I recently published a research about video advertising on my website and wanted to share a short and sweet version here on The Admin Zone. Ready?
Videos are the marketing tool with the highest engagement rates nowadays on the internet. Every day, more marketers are using video ads to promote their products and services effectively. But how can you take advantage of them?
For video advertising to work you need to understand video best practices, how to allocate your ad budget, and which platform can give you the highest return on ad spent.
Let's see why you need to use ads in 2018, and how to plan for a highly effective ad.
Why you need to use video ads in 2018
With video ad spend to reach $20B by 2020, we know that more and more companies are investing in videos.
In fact, the average time viewers spent watching video ads in 2017 has grown by 19% compared to the year before.
On top of that, the Video Completion Rate (Videos Played All the Way Through) reached a staggering 69% in 2017.
But if you want to succeed with video ads in 2018, there are some things you should know.
First, like for every digital marketing channel, also the video space starts to get saturated and CTR is lower compared to previous years.
To win the video ad war, in 2018 we’ll probably see more companies competing with shorter ads. To start, Snapchat limits ads to a max of 10 seconds, and also Facebook recommends video ads to be 15 seconds or shorter.
IAB released a great research and discovered that 10-second videos can help maximize impact among Millennials, who are particularly sensitive to mobile ad clutter. Mobile video ads for this audience should be well targeted, relevant and enjoyable to help maximize its potential impact.
An upside of shorter ads is that they allow more ab testing: it’s much easier to create four versions of a 10-second ad, than four versions of a 30-second ad, give the same budget and timeframe.
The last trend, of course, is about mobile.
In fact, mobile video viewing is set to break records in 2018.
In 2018 is predicted that people will globally watch 25% more video on mobile devices. Ad spending is expected to follow the trend, with mobile video ad spending projected to grow 49% to about $18 billion.
With a CTR higher than any other type of ad, you start to see why you should invest in video advertising.
But how do you plan an effective ad?
If you want to win at video ads, start from a detailed plan.
What I want you to do is to get to know your customer and write down everything you may need for your video ad: the exact words to use, the features of your product you should mention, which social networks to use to promote your video ad.
You have several ways to gather this data:
MEDIA PLANNING STRATEGY N. 1 – CUSTOMERS INTERVIEWS
Find five previous customers willing to chat with you on the phone for 15-20 minutes, and understand why they bought from you.
Write down the exact words they are using to describe your product (you’ll use them later in your ad).
Understand where they hang out online: you’ll use this info to understand which channels use to promote your video.
MEDIA PLANNING STRATEGY 2 – GATHER AS MUCH DATA AS POSSIBLE
ASK AROUND – Talk with the CEO, VP of Strategy and anyone else from leadership that can give insights on who their dream client is.
TALK WITH SALES – What do prospective clients ask them?
CHECK THE CRM – What are people saying when they contact the company?
STALK CUSTOMERS ONLINE – Get the name and surname of 20 past clients and check them online. Discover which social networks they use every day, what content they share, and which pages they follow.
MEDIA PLANNING STRATEGY 3 – CHECK YOUR COMPETITORS
You should also check what your competitors are doing online.
By using Buzzsumo, you can understand which topics are getting the most shares (these can be useful ideas for your videos) and in which platforms they are being shared.
You see where I’m going with this?
You are making your life easier because with these three strategies you understand what your customers want to hear, and where they want to hear it.
How to put together your video ad
Now that you know who you are talking to, and what your prospective customers want to listen, it’s time to put together your video ad.
Here some tips for a great ad.
1. Recording tips
If you are recording the video yourself, you should put together a script, understand how your camera works, how to set up a basic studio and how to cut and compose the video. Hubspot created the best guide I found online on the topic.
2. Create a video listicle
If you don’t have the resources to create a professional video with talking heads, you can create short listicles, precisely like Business Insider does.
A video listicle is a short video that features a list of interesting facts on a specific topic, and it’s quite straightforward to create. You can use it as a teaser for an in-depth article or show some key features of your product.
There are several tools you can use to easily create videos. With Magisto you can upload your single photo shots and images to Magisto, choose a theme, and the tool will put them together for you with AI.
If you want to create videos entirely from zero, I recommend Animoto or Wave. Wave is more expensive than Animoto, but it has more features than other online tools I tried. I liked it because it’s easy to resize a video for the different social networks with just a few clicks, and there’re lots of text effects.
3. Design with mobile in mind
From the moment of conception, you need to be thinking about your video in terms of mobile devices first, everything else second.
First, because most of the people will be seeing your video ad from mobile anyway, second because some apps (like Snapchat) are mobile only.
Some best practices to get mobile ads right:
- Consumers are sensitive to mobile ad clutter: ads should be well targeted, relevant and enjoyable.
- Brand logos, brand cues and product shots are large enough to be easily seen on smaller mobile screens.
- Create ads that can still convey a message if shortened to 10-20 seconds.
- The initial frames of an ad should be well branded and engage to capture consumers’ attention and still have an impact if closed or skipped.
- 30-second ads can be considered for mobile if the goals are to communicate complex information, to increase persuasion among consumers ages 35+ or to drive consumers to take action.
4. Experiment with shorter ads
Ads shorter than 15 seconds (but that are usually around 6 sec) are gaining momentum because they are successful at capturing the attention via mobile.
When you can use a 30 sec ad to tell your full story, you can experiment with a 15 sec version to improve reach and frequency, reinforce your message, and reduce overall campaign costs.
There are three main ways you can take advantage of them.
- Tease - You can use a short ad to seed an idea, and reveal the full story with a longer ad weeks later.
- Amplify - Run your long and short ad together to increase ad recall.
- Echo - When your primary campaign is finishing, you can connect short ads to retargeting to increase ad recall and convert more viewers, by showing your short ad only to people that saw your full-length video.
For any advertising platform you choose, just make sure to follow the guidelines below to create ads of the appropriate length.
5. Design with sound off
As part of your efforts to think about the mobile platform first, design videos that can be fully understood and enjoyed with the sound off. After all, the best sound for facebook video ads is silence.
Use text overlays to convey essential points and always use titles, captions and similar techniques so that people know what is going on.
One nice exception is Snapchat that starts ads with the volume on by default.
6. Check your progress
You should make sure to measure progress with the right metric.
Don’t simply track views, but use KPIs that make sense to your business goals.
The beauty of online video is that, unlike with television, we actually can measure every different metric in real time, so follow Kim’s advice and make sure to track the ones most important to you.
Now that we know how to plan your video advertising strategy, how to create your video and how to track the results, we can finally start buying ads.
I listed specific strategies to get the most out of Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat, Twitter and Youtube in the full version of my article.
You can check it out here.