Video is the most engaging advertising unit available. In today’s interconnected world, videos command the attention of billions of consumers across devices, formats and apps. As an advertiser, using videos to reach consumers is more important than ever. But with so many videos out there, how do you ensure that your video is successful? The first step is to create a great piece of video content.
Modern consumers are barraged with videos all day long and the most reliable way to separate your video from the noise is by creating a strong piece of content. Many marketers lose sight of the fact that the first step towards ensuring that their video is seen is to create a great video.
Successful advertisers go through a thorough planning process before creating even a short 15-second advertising video. The questions below have been distilled from hundreds of successful video campaigns.
Answer the questions below to focus your video content and position your advertising campaign to be successful!
Establish Video Goals
When creating an advertising video, the first question to ask yourself is this:
What do I want my video to accomplish?
It may sound obvious, but asking yourself this easy question is the first step towards focusing your video and ensuring a successful campaign — and a surprising number of advertisers don’t bother to do it. The answer to this first question will provide a blueprint for all of the subsequent creative decisions that you make about your content. Once you have found an answer for this question, you will have already created a metric by which to evaluate the success of your video before it has even been created.
Know Your Video Type
Depending on what you want your video to accomplish (your answer to the first question), your video can likely fall into one of two broad categories: brand videos or product videos. Knowing which of these categories your video falls into will help you decide how to structure your video advertising campaign and take your next steps towards creating a successful campaign.
If you’re not sure which of these categories you fall into, ask yourself this:
Am I using this video to sell my overall brand or am I using this video to sell a specific product?
If you are trying to sell your brand, your video should tell a story about your brand, your culture, your company values or the lifestyle that you promote. When creating a brand video, ask yourself the following questions:
What is the story of my brand?
What is unique about my brand?
How are my brand values transferred to my customers?
Upon answering these questions, you will have identified a brand story that you will then articulate to your audience.
If, alternatively, you are trying to sell a particular product, your video should clearly define the product (or event, deal, etc.) that you are advertising and make this particular product’s benefits clear. Product videos often highlight new products, offers or promotions.
When creating a product video, ask yourself the following questions:
What makes my product unique?
What problem does my product solve?
Upon answering these questions, you will have identified a product value proposition that you will then try to articulate to your audience.
Speak to Your Audience
Regardless of whether your video is intended to sell your brand or to sell a particular product, your video must resonate with your target audience. The more targeted your audience is, the more specific your story should be. When evaluating your video ad, try to think like one of your customers. If possible, be sure to show your video to people who don’t know your company and solicit feedback.
For your video to resonate with your target audience, you must understand what your audience wants — and what they don’t want. Your video must directly address your target audience and show them how your brand or product will improve their life. To create a video that speaks to the lifestyles, pain points, desires and experiences of your target audience, ask yourself the following questions:
What kind of lifestyle do members of my audience want?
What problems do members of my audience have that I can solve?
What benefits does my product give members of my audience?
Will my audience understand my brand/product without education?
What tone will members of my target audience react favorably to?
Upon answering these questions, you will have developed an understanding of your target audience. When you understand your audience’s problems, desires, product knowledge and sense of humor, you will have the foundation upon which to build your video. Depending on your audience, you will make specific creative decisions about style, tone, narrative structure, etc.
Facilitate the Next Steps
Every advertising video should tell a story — and if your video does not tell a cohesive story it will not succeed. However, telling a story successfully is not the only thing that your video must do. Remember, your video is designed to accomplish a specific goal — and your video is not successful unless it takes a concrete step towards accomplishing the goal that you defined above.
Once you have created content that resonates your target audience, you must ensure that your audience members have enough information to learn more about your brand and your products. To do this, you must be sure to provide appropriate branding marks, a call to action and a clear and memorable story.
As your finalize your video content, ask yourself the following questions to ensure that your video will successfully engage your target audience:
Does this video tell a clear story?
Is your video memorable?
Does your video provide enough information for viewers to learn more?
Does your video accomplish its goal?
Upon answering these questions, you will have ensured that you have given your audience members the tools to learn more about your brand/product.
Whether your video is designed to accomplish a goal of immediate conversion or a goal of increased customer lifetime value, your video must be carefully positioned as the first of several steps on the consumer journey.
If you can confidently answer all of the questions above, your video will engage your target audience and accomplish your advertising goals.
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