Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with a broad audience and reach your ideal customer. However, it takes careful planning and creativity to create an effective video ad that stands out in the noise.
While having a strategy is essential for creating a video ad, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few simple ideas for creating an effective video advertisement for social media.
Know Your Audience
Before you start brainstorming what to create, take some time to revisit your customer avatar. Consider what your ideal customer wants to see and what content will resonate with them. Creating a compelling, unique video ad doesn’t matter if it doesn’t connect with your audience.
Consider the various aspects of your customer demographic: age, location, gender, socioeconomic background, etc. In essence, your video ad should be aligned with your overall brand.
Know Your Platform
Another critical thing to keep in mind when creating video ads is the platform you’ll be using to showcase the finished product. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities for repurposing content and cross-platform promotion. However, time limitations and video formatting requirements may differ.
Identify which platforms you’ll be using and what technical considerations you’ll need to factor into your planning. Your chosen platforms should also align with your target audience. For example, if your target audience is mostly on LinkedIn, it’s sensible to craft your video ad for that platform.
Create a Storyboard
When it comes to planning a video ad, there’s no better tool than a traditional storyboard. Whether you use pen and paper or software, take some time to sketch out how your video will look.
Using a storyboard will help you identify the timing needs and outline your messaging within the confines of your chosen platform. It will help you distinguish key scenes in your ad and simplify supporting needs, like audio components and cuts.
One of the best adages to apply to your business is “learn how to eat the fish and spit out the bones.” This phrase means to learn from the hardships and successes of other leaders and business owners, adapting the things that work and leaving out the rest. In other words, it means not reinventing the wheel.
There are various free video ad templates for business owners that simplify the planning process. Using free templates can help improve the effectiveness of your advertisement while keeping production costs low. These templates allow you to drop in your content without worrying about formatting or layouts.
Use a Hook
The first few seconds of your advertisement matter the most. Regardless of whether your ad is 15 seconds or one minute long, those first three seconds will determine who stops to watch and who scrolls past.
Create a hook that draws viewers into your video. Your hook could be anything from a glimpse of the finished product to something eye-catching or disruptive. For example, if your business is selling meal kits, the first few seconds should show a clip of a delicious-looking plated meal. Here’s an example:
If your company sells clothing, you might show a person engaging in something exciting or mysterious that makes the viewer want to see what happens next.
The key thing to remember when creating a video ad is that you’re telling a story. Consider your hook the blurb on the back of a book that makes people want to read every page.
Add a CTA
A call-to-action (CTA) is a key component of every advertisement. If you don’t include a CTA, you’re leaving money on the table. Your CTA should tell viewers what to do next. This invitation could be anything from “buy now” to “click here to learn more.”
The CTA should fuel the ultimate goal of your video ad. If your goal is to get more subscribers, the CTA should ask people to follow your content. If the goal is to create sales conversions, you should have a link and CTA that drive traffic to a transaction.
Don’t assume that people will view your content with the audio turned on. Many people scroll through social media and watch videos while waiting in line, taking public transit, or when they should be working. As such, they keep the sound turned off.
What does that mean for creating video ads? It would be best if you had captions. Captions make your message more accessible and improve your reach. You can either add text components to your video or use an automatic caption generator to guide the process.
If your video is primarily visual content with no voice components, try reviewing the footage without sound. Musical elements often set the tone of a video ad. Without those audio components, the tone and emotion of your ad might get lost in translation. Be sure the message is clear with or without sound.
Optimize for Mobile
Another important consideration when creating video ads is that they should be formatted for mobile viewing beyond the audio concerns. This element ties into the platform you’re using as well.
For example, you can view Facebook videos horizontally by tilting a smartphone. However, videos viewed on Instagram or TikTok stay in vertical format. When you format your video, ensure that it fits the platform’s mobile version you’re using not to become distorted or visually unappealing.
Showcase Your Value
Remember that the key to effective advertising isn’t selling a product or service— it’s showcasing a solution for a problem. Your goal is to sell the benefits of your offering, not the features.
Nike is an industry leader in advertising. Their videos showcase the tenacity of the human spirit, athletes from diverse backgrounds, and feats of strength. Their videos do not talk about how comfortable their shoes are, how breathable their fabric is, or that any of these things will make you into a world-class athlete. Instead, they make you feel like you can do great things.
Your video ad should showcase the value of your offering. Please keep it simple and emotional to connect with viewers rather than bogging it down with facts and figures. The purpose of your ad is to make people want the end result, which encourages them to find out more details.
Choose a Great Thumbnail
The video ads of today are not the commercials of yesteryear. Those commercials often faded in from nothing, starting at the beginning of a story. With social media video ads, you often see a freeze-frame in the feed before the video begins. While this isn’t always the case, it brings to light an important factor: finding the right thumbnail for your video.
The thumbnail for your video will act similarly to the hook mentioned before. In fact, the thumbnail could potentially be a freeze-frame of the hook. The important thing to remember is that you want something that encourages people to stop and take a second look. The thumbnail should be clear and compelling.
The key factors to keep in mind when creating video ads are the target customer, the specific goal of the advertisement, and the nuances of the platforms.
Use the data from your campaign to determine where the opportunity for improvement lies. If you have a significant video completion rate or click-through rate (CTR), you’ll know the ad is working. Determine where people abandon your video to shift your focus and improve for the next campaign.
Creating effective video marketing campaigns is a continuous effort of improvement and adaptation. Learn from what others have done and shape it into your own plan for success.