Video Ads vs. Image Ads in Mobile App Marketing

Video Ads vs. Image Ads in Mobile App Marketing
Reading Time: 4 minutes

What a better time to compare video ads vs image ads? This year marks the first time in history that digital advertising spend surpasses television in the US. The advertising world is becoming increasingly digital and the digital world is becoming increasingly mobile. According to StatCounter Global Stats, the number of mobile devices has already exceeded the number of desktop computers. Mobile devices are no longer just a means of communication and internet browsing. Smartphones and tablets have enhanced almost every aspect of everyday life thanks largely to mobile apps. Mobile users spend more than 80% of their time in apps, businesses continue to invest in mobile app marketing, and new developers constantly join the mobile app market. Statista projects global revenue from mobile apps will double in the next six years, from more than $460 billion in 2019 to nearly $935 billion in 2023.

Video Ads vs. Image Ads in Mobile App Marketing
Source: Statistica

Mobile App Marketing: The Battle Between Video and Images

Image ads and video ads are entering a new phase of the competition. 

For years, images have been the major type of advertising content. But with the appearance of YouTube and mobile devices, video content has become more available to a wider audience, prompting marketers to focus more on video ads when promoting their products and services. According to Statista, companies spent over $35 billion on video ads in 2019. This amount is anticipated to increase to more than $43 billion by 2023.

Should you make your own contribution to ad spending on video marketing or take advantage of good old image ads? Let’s find out by comparing video ads vs. image ads according to production, return on investment, and efficiency.

Image Ads vs. Video Ads: Which Is Easier to Create?

Clearly, it takes less time and effort to create an image than to produce a video. 

Producing a video ad involves more steps. If you want to take advantage of in-app video marketing for your business, ideally, you need to come up with a script, find and prepare a set, and shoot your footage. After that, you need to edit the footage and add an audio background. Editing takes at least 15 to 20 minutes for 2 to 5 minutes of finished material. Not to mention the time spent rendering it.

When it comes to mobile app videos, half of the job is already done, as you don’t need to spend time finding a set. You can simply record an app demo and cut the best parts from it.  However, to create an image ad, all you need to do is take a photo (or use a vector graphic) and edit it in an image editor. 

Video Ads vs. Image Ads: Which Achieves Higher ROI?

Every advertising budget consists of two parts: production and launching. If you need photos of the highest quality, you’ll want to work with a professional photographer, who will likely charge you from $250 to $500 per hour, or from $200 to $1,200 per photo. According to Lean Labs, the budget for creating one video varies from $1,200 for a basic video to $50,000 for a premium video if you hire an outsourcing company. If you do it yourself with professional equipment, a video will cost you less than $5,000.

However, new technologies and advanced hardware make it possible for businesses to find the golden middle between quality and price. The latest smartphones are equipped with cameras that can help advertisers and marketers take professional photos without hiring professional photographers, which automatically improves return on investment (ROI). When it comes to the cost of video advertising, Softcube claims they’ve managed to reduce expenses on video ads by 2.6 times using artificial intelligence.

As for the cost to launch image ads and video ads, it doesn’t depend on the format of the content format but rather on the platform and the ad format you choose.

Video Ads vs. Image Ads: Which Is More Effective?

Marketers and advertisers are currently focusing on using video more because videos engage people better than images. Users are 27 times more likely to click on video ads than banner ads. When it comes to Instagram, video ads generate 3 times more comments than Instagram photo ads. As for in-app video ads, they help to achieve CTRs that are 34% better than native ads and 56% better than banner ads.

Video Ads vs Image Ads: Which is Cleaner?

AdAge reported in 2015, that for every $3 spent on digital advertising, $1 goes to ad fraud. Our report estimates that approximately 30% of 2019 Q1 mobile ad traffic is fraudulent. Since then, not much has changed. Ad fraud continues to take a large share of mobile and digital advertising, and awareness is still low. All ad and campaign types are vulnerable to ad fraud, however, one study revealed that video ads are disproportionately affected over static images, experiencing 2x as much ad fraud. Whilst this certainly does not mean that you should disengage with video ads, it does, however, shine a light on the need for ad fraud protection, especially if video ads are a part of your content matrix.


If used wisely, both video and image ads can bring positive results for any company. Mobile devices mainstreamed online video content. Video ads show higher click-through rates than image ads. And surprisingly, the cost to produce one photo and one video has become nearly identical. However, you’ll spend much more time creating video content than you will be creating images. Though video is slowly dominating images, that doesn’t mean you should forget about using images and focus solely on promoting your business with video content. Both types of advertising have their pros and cons. Which you should choose depends on your marketing goals and the preferences of your target audience. 

About the Author
This blog post was written by Igor Byrdin, a copy-writer for Softcube, who has over 4 years of experience writing about website building, digital marketing, blockchain and cryptocurrency, and video production.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *