How to create engaging video ads

Engaging video ads are one of the most important components of a fully effective marketing strategy that takes into account the changes…

Engaging video ads
Elisabetta Severoni
Video Marketing How to create engaging video ads

Engaging video ads are one of the most important components of a fully effective marketing strategy that takes into account the changes and trends that indicate how to be more effective on social media.

This means that each brand will need to know exactly how to create them, so that each choice is well thought out and, above all, aimed at obtaining certain results. They will also need to integrate these ads within a communication and marketing plan that knows how to make the most of them.

Everything passes through social networks

Before looking at the main indications for creating truly engaging video ads, it’s important that we understand one premise.

In fact, when identifying the various video advertising trends of 2022, leading analysts have identified a very interesting trend.

With Google announcing a phase-out of cookie tracking on the web by 2023, social will further increase its relevance in both tracking users and building marketing strategies.

This ever-increasing relevance is confirmed by the fact that marketing is expected to become “social first” in the coming years, as these platforms will become increasingly aimed at pushing users to buy products of various kinds.

In order to realize this, we’ll need to take a close look at some social networks.

Shopping on social

From this point of view, Instagram is one of the clearest and most obvious examples of this trend.

In 2022, the focus of social will be on the sale of products of every kind.

In fact, the options for buying and selling directly on the platform are about to be improved, with the ultimate aim of making practically anything purchasable and, at the same time, of transforming every post into a true showcase.

And if it’s not just about selling, the idea is that each scroll becomes an opportunity for the user to discover and find new products: for this reason, the platform is planning to develop features that make it possible to search for images in order to track down the products that you see in the various photos.

The same applies to Pinterest, which is rethinking its own functioning in order to make it possible for users to make purchases directly in the app.

One of these is live streaming, which, through the mechanics of the pin, enables a type of live shopping directly within the platform; we’re already seeing experiments for this in some specific markets.

In the light of all this, we can conclude that most of the considerations regarding videos and their ability to create engagement must be made by keeping social as the main and absolutely predominant reference context.

Consequently, many of the measures for improving engagement and, consequently, the effectiveness of videos will be affected by the logic and dynamics typical of the social universe.

The first rule for creating engaging video ads: Get to know your audience

It may seem obvious, but to create truly engaging video ads you need to be very clear about the target audience you want to address.

Not all messages are able to be relevant and impactful for all users. Therefore, you need to clarify who you want to address and what you want to say.

Once you have understood and identified your target audience, you’ll need to deepen your research in order to better segment the group of users and, above all, to attribute specific characteristics to it.

It’s obvious that, the more this work is done with care and attention, you’ll be better positioned to create clusters where you can differentiate the message.

To do this, each brand must collect as much data as possible and, once again, this can take place on the web and, more specifically, on social networks.

Here, social listening activities, the process “of monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, product, and more” carried on digital platforms with data on times, demographics, interests, and so on, are essential (source: Hootsuite).

Once this is done, you can go into more detail by carrying out a textual analysis and, why not, take advantage of more in-depth and systematized analysis systems such as machine learning, which allows you to track users and have more precise and relevant information for your objectives.

To create engaging video ads you need to consider form and format

The engagement of a video ad also depends on certain technical aspects that you can’t ignore

As we all know by now, videos are mainly watched through mobile devices.

This aspect, i.e. the physical technological support of users, must be taken into account when building a video ad so that there is a perfect fit. A poor viewing experience greatly reduces the effectiveness of the content and lowers its ability to engage people; indeed, it can have the opposite effect of annoying them and pushing them to move on.

We need to emphasize another related aspect.

Most online videos are viewed without audio, as users watch them directly on the platforms in a variety of conditions and, predictably, prefer that no one else hears what they are watching.

As a result, when creating this content you will need to supplement it with elements that make the videos understandable, such as captioning.

Unexpectedly, captioning plays a very positive role in terms of engagement, since it increases the average user viewing duration on Facebook by 12%.

As a result, every brand must also pay attention in the implementation of these details, which often make the difference: poorly written subtitles can decrease the quality of your video.

It only takes a moment to create engagement

Another fundamental element to keep in mind when building engaging video ads is the duration.

It’s no secret that users’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter due to the large amount of stimuli they are subjected to on a daily basis.

This means that every brand has less and less time to capture people’s curiosity and convince them to watch their content until the end.

In fact, some surveys have shown that it is precisely the initial moments of a content that play a fundamental role in this sense: 65% of people who watch the first three seconds of a video are likely to watch the next ten seconds, so the content must take this into account and push a relevant and captivating message right from the start.

Among other things, practically every social platform favors the use of short videos (from 30 seconds to a maximum of 1 minute) because they are much more functional for faster, more immediate digital use.

Also, a short video undoubtedly has advantages for the creator. First, the message is unique, more concentrated, and therefore more likely to be memorable.

Secondly, the fact of having to focus on a single message allows you to apply and experiment with different styles and techniques, varying creative approaches that thus become more interesting for the users themselves.

Finally, a short video ad is more effective and engaging because it gets right to the CTA, driving the user to an immediate conversion, since you can more easily keep the attention until the end.

To create engaging video ads you need to choose the right type of video

Obviously, engagement is not a mathematical formula, so you can’t be sure that a particular video will generate engagement in your target audience.

However, there are certain types of videos that, by leveraging different aspects, can be very engaging for users: as always, the point is to be able to choose aspects that are fit for the audience you are addressing.

For example, one engaging type of video is the one made directly by users. This user-generated content allows you to warm up the message and create an immediate relationship of closeness and empathy with them.

Another one is the how-to or tutorial video, which, by showing the product directly in use, is more convincing and reliable.

Obviously, the choice of one type of video over another also depends on the channel where it will be broadcast, since the message must be consistent within the context of reference.

Engaging video ads are based on personalization

A fundamental resource to take advantage of for creating engaging video ads is personalization, which is one of the most important trends in digital marketing in recent years, since brands must increasingly focus their attention on users, building content that appears tailor-made and perfectly adapted to the recipient.

There are obviously different approaches to do this that depend on the type of personalization you want to use and the effects you want to achieve.

The first level of personalization is the highest, which can be achieved through a content retargeting strategy: depending on the user’s actions and the stage of the customer journey, you can reach the customer with specific content that continues the story, and amplify and develop it, differentiating it from time to time.

Not only does this make the narrative more effective and comprehensive, it also involves the user more, who is aware that he is seeing content that is different from the others in the context of a multichannel (if not omnichannel) experience.

Another personalization approach is the more direct one, which aims to address the user with avideo that is specifically designed for him.

In this case, you can’t use social platforms, but you have to switch to touch points that allow a one-to-one relationship with users, such as email.

In fact, a personalized video ad can also be included in an email message, making the email itself more engaging.

For personalization to be effective, however, it’s not enough to just insert the recipient’s name into the video. Instead, you need to take advantage of all the information you have available to build a truly specific piece of content: the age, type of customer, their interests, their current status as a customer, and so on.

Obviously, the creation of these videos requires specific software, such as video automation software, to speed up production and, above all, to effectively cross-reference data to pre-established materials in your database.

Engagement also comes from content

To create engaging video ads, it seems obvious, but the actual content you convey also matters tremendously!

In other words, for a video ad to be truly engaging, the video itself must provide added value to the viewer, for example by showing them how to use a particular product, sharing creative ideas for its use, or even just giving space to the real experience of other users.

In this way, the user is not simply watching an advertisement, but content that is really worth spending time and attention on.

Among other things, this type of video ads is also more effective, since users are often guided in the purchase of products after they have seen them in a video, even better if used by a consumer like them or a person to whom they recognize a certain authority or reliability.

Another way to increase the relevance of the video is to tie in themes that are not directly related to the product, but to the recipients’ interests.

This is also a type of personalization that can serve to expand the audience, always leveraging the interests of the consumer, who is the implicit protagonist of the story.

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