In this article, we will discuss how you can best utilize video retargeting ads to grow your campaign performance and device better ROI.

Why Video Retargeting Ads?

Retargeting ads are the ones displayed to users who have shown interest in the products or services that your app offers. When you use video format with that intent, it is a video retargeting ad. As videos are known to get more user attention and deliver the message more effectively than most other formats, it gives advertisers a good opportunity with retargeting.

An apparent trend that our generation of marketers is witnessing is increasing reliance on videos. HubSpot’s The State of Video Marketing in 2020 states that 88% of marketers see a positive ROI with videos[3]. Several similar stats add optimism toward the adoption of video retargeting ads.

Videos can help you boost your brand, educate customers on product features, and more to intrigue their interest and guide them toward the bottom of the funnel. Videos enable your story-building capabilities further, which helps in retaining the user’s attention span. Vernacular adoption in video ads can help your campaigns if you are targeting a regional audience. There are several more advantages that you can drive from video retargeting over a programmatic platform.

Advantages of Choosing Video Retargeting Ads

1. Boost Performance

As videos offer an enhanced user experience in engaging the consumer, they are known for driving higher engagement as compared to any other format of digital advertising. Moreover, video gains more attention span that adds to the performance of your campaigns as well as brand recall.

Using videos in retargeting ads creates an opportunity of achieving better campaign results. As an advertiser, you need to maintain focus on Click Through Rate (CTR), engagement rate, and other key metrics for video retargeting.

2. Pinpoint Targeting

Video retargeting ads can be highly rewarding. However, running video ads costs you more than most other alternatives, which makes it essential to run them efficiently. RevX uses data science and machine learning modeling capabilities to pick users to whom the ad is displayed.

It identifies users relying on several factors (audience intelligence parameters like intent, behavior, app preference, etc.) to filter the high-value and high-intent users (who are likely to convert faster) and then display their video ads. This frugal, but data-driven approach ensures that your ad spends are gaining you the best results.

3. Transparent Reporting

Data-driven marketing seeks performance reports at various levels, on which you build your future strategy to optimize campaigns and convert more customers. Video retargeting ads run on the RevX programmatic platform give you precisely that.

Along with necessary video ad data, such as View Time, Click Through Rate (CTR), View Counts, Play Rate, Engagement, and Conversion Rate, you get site/app level transparency to track the performance analytics for your campaign.

4. Cross-channel Compatibility

Different users have different journeys; they engage with ads on various channels across different formats. The good news is that video remains compatible with most of the platforms that you might be planning to use with your retargeting ads.

While social media platforms have been supporting video ads for long, most other programmatic ad channels (like in-app, websites, etc.) have also adopted the trend and have started promoting it.

5. Custom Retargeting Strategy

You can use retargeting ads between interest, consideration, and conversion stages along with different other formats — and the best part is that RevX’s algorithm that relies on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can do that automatically.

You can utilize multiple video ads with different time frames and rules (for example- a 15-second video without a skip option and a 30-second ad with a skip option after 5 seconds). Depending on the product interest, channels, RFM (Recency, Frequency, and Monetary) analysis, and other user behavioral targeting points, different ads will be served to users to drive most conversions.

Optimizing Your Video Retargeting Ads

No advertising strategy works in a one-size-fits-all format, and it goes the same with video retargeting ads as well. However, the following are some of the practices that you can adopt to keep improving your campaign performance.

Use Custom Ads For Different Channels: Even for the same device, a platform can offer different display spaces for video ads. For example, the size of video ads in the Facebook/Instagram post is significantly different from video ads in Story. Add to it the complexities of mobile/tab being held in landscape or portrait mode. For optimum results with the retargeting campaign, use different video ads specific to channels.

A/B Test Across Video Formats: You should utilize videos for different time lengths (3-second, 5-second, 15-second, and 30-second) along with the choice of skipping and not skipping. Keep experimenting with them and regularly A/B tests the formats to see which alternative is working better.

Use Subtitles: According to Facebook’s internal data, using subtitles/captions in the video can raise the view time by 12%[4]. The key reason is that your ads become more natural for the users to comprehend, even when they have not enabled the volume.

Utilize Different Ad Formats: While video ads perform great, it is essential to gain users’ attention with different mediums. So, do not limit your ad expenses only to video and opt for other ad formats of display ads in the same campaign. You can maintain the messaging across them consistently to influence the users better.

Wrapping Up

Running video ads comes with particular challenges as well. The language barrier, network issues, and expensive inventory for video ads are some of them. A programmatic ad platform like RevX that leverages user data points to build the target audience can overcome these challenges to boost the impact of the retargeting campaign.

Going with downstream metrics, where campaign results are measured on the Cost per Action (such as paid membership, order confirmed, or first-time deposit), can help in building higher effectiveness on programmatic channels. You can book a consultation session with our Programmatic Platform consultant to know about how you can boost your retargeting ads. Reach us at marketing@affle.com.


[1] Spotlight on Consumer App Usage — App Annie
[2] App Download and Usage Statistics (2019) — Business of App
[3] The State of Video Marketing in 2020 [New Data] — HubSpot
[4] Capture Attention with Updated Features for Video Ads — Facebook for Business



Nikita Shrivastava

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