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Video marketing is the future. Businesses that succeed with video are poised to reap huge rewards, but competition has never been stiffer. Viewers are constantly bombarded by video ads, and 65% of people skip video ads after six seconds of viewing time or less.

If you want your ad to stand out among the approximately 5,000 ads Americans see each day, you’ll need expert engagement strategies. This week we’re going to share the team’s top tips and best practices for crafting effective and impactful video ads.

Capture Your Viewer’s Attention In A Few Seconds Or Less

Unlike a television with limited channels, online viewers have an ocean of choices when it comes to content. Your video ad technically competes with the entirety of the internet. So, how are you going to convince a viewer that your video is the best use of their time?

Print media faces a similar dilemma. Journalists need to grab their reader’s attention fast; they call this their lede. You have the same task, but instead of a sentence or two, you have just a couple seconds to pull a viewer in. We’ll call this the “hook,” and here’s how to write a great one:

  • Tell a story: don’t focus on selling to your audience, become a storyteller instead
  • Raise questions: people love mysteries, so long as you solve them by the end
  • Offer value: promise viewers that they have something to learn or gain by watching
  • Stand out: viewers are tired of the same old ads, start yours off with a bang

If you weave an intriguing yarn within the first seconds of your video, viewers will want to stick around for the payoff. Video ads that tell your story are the foundation for building relationships and discovering loyal customers.

Keep Your Video Ads Short, Sweet, And To The Point

The more you ask of your viewer, the worse your engagement chances. This is why apps like Vine and Snapchat grew to such popularity. With 6-10 second limits on videos, content creators had to rethink their strategy and deliver viewer payoff within a radically short timeframe

However, most brands need more than six seconds to shine. Viewers also prefer videos under 60 seconds, and videos under a minute have an 80% retention rate up to first thirty seconds. This may sound daunting, but you might be surprised with how much you can say in a very short time.

The key is concision. If you stray from your main points, your viewers will stray towards other videos. You need to communicate exactly what your video is about from the very beginning. You can convey your purpose while maintaining concision by using:

Thumbnails and incorporated infographics condense information for the viewer and showcase your video. Since you want to spread awareness and raise interest with a video ad, you must include a call to action (CTA). This funnels viewers to your site for sales and further inquiry.

Ensure Your Video Ads Target The Right Audience

Your target audience is the viewers who are most likely to engage with your video ads. Depending on your business, this could be anyone from teen girls to Ivy League professors. How do you tailor your ads to your target audience? Here’s a way to think about it:

“Understand your audience’s needs better than anyone else, and play to them in your video”

Lindsay Kolowich of HubSpot

For your ads to resonate with a given audience, you or your marketing team needs to be intimately familiar with who you’re trying to reach. You need to know what kinds of questions they ask. You should even know what your audience wants better than they do.

Each platforms offers tools that allow you to customize your ads for specific audiences, such as Facebook’s ability to target leads with follow-up videos. Here’s some great guides to the specific features of the different platforms:

What’s more important than using the right tools, is telling the story your audience needs to hear.

At FEAD MEdia, we believe marketing is all about good storytelling. If you’re interested in hearing more, or want more specific tips on video marketing, get in touch. We’d love to help.


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