Cover photo by rawpixel.com
Do you want more customers and better conversion rates?
Of course you do. So, the real question is – how can you make sure that the marketing you’re doing delivers this goal?
Well, given the enormous difference it makes to the year-on-year turnover of the companies who use it – video marketing is the obvious choice – but with a world that’s chock-full of potential platforms, formats and advertising options – where do you begin?
The good news is, you can put down the phone to the studio hire company and forget about hiring hundreds of extras for your big-budget production. Studies show that audiences overwhelmingly respond positively to short, snappy video adverts that run between 5-20 seconds.
These time constraints come with their own challenges though. Here’s what they are, how you can overcome them – and how to get started on some of the most popular platforms.
Plan for a focused message
Photo by Markus Spiske
The beauty of short video advertising is that it forces you to boil your message down to an ultra-effective, concise version of what you’re trying to say.
So, the first question is exactly that; what are you trying to say?
As a copywriter, I can tell you that a traditional form of advertising would involve creating a need, establishing expertise and trust, promoting benefits, creating a call-to-action – and so forth – but here, you’ve got about the time it takes to have a sip of coffee to get your message across.
If you try to stuff everything I’ve just mentioned into your video – you’ll come off as just bombarding your audience with a busy sales pitch. We all like to consume – but no one likes to be ‘sold to’.
With that in mind, pick a single goal. Do you want to:
Build your brand awareness?
Showcase a product or offer?
Drive website traffic?
Present some ‘buy it now’ options?
There are thousands of potential desirable outcomes – decide which one you want and build around that. Don’t be tempted to ‘sneak’ anything else in there. Short on inspiration? Hubspot has an article covering some amazing pre-roll adverts of 6 seconds or less that have featured on YouTube recently.
Visuals do a LOT of talking
Even if you push the envelope and go for a 20-second advert, that’s only going to give you space to talk through around 40-50 words.
Now, if that weren’t a big enough problem as it is, there’s also that fact that 85% of people will be playing your advert with the sound off – so, not only do you get a very small number of words – you also get a very small number of people who are going to hear them.
This is where After Effects templates and motion graphics can give you a serious advantage.
As well as being genuinely captivating, it sets a tone very quickly – and gives the opportunity to place key text when you simply cannot do without words. Even with just 10 seconds, your audience has seen around 10 images and your logo, read 2 lines of text – and understands the tone of the message.
Who are you talking to?
The template above is fantastic to look at – and ideal if you’re promoting a lifestyle brand, travel, fashion, fitness, food – or something else that can come across as being informal – but what happens if you’ve got a more formal audience in mind?
There’s an idea that corporate, business type content needs to be presented in a straight-laced, very sensible fashion – but this doesn’t mean you have to put a business person in front of the camera to relay your message. After all, what appeals to your senses and psychology doesn’t change because you’re sitting in an office or working on a report.
The tone of business content might mean intros with super-fast cuts, a thumping soundtrack and wild typefaces are out of the question – it doesn’t mean that you have to switch into ‘boring’ mode. ‘Corporate Infographic Elements’ – by Concept Café is a great example of how After Effects can make a world of statistics and figures come to life…
Making a template your own
The beauty of After Effects templates is just how simply they can be adjusted to reflect your message, your brand, your product and so on.
In this tutorial from CasualSavage, you can see how easy it is to drop your own elements into a template, adjust the text and personalize the color palette.
The best bit is – the tutorial is only 6 minutes long – so you’re not going to have to invest hundreds of hours of learning to create something.
For a slightly more in-depth After Effects Tutorial breakdown – you can check out this photography logo reveal by Dope Motions. Again, it only runs to 34 minutes – so even dipping into the process a little deeper isn’t going to take up your entire day…
Putting your video adverts to use
Now you’ve got an idea of what a good short advert might entail, it’s worth considering how to get started on some of the most popular platforms.
This in-depth guide from Hootsuite covers advertising on huge range of social platforms – and even breaks down into the different types of advert available on each service.
For instance, Facebook allows a user to create video adverts – but equally, it will allow you to create carousel adverts – with up to 10 sections that your audience can swipe through – each showcasing an image or video. Often, there’s no right way or single route when you want to put your information in front of potential customers – instead, there are likely to be a number, each appealing to a different demographic – or suiting a different product type.
Whatever you create and wherever you present it to your audience, remember – monitoring your results, tracking your click-throughs and conversions, and continually optimizing is a must. You might think you’ve created a work of art that plays out over 10 seconds – but if your audience isn’t engaging, it’s time to re-open After Effects and start thinking some more about the approach you’re taking…