The article was initially published on iAmAttila blog on December 16, 2019.
Videos are the most popular type of content on the Internet. You probably heard this statement everywhere. Marketing experts insist that you need to use video in your online ads, social media posts and so on. Statistics all over the Internet are backing them up. So it is a fact and video is constantly gaining in popularity.
On the other hand, most marketers that I know don’t have much success with YouTube advertising. It is the most popular video platform, and yet video ads not performing well!
Despite the fact that it sounds simple enough, publish a video ad on a video network that millions visit every day and make a profit. In reality, it is a very complicated issue.
I will try to simplify the problem by talking about the single most important aspect of that problem – ad itself.
Problem is that every social network is different and specific. The way that people are experiencing your ad is different. It will be promoted to them differently as well. But most companies are using the same video for every social network. And, of course, there is also an issue of saving money by creating one video instead of say 5.
Sure, some people will make cosmetic changes on a video for every platform but you need more than that. This is probably because most people know video advertising from TV commercials. Logic is, if it looks good on TV it will look good anywhere.
What is the difference between watching a TV commercial and online ad on YouTube, Instagram and such?
Watching television is a passive activity. While watching the TV, your only option is to wait for your favorite content to start. But on social networks, you have to motivate people to watch your ad. People have much greater freedom of choice online.
Here’s an example of a video ad:
I know what you are thinking! This video is about some guy talking about a video game that he likes. He has a fun personality but still…I don’t get it?
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Take a look at the comments for that video. This is an ad for a video game. It’s an ad that doesn’t hide how the gameplay actually looks, how the game works, it even makes fun of its own developers.
As you can see from the comments, people actually like it and are saying it’s the best ad that they have seen in years.
That ad is a great example of how you should create an ad video with the sole purpose of publishing it on YouTube. It is also created for people that love strategy video games. So, an actual audience for their product.
This awesome video ad is also created with the idea that not everyone will watch it completely. Many people will skip it after 5 or 10 seconds.
Therefore, you have to make sure that viewers will form a good idea about what your product is about, in that short time. You have to attract people’s attention.
That is not all. Most people will play an ad with no audio, especially on their phones. So, your video needs to have a caption that will show your message to the people in those 5 to 10 seconds. Your copywriting has to be short, concrete and to a point.
In this video, in only 6 seconds they ask a question and answer it. What type of game this it? Then you get an explanation. So, if you’re a gamer, therefore a potential customer, your attention is immediately picked. In just a few words they told you what kind of game they created.
So, what can you learn from this example?
- Your message has to connect with the right audience. You are creating an ad for a certain group of people. Address them, not everyone on the planet. They are the ones that are going to buy your product.
- Your ad has to capture people’s attention immediately. As I already mentioned, you need to give viewers an opportunity to skip the ad. Otherwise, it will be counterproductive. Your message has to be short, direct and directed towards the potential buyers. So, write something like ‘’Skip this ad if you are not a marketer’’ or ‘’Let’s put the fun into head shaving’’.
- Give people some entertainment and try to hook them to watch the whole video. I know your video budget is probably not big, so you have to be creative and a short video is totally fine. The imperative is that you don’t make it long and boring.
- Call to action! You simply must have it! Despite the fact that it will be shown at the end of a video, you need to build a video around it. Because that is your goal, for people to take action and buy your product/service. I know it sounds strange but without CTA most people would not know what to do. Some would Google your business or try to find a website URL in the description. But most people wouldn’t do anything!
To summarize: Create a video ad that will have a clear message (visual not just audio) about your product in first 5-9 seconds, constantly keep people’s attention, video has to be appropriate for that social network, be honest about your product or the fact that it’s an ad and have a call of action.