The Ultimate Guide to In-Banner Video Ads for Advertisers
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Everything You Need to Know About In-Banner Video Ads

in-banner video ads

The popularity of online video has been growing rapidly over the years. That is evident from the fact that videos on YouTube alone get over one billion views daily. So it should come as no surprise that video advertising has become a booming and highly profitable industry. But why is that the case?

For starters, experts at Cisco predict that more than 82% of consumer online traffic will consist of online videos by 2022. And in a survey conducted by Nielsen, more than half of the respondents noted they’d gladly watch ads in exchange for free video content. So when you put the two together, you’ve got yourself a recipe for success in the video advertising realm! 

However, if you’re new to the display advertising and video marketing realm in general, you should be aware that not all ads are born equal. Namely, there are many different types of video ads you can choose from. That is why we’ve decided to help introduce you to the digital advertising world by taking a look at one of the newest up-and-coming options you have — in-banner video ads. Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll cover:

Now let’s get straight to it! 

What Are In-Banner Video Ads?

In-banner video ads are GIFs or short videos embedded into one of the banner ads on any given web page. These ads are usually 300×250 pixels, contain a thumbnail image, and may include a short text description. Also, they are much more engaging than traditional display banner ads. That is likely the primary reason they are seeing such a surge in popularity.

in-banner video ad illustration

Overall, there are several kinds of in-banner video ads:

  • Click to play — These ads consist of a static image displaying until the user clicks the ad. That way, they control when it starts playing.
  • Autoplay with no sound — In this scenario, the video ad will automatically start as soon as it’s in the user’s sight, but will play muted.
  • Hover to play — The ad will begin only when the user moves their mouse cursor over it.

These ads don’t have strict duration limits; you just mustn’t exceed a particular storage limit (the exact size may vary). That leaves advertisers with a lot of flexibility. 

Instream vs. Outstream vs. In-Banner Video Ads

OK, these ads sound fantastic, but how do they compare to the competition? Let’s find out! For starters, we should take a look at what your other choices are — instream and outstream video ads.

Instream Video Ads

Instream video ads are short video clips that play before, in the middle, or at the end of an online video. These video ads are most often 15–30 seconds long, but the latter is deemed optimal. Some advertisers allow you to skip these ads if they aren’t to your liking after five seconds by pressing the “Skip This Ad” button that will appear. However, that won’t always be an option. 

If you frequent platforms like YouTube, you undoubtedly know what these look like! Nevertheless, here’s an illustration to help you visualize them.

instream ad example

Overall, here are the three most popular types of instream ads:

  • Pre-roll ads — These show up before the video starts.
  • Mid-roll ads — These start during a video by interrupting it.
  • Post-roll ads — Played at the end of a video.

These video ads have one significant downsidemost people dislike them. But why is that? It’s simple — many folks perceive them as intrusive and annoying since they interrupt the viewing experience. So these are best used only if your ad is captivating and engaging. Otherwise, you could just frustrate your viewers, which could reflect negatively on your brand’s image.

Outstream Video Ads

Outstream video ads are video advertisements that can appear in different places on a website, such as in-between text, on the side page, etc. These ads usually entail a video player popping up somewhere on the screen (often muted), and, depending on where they appear, there are two primary types:

In-Content Outstream Ads — The video ad appears in-between paragraphs of content at a specific point on the page once the user scrolls down to it.

In-Slide Outstream Ads — The ad pops up from the side of the screen and follows the users’ scrolling until they watch it or close it.

Because outstream video ads are deemed less intrusive and don’t detrimentally affect the user experience like their instream counterparts, they have 25% longer view times than instream ones.

outstream vs instream ads graph

OK, both of these advertising options sound reliable, but how do they compare to in-banner ads? Let’s find out!

Why Choose In-Banner Ads?

The reason in-banner ads aren’t as widely used as their instream and outstream counterparts is that they’re relatively new to the market. However, they have several significant advantages over them:

  • They are the least intrusive of the three — In-banner ads provide the best user experience since they give users the most freedom whether they want to interact with them or not.
  • You don’t need a video player or video content to run these — The advertisers are the ones who will provide the GIFs or video clips for your in-banner ads.
  • No length limitations — Unlike with instream ads, the only limit to your in-banner video ads is that they mustn’t exceed a predefined storage limit. However, you shouldn’t go overboard; it’s still recommended you keep these ads shorter than four minutes.
  • You can use them in conjunction with other outstream ads — Since these ads take up your banner ad inventory, you can still use other outstream ad units alongside them. That way, you can maximize your site’s advertising revenue.

As you can see, in-banner video advertising is an excellent addition to the digital video advertising world. And when you compare in-banner ads to the current most popular video ad formats, you can see they are a force to be reckoned with.

Now that you know why in-banner ads are an excellent choice over instream and outstream video ads, let’s check the pros and cons of these ads concerning your business.

Pros & Cons of In-Banner Ads 

Let’s see how in-banner ads can benefit your marketing campaign as well as their flaws. We’ll start with the positive sides!


We’ve already mentioned some of these upsides when we were comparing in-banner ads to some of the other video ad types, but here’s a more comprehensive list of pros:

  • Excellent user experience — They’re considered one of the least intrusive ad types out there.
  • No need for a video player vendor — As we’ve already mentioned, you don’t need a video player to use these; the advertisers will provide the content for you.
  • They allow you to target your audience selectivelyProgrammatic advertising has become much more common nowadays, and you can also apply this technology to in-banner video ads. That way, you can maximize your campaign’s ROI by showing ads to the people who’ll be more likely to convert into paying customers.
  • Higher engagement and clickthrough rates — In-banner ads have a better track record than the standard display banners by driving more clicks and appealing to more consumers.
  • Drives more sales — These video ads increase sales because they appeal to more users and gain more clicks.

However, it would be unfair for us to sing their praises only as there are some downsides to these ads too. Let’s take a look at those next.


Although these ads are an excellent advertising choice, there are two notable downsides to using them.

The first and possibly the most detrimental is that the demand for these ads has dropped in the last two years.

in-banner video ads impressions graph

As it’s evident from this graph, the number of in-banner impressions has dropped significantly. That is likely because many browsers recently introduced restrictions to autoplaying video ads. However, even though it might not be warranted to use in-banner ads as a standalone advertising method anymore, you can still combine them with other video ad types to get the best ROI. 

Another potential downside of in-banner ads is that they might prove heavy on some websites, thus, reducing their loading speed. If that happens, it can negatively impact user experience and your site’s SEO.

A Few Tips for Advertisers

We don’t know about you, but these minor downsides wouldn’t discourage us from giving in-banner video ads a shot. So if you’re an advertiser and wish to give them a try, here are a few tips for you before we sign off:

  • Keep your in-banner ads as short as possible, never longer than four minutes.
  • Make sure to include your brand’s logo in the ad.
  • Get your message across within the first few seconds of the ad.
  • Make sure your ad is mobile optimized.
  • Don’t make your ad expand automatically — let the users do it willingly.
  • Explore and experiment with different ad creatives with various audiences.

Now that you’re acquainted with everything you need to know about in-banner video ads, are you ready to get started? Even if you decide this type of advertising isn’t for you, you really can’t go wrong if you opt for outstream or instream ads too! In the end, it will all depend on your business needs and your target audience. Don’t forget to do some thorough research on that before you start!

And if you’re curious to learn more about the tech side of online video advertising, may we recommend you check out our article on video ad serving technology? We think you might enjoy it!

Until next time, best of luck!