Who Is Clicking On Your Social Video Ads?

Social video ads on laptop screen

Video currently accounts for a big portion of major national advertisers’ overall advertising spend. Marketers feel confident about video content. This is because it appears to get higher conversion rates than other kinds of content.

But, who exactly is looking at those video ads? Let’s take a look.

Video Ads On Social

Brands are utilizing social video ads in a big way. Pixability’s State of Digital Advertising Report shows that the majority of agencies choose 3 main social networks to run their campaigns. 90% are on Facebook, 88% are on YouTube, and 88% are on Instagram.

Pixabiility took a look at data from campaigns that were run on several platforms. These include:

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Amazon Fire TV

Their analysis indicates that Facebook delivers the best click-through rates of all the channels looked at. Facebook’s CTR is an average of 1.15%. Instagram’s average is only 0.47% and YouTube’s is only 0.11%.

Older Consumers Are More Likely To Click On Video Ads

There is one particularly interesting insight from this report. It appears that older consumers are more likely to click on video ads than younger ones. The average CTR for consumers 65 years and older on Facebook is 3.42%. The Instagram CTR of this age group is 1.8%.

Younger adults are less and less likely to quick. 55-64-year-olds have an average Facebook CTR of 2.38% and 1.73% on Instagram. The youngest group of adults has even lower CTRs. 18-24-year-olds averaged only 1.05% on Facebook and 0.46% on Instagram.

YouTube Video Ads

YouTube appears to have the lowest CTR across all age groups. The highest average CTR was 0.13%, which held steady across the 25-54-year-old age groups.

However, there is good news for marketers. Cost-per-view (CPV) has fallen for both YouTube and Facebook. Between 2018 and 2019, YouTube’s CPV fell by about one-third.

Facebook’s CPV, on the other hand, dropped by 11.4% year-on-year. Instagram is a different story. It is quickly becoming a marketing powerhouse. The platform’s CPV rose in 2019 y 4.5%.

Impressions Higher Among Younger Groups

Video click-through rates may be much higher amongst older adults across social platforms. However, the majority of impressions come from younger demographics. This is especially true on Instagram.

Instagram vs YouTube

On Instagram, 69% of its video impressions come from adults 18-34 years old. YouTube, however, skews a bit older. Almost 65% of impressions on the platform come from 25-44-year-olds.


Numerous studies show that Facebook is becoming less and less of a youth-oriented platform. A study by Edison Research claims that Facebook is bleeding users. It currently has about 15 million fewer users than it had in 2017.

Many of those users in the 12-34-year-old age bracket have moved to Instagram instead. Many young people have left Facebook due to its data controversies. Some say they find it stressful. However, as Facebook is part of an ecosystem of apps, many find it difficult to make a clean break.

Currently, adults aged 35 and older are responsible for 58% of Facebook video ad impressions. While Facebook may be losing traction with younger age groups, it is hardly on its last legs. It still has over 2 billion monthly active users and different sources report that 5-6 new profiles are created every second. The majority of Americans also still use Facebook and YouTube.

Mobile Plays A Big Part

Mobile was a majority of video ad impressions across social media platforms. It was 98% on Instagram, 81% on Facebook, and 64% on YouTube. This is unsurprising, as people spend so much time on their phones accessing social platforms. According to Statista, 96% of Facebook users access it on mobile.

This is a contrast with other platforms, like connected TV devices. While smartphones used to be the leader when it comes to video ad impressions, they have declined in 2019. Mobile now only accounts for about a quarter of impressions by device.

View-To-Completion Rates Are On The Rise

While click-through rate is important, it is not the only metric that marketers are using to measure the success of campaigns. View-to-completion rates are another important metric.

In fact, as far back as 2012, data has had some interesting suggestions. Some say that completion rates might even be a better metric to use to gauge a video ad’s success.

Facebook and Instagram

Completion rates on Facebook and Instagram have risen considerably year-on-year. Between 2018 and 2019, the Facebook video view ad completion rate exploded. It rose by 240%. While Instagram did not have as large of a boom, its video view ad completion rate rose by 190%.

SEE ALSO: 3 Highly Effective Facebook Video Marketing Strategies


YouTube, on the other hand, experienced a much smaller increase in video ad completion rate. It rose only 20% between 2018 and 2019.

Who Is Using Which Social Media Platforms in 2019?

Ultimately, older demographics are proving surprisingly open to social video ads. Knowing who is on which networks and which type of content they prefer is key. This will help you craft an advertising strategy.

Data collected by Pew Research Center gives insight into exactly who is on which platforms.

Pew Research Center insights on different online platforms

There are numerous reports of the explosive growth of social platforms like Instagram and TikTok. However, YouTube and Facebook remain the best ways to reach the average American consumer on social media.

The surprising openness of older Americans to video ads is also something to take into consideration when creating and employing social ad content.

Final Thoughts

Where you place ads and in what format you choose to make them depends on who you want to reach. If your goal was to reach younger consumers only, many would suggest focusing your ad spend on places like Instagram or TikTok.

However, if you want a more widespread approach, Facebook will be an important marketing tool for you. You want to create content for different audiences. It also needs to make sense on different platforms. This will lead to the best results.

Take a look at our blog post on mastering the Facebook Ad Funnel to learn more about making smarter ads that guide customers in the right direction.

Rethink Your Focus

Video content should be an integral part of any digital marketing strategy. You can tailor your video ads to suit your audience. Marketers often focus specifically on younger demographics. However, depending on your business, this might be a mistake.

You want to have a full understanding of consumers across age brackets and various other demographics. It is necessary in order to run successful campaigns.

Keep in mind, when creating video ads for social channels, that they are more likely to be viewed by older consumers. You can tailor them accordingly. This is especially true on Facebook and YouTube. These platforms tend to have userbases that skew older.

How do you think social video ads could be tailored to appeal to those who click on them? Do you think they should be? Comment below…

Written by
Juntae DeLane

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