What Makes An Effective Video Ad?

We’re sharing eight tips on how to make a video ad more effective and captivating to consumers.

A couple laying on their couch watching TV together

Looking for ways to improve brand visibility? Implementing video advertising is a strategy you should consider. With platforms like TikTok and Instagram’s Reels at the height of popularity, it’s no surprise that video consumption has peaked in recent years. As a result, the primary focus of online marketing has shifted towards digital video advertising.

87% of marketers indicate that video helps them increase traffic to their website. And with cutting-edge services readily available to streamline the process, creating video ads is now more achievable than ever before. But what makes a video ad effective? In this article, we’ll share eight tips to help marketers ensure their video ads cut through the clutter and reach their intended audiences to drive ROI.

1. Show Your Product Within the First Three Seconds

The beginning of a video ad is undoubtedly the most important for grabbing your viewer’s attention. More specifically, the first three seconds. According to the three-second social media rule and research conducted, it only takes three seconds for your viewers to decide if they’ll continue to watch or scroll past your video in their social channel’s feel. So showing your brand’s product or service in the first three seconds is crucial to hook the interest of your audience, or else you risk losing it.

2. Highlight What Makes Your Brand Great

Knowing that the first three seconds count the most when creating your video is half the battle. Keeping your viewers stimulated is the second most important aspect. So in addition to showing your brand’s product or service, sharing what makes your brand unique or what problem your brand solves should be succinctly depicted with great storytelling and visuals. Remember, videos on social platforms are often muted so related imagery should be obvious and captions available. And when advertising on CTV, keep in mind viewers are being presented with un-skippable video content so take advantage of the full power of television to demonstrate your brand’s product or service range.

Sharing achievements, a successful track record, and customer testimonials are also ways to help build credibility and make your video effective.

3. Keep It Short and Simple

Despite what platform you're advertising on, cutting unnecessary content and spreading your brand’s message as concisely as possible should be a priority. Most commonly, video ads are 30 seconds or less, but ideal video length varies depending on platform. For example, a YouTube video ads’ recommended length is two minutes, while an Instagram Story video ad can be at most, 15 seconds. Whereas OTT ads are most effective between 15 and 30 seconds. A best practice is to strategize which platform makes most sense for your brand to advertise on and then adjust video length based on that strategy.

4. Target a Relevant Audience

One of the biggest drawbacks of advertising is relevance. No one wants to encounter an ad that has zero relevance to their lifestyle or daily habits. This is where digital advertising trumps traditional advertising. With digital advertising, marketers have the ability to serve their video ads to their ideal audience using behavioral targeting, contextual targeting, and interest-based targeting. This creates a personalized experience for the viewer and optimizes the dollars spent for the advertiser.

5. Not Too Much Text & No Small Text

As mentioned above, it’s common for viewers to watch videos on social platforms with no sound. Therefore, as an advertiser, you need to make it as easy and obvious as possible to understand your message without sound. Text, captions, and sub-titles all provide your viewers with the information they need to connect the video content they’re seeing to your brand. However, too much text clutters the message and results in a skip.

And if you’re creating a CTV ad, remember that sound is an intrinsic part to TV advertising. So ensure standout keywords are used in your script and in the last three seconds of the ad, clearly state your brand name, website URL, and brand tagline. As a best practice, ads with less text overlay perform significantly better than ads packed with text. And smaller font sizes makes it difficult for viewers to read and could result in a skip or mute. The goal is to seamlessly blend the video ad content into your choice platform’s native ecosystem and provide the viewer with a more personalized and engaging experience.

6. Quality Matters

High-quality video content is vital to capture and hold your viewer’s attention. It also makes enough of a difference to viewers that they’ll opt to follow your brand for more quality content or block you for showing content irrelevant to their viewing standards. Dimly lit or grainy video footage is not acceptable in today’s day and age. “Full HD” 1080px (1920 x 1080 pixels) has become the industry standard for a crisp horizontal HD video that doesn’t compromise storage space.

7. Entertaining

More and more, brands have been focusing on storytelling to keep their campaigns captivating. To make a video ad more persuasive and relatable, ensure you’ve included a clear hook, a central theme and a resolution. Other ways to make your video stand out include using striking visual cues or trending visual elements like bold colors or recognizable influencers or celebrities. With an entertaining short story and striking visuals, your chances of obtaining a high video completion rate (also known as video-through rate VTR) increase. This metric will help you learn how well your digital video ad is performing on a given channel.

8. Clear Call To Action

The goal of every ad is to motivate viewers to take action. The call to action (CTA) can be included via the film, or through graphics and text. It is a best practice to include the CTA at the end of the video. It will serve as an indicator to viewers to view your website, receive a discount, or buy a product or service.

Creating a video ad can be daunting, but with these tips, you can best position your video ad for success.

Stay tuned for more insights.

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