Carolynne is a Creative Strategist at StackAdapt who enjoys the challenge of making something out of nothing, and helping brands develop creative campaigns.
Video advertising has been a staple in digital campaigns for years, offering an opportunity for brands to tell compelling and engaging stories in a highly entertaining ad experience. Videos are not only an engaging form of advertising, but they are also highly memorable for the viewer.
Ever have a hard time getting a jingle out of your head? Can you instantly hear the voice of the giant Kool-Aid man after he busts through your wall? All of this was made possible through video advertising. In fact, 89% of consumers recall seeing a video ad before making a purchase, demonstrating there is high brand recall with this ad format. A study conducted by Telaria also reveals that people feel watching video ads is a fair value exchange for low-cost content. Since people are open to receiving video advertising, let’s make them worth watching.
Establishing the Right Goals for Your Video Ads
Before creating your video ads and setting up your campaigns, it is important to establish what your overall goals are and how you measure your video’s success. In other words, establishing the appropriate KPIs—whether that is completion rate or view-through conversions. Do you want your video ads to raise awareness, increase brand consideration, or do you want the users to take action after watching your video? Once you’ve established what you want your video to achieve, you can decide where it is best placed in your user journey, and you can start creating your video ads.
Regardless of where you decide your video fits best in the journey, you want to show, not tell, with your video ads. Viewers have become wary of those who pitch to them immediately. So, use the video to tell a visual brand story. Videos are most effective at brand building and, when run alongside native and display ads, they will reinforce the brand and the product you are promoting. You want to use your video assets to create brand recognition and deliver a message people will remember. This is the core purpose of your video campaign, and from there, you can retarget users to a native or display ad to bring them further down the funnel and encourage the conversion.
How to Build Great Video Creatives
Where do you begin building your creatives? With so many options, there is now even more room for creativity in videos—both in execution and strategy. To help you get started, we have outlined some key components to keep in mind when building your video assets:
1. Know your specs: Your video should be no longer than 30 seconds, and use an aspect ratio of 16:9 (1920x1080p being the recommended size). Micro videos are a great option to include in your ad campaign’s journey—these ads run for 10 seconds or less, and are effective to capture short attention spans.
2. Grab their attention ASAP: Use your time wisely and catch the user’s attention as soon as possible. You don’t have time to build up to your message when you have a max of 30 seconds, and short attention spans won’t be willing to wait. Catching their attention within the first 3 seconds is recommended—this can be done through the use of early dialogue, or using a bright and eye-catching colour at the start of your video.
3. Include closed captions: It is best to be prepared for all scenarios. If your viewer’s device is on mute, how will they understand your message? With the advent of autoplay, people are more inclined to mute their devices. Users prefer to watch video ads without sound—unexpected sounds can disrupt the user experience and cause the reader to close the window or tab, as their solution to exit the ad. Closed captions not only make your videos accessible, but they also allow your video to be understood without the use of sound, which is extremely important if your ad is dialogue-based.
4. Don’t forget the call to action (CTA): Remember, you are now showing users a video ad on the device where they can further interact with the content. Even if the goal of the video is brand recognition, including a strong CTA can help reinforce your brand’s message, similar to a static display or native ad.
No video? No problem.
Just because you don’t have video assets, doesn’t mean you can’t run video. You can actually make great use of existing assets, even simple images, to generate compelling video content that can effectively engage your user. Let’s take a look at how a video creative can be built using only still images.
For this example, let’s pretend that Foodie is a new brand entering the meal kit delivery service industry, and only has display and native ads.
If Foodie wanted to help reinforce the brand and build recall, a video campaign is the way to do it. Even without video assets, they can use the images from their existing creatives to build a brand new ad format. Here we will be using video editing tools to create text animations and motion to bring an image to life and make it feel less like a static ad.
We can also have great fun with audio. The video will still be playable without sound, but adding music will bring more personality to your video and help set the tone of the ad. For example, upbeat music with a higher pitch will create a more light-hearted feeling, while a slower tune will create a more serious mood. Although we build ads to be playable with and without sound, ad recall is more likely to be effective when a video ad can be both seen and heard.
As mentioned before, we want to capture the audience’s attention as soon as possible. Consider that we’re working with only one image asset and assume that the user has audio off, we can still capture attention with colour. Making sure it aligns with the brand, we are going with bright and bold orange at the beginning and end of the video. We will open the video with a question to keep the users interested on what is to come.
All ads should have a clear CTA, and video ads are no different. In our example, a great CTA would be to tell the users to order their first free meal kit.
Here is the full video in action:
Voilà! An entire video using only one image, and the magic of editing. Next time you’re planning your campaign, make sure you think about if a video will fit in your strategy. And remember, videos are possible to make regardless of your asset count—all it takes is a little imagination to put your images into action!
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