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Nowadays, video advertising is every brand's best friend.
Take the case of Australia’s Metro Trains commercial. They approached McCann Melbourne with a basic idea for a safety awareness campaign. McCann transformed that idea into a fun and catchy commercial video: “Dumb Ways to Die.” In a period of six weeks, it gathered $60 million in earned media.
Of course, not all video ads have a similar fate.
“You can’t predict creative success, but we knew it had the ingredients to be really popular on social,” said John Mescall from McCann Melbourne on what it takes to create a social success.
Taking cues from successful video campaigns like “Dumb Ways to Die,” we've put together a list of factors that will help you squeeze out a fantastic ROI from your video ads:
Video advertising on social platforms can generate great results for your campaign.
But for so many marketers, the world of video ads is restricted either to a specific channel or a particular stage in the conversion road, which is why very few potential users translate into actual buyers.
Uploading your video to a platform is just the first step. When you want to actually benefit from video advertising, you should plan your video content to effectively engage and push the viewer from the top of the funnel (where consumers are still in the awareness phase) to the bottom (the purchase mode). To achieve that, it is crucial to not only look beyond a single platform but to also establish multiple touchpoints across all the different funnel levels and prepare a resonating ad journey.
For instance, if you have placed a video ad on YouTube, you can prepare the next steps in the journey by either including a CTA within the video or placing one at the end. Or you can simply point the user to the video description through your video content and place the CTA there. If your goal is to make users interact with more of your content, you can insert cards, like this:
For a Facebook video ad, make sure to include buttons to take the user to the desired page. Or include the destination URL in the video description. To take the user further in this journey, optimize your landing page design to trigger the next step in the purchase process: Use explainer videos to help the user evaluate your product and place directional cues to make the navigation easier.
Craft a series of videos to target different audience segments and engagement platforms; optimize these touchpoints. Focus on syncing your campaigns with the different aspects of the buyer’s purchase journey.
Let’s take a look at OPI’s video advertising campaign on Instagram.
With a series of video ads that targeted females between the age of 18-40, this brand was able to reach 5.4 million people and observed an 11 point increase in ad recall. The campaign was carried out to create awareness for their quarterly color launch and it went beyond to establish a brand identity as well.
For brands that thrive on visual appeal, Instagram is a better platform than Facebook. But for brands that operate in the B2B spectrum, LinkedIn is the most appealing advertising platform; here the audience is more inclined towards gathering information than looking for entertaining content.
This is exactly what we need to understand as marketers to make the most out of our advertising efforts: how to tailor video content to suit the mood of the audience on that particular platform.
That’s how Dollar Shave Club’s video became a hit in two days. They did customer research and discovered that their buyers belonged to the 20 to 30 age group. Based on this research, they rolled out a video on YouTube. The result? More than 12,000 new orders within 48 hours of the video going live on YouTube.
When selecting a social platform for advertising, always find out where the majority of your audience resides. Gauge the general mood and interest of your audience on the said platform, and craft a video story that resonates.
When telling brand stories, it is crucial to have an “engagement first, salesy later” mindset.
Offering discounts can help you increase sales but that doesn’t bring a significant change in the audience’s attitude towards your product.
This is where visual storytelling comes in. Visuals help enhance product appeal by introducing a fresh point of view. In fact, you can employ visuals to persuade your audience and make them see your product in a new light.
The only question is: How can you tailor your video content for effective persuasion?
This can be effectively done by creating an emotional appeal through your video content. This connect can be made using emotions like humor, anger, joy, etc.
Take John Lewis’s Christmas video ad campaigns. They roll out a video ad every year, and each one triggers a special emotional connect. Take the “Man On The Moon” video, which shows the attempt of a young girl trying to greet an old man living alone on the moon. Or consider “The Bear and The Hare” story (a hare tries to wake up the hibernating bear to celebrate Christmas together).
These videos were not just tear-jerkers or euphoric; they also had a high ROI. It’s been reported that between 2009 and 2011, the Christmas video ads they ran had helped John Lewis bag £1.07 billion in extra sales.
So when you are faced with the dilemma: Should I do a “sales pitch” or should I go for ”engagement”?
Try the middle road: persuasive video storytelling.
Use video ads to give a new perspective to your audience and breathe new life into your product’s image.
When it comes to video advertising, different platforms offer you different choices. You can choose the point where you want to place your ad. In other words, you can choose whether you want to put it before the start of the video, in between or at the end.
YouTube pre-roll ads have helped various brands build an online identity. Take the case of Geico. With their unskippable ad series, they have mastered the art of generating ROI through ads (despite the intrusiveness) by delivering the message before the user can skip the video.
Facebook’s unskippable mid-roll ads present a similar opportunity. Since non-skippable videos outperform all other video advertising options, this mid-roll format can be a great way to incentivize your video ads.
Recently, the platform has put more restrictions on mid-roll ads. Previously, videos with a minimum length of 90 seconds qualified for ad breaks and the ads could be placed after the first 20 seconds of the video had played. Now the video has to be at least 3 minutes long and the ad can only be placed after 1 minute. These changes might make your ads more user-friendly as long as the video experience is paused at the right point.
Additionally, Facebook is continuously testing pre-roll ads, so watch out for these changes.
To get the most out of a video ad, you must ensure that the actual video is paused at a convenient point (for mid-roll) so that the visual break is not awkward. In case of pre-roll, it is very important that you engage your user quickly, so he is tuned in till the end.
With so much video consumption happening on mobile devices, it has become extremely crucial to devise a mobile strategy when creating video ads.
For instance, vertical video ads are the preferred format on mobile devices. According to a survey by Snapchat, vertical videos are nine times more likely to be watched compared to horizontal ones.
Additionally, most social videos are watched without sound. So you should either plan your video content in a way that it can be understood even when muted or use captions or text in your video.
By 2020, 75% of all mobile traffic will come from video content. The increased dependence on mobile devices for video consumption makes it essential for us as marketers to optimize these videos for mobile viewing.
Video ads have a humongous potential for generating massive ROI. In order to utilize this potential to benefit your brand, it is essential to find the right selling points and build your ads around them while knitting a visually appealing story.
Visual content doesn’t just act as an icebreaker but serves a long-term purpose if you identify the right target points in the consumer journey. Video ads can not only create space for awareness or purchase, they also help brands to create memorable stories.
Follow the above checklist to make your ads more memorable and let me know how it went for you in the comments section below.
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