It’s long been said that a picture is worth a thousand words—but what about videos? In today’s media landscape, video is more valuable than ever before—it’s one of the most effective ways to reach consumers with your advertising message. However, it’s important to approach video marketing strategically—as these five points demonstrate.
Know Your Audience
This is one of the foundational concepts in digital marketing: You need to know who you’re talking to. (To put it a bit differently, you can’t give an elevator pitch without knowing who you’re going to find in the elevator.)
Digital marketing makes knowledge of your audience more attainable than ever before. Some simple targeting will allow you to indicate the basic demographics of your audience, such as their age and gender, but a people-based marketing approach lets you dig deeper. You can target on the basis of hobbies, pain points, values, and quirks. In short, you can craft video ads that are individualized, and thus more engaging and persuasive.
A quick reminder about people-based marketing: With this approach, you’re matching your CRM data with the customers’ online activity to assemble richly detailed profiles of the customers you’re trying to reach. This allows you to customize your video content on the basis of real data, not mere speculation.
Align Your Creative, Your Platform, and Your Audience
Before you create video ads, you’ll want to have some sense of where you’re going to run them. Understand the different video advertising platforms that are available to you, and how user behavior changes across those platforms. You may end up creating many different variants of your ad, aligning your content with the platform and thus with the intended audience behavior.
No matter the platform you’re considering, avoid auto-playing ads. Remember that some viewers will be on their phones or tablets, in scenarios where they need to be quiet; a video that starts playing abruptly can prove annoying and cancel any positive effects of your ad messaging.
Another important strategy: No matter the platform you choose, set a frequency cap on how often a given user sees your ad message. That’s because no matter how great your creative content is, any ad is going to yield diminishing returns when it’s played to the same crowd over and over again. Don’t waste your ad budget running the same content to the same people ad nauseum.
Consider Your Timing
A common question about video advertising: How long should the videos be? Consider that a third of all viewers will stop watching a video after the first 30 seconds, and about half of all viewers will tune out after the first minute. Brevity is generally a good policy. In fact, we recommend the mindset that you really have five seconds to play with—so you need to pack as much brand storytelling into those first five seconds as possible, because when the five seconds expire, that’s when people will start skipping past the ad.
A lot of companies try to recycle their 30-second TV spots for digital platforms, but that’s not always going to be effective; it’s important to adapt your approach to accommodate online attention spans.
Optimize Your Ads
Before taking your video ads live, it’s important to make sure those ads can be found by interested customers; in short, it’s important to optimize your video ads. Some of the basics include:
- Always include some target keywords, both in your video titles and in the descriptions you use to identify video files.
- Add video tags to ensure that your ads are easily searchable.
- When possible, include links in your ads to make sure customers can email, embed, or share your videos on social media—an important way to get free exposure.
Pay Attention to Video Data & Analytics
Even once your video goes live, that doesn’t mean your work is done. As the video plays to different audiences and across different platforms, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to glean insights from first-, second-, and third-party data sources. Gather and analyze as much of this data as possible and use it to refine your strategy moving forward.
Specifically, you can use this data to identify top performers, and get a better sense of the messaging and platforms that work best for your brand. Also, you can gather data that helps you hone your keywords and optimization efforts, making your videos more easily searchable over time.
Talk to Us About Video Advertising
Video advertising can be incredibly beneficial, but only when it’s approached with a comprehensive strategy—and that takes some work. At enCOMPASS, we have the tools and the expertise needed to guide our clients though the best video advertising practices. We’d love to talk with you more about how video ads can deliver value for your brand. Reach out to us today to start that conversation.
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