How to Jumpstart Your Video Ads Strategy in 2018

Every day, more marketers are using video ads to promote their products and services effectively.

Why? Because they are the marketing tool with the highest engagement rates on the internet.

They are a bit time consuming to create, but if you do it right, a video can be a really effective advertisement for your brand, product or service that will deliver a high return on ad spend.


Why you need to use video ads in 2018

People love watching videos, and they feel more attracted and connected to video ads compared to static ads.

In fact, the average time viewers spent watching video ads in 2017 has grown by 19% compared to the year before, and the Video Completion Rate (Videos Played All the Way Through) reached 69% in 2017 (from 67% only the year before).

But if you want to succeed with video ads in 2018, there are some things you should know.


Shorter ads

Since the video ad space starts to get saturated, in 2018 we’ll probably see more companies competing with shorter ads. For example:

  • Snapchat limits ads to a max of 10 seconds
  • Facebook recommends video ads to be 15 seconds or shorter.
  • IAB discovered that 10-second videos could help maximize impact among Millennials, who are particularly sensitive to mobile ad clutter.

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.

Pro tip: in my complete guide to video advertising, you’ll find specific strategies to get the most out of video ads on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat and more.


Mobile records

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.

As you can see, the future is bright for video ads (and mobile)!

But how do you plan and create an effective video ad?


How to Create a Highly Effective Video Ad

The biggest mistake I see companies are doing with video ads is the lack of a detailed plan.

Let’s see how to plan your ad to reap the biggest benefits.


Media Planning

The goal of media planning is to determine the best combination of media to achieve the marketing campaign objectives. In our case, we‘ll plan for the creation and the promotion of the best video ad possible.

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.

There are multiple ways to gather this data:


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.


2 – INTERNAL DATA: 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 rep; check the CRM and understand what prospective clients are asking the company.


3 – CHECK YOUR COMPETITORS: By using Buzzsumo or Ahrefs, you can understand which topics created by your competitors are getting the most shares (these can be useful ideas for your videos) and in which platforms they are being shared.


PRO TIP: Get more insights and a real example of a detailed media planning and media buying strategy in my 5-step media buying case study.


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. Check this amazing guide by Hubspot.


2 – CREATE A VIDEO LISTICLE: If you don’t have the resources to create a professional video with talking heads, you can create short video listicles, that are simply short videos that feature a list of interesting facts on a specific topic. They are quite straightforward to create and you can use them as teasers for an in-depth article or to show some key features of your product. Create them with Magisto, Animoto, or Wave.Video.


3 – THINK MOBILE: 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. Here some tips that will be helpful.


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.


Optimal Video Length

Source: Think With Google.


For any advertising platform you choose, just make sure to follow the guidelines below to create ads of the appropriate length.


Video Ads Length in Every Platform

Source: Strategico


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.


6 – CHECK YOUR PROGRESS: 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 Google’s advice (image below) and make sure to track the ones most important to you.


Measuring Brand Marketing Goals With KPIs

Source: Think With Google


Now that you 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.

My complete guide to video ads will guide you to create and optimize your videos in the most important advertising platforms online.

About Matteo Gasparello

Matteo Gasparello is a digital marketer and AdSkills Certified Media Buyer, experienced in static and video ads. He helps tech companies to get more traffic and visibility thanks to media buying, content marketing, and SEO.