How to make short video ads that people will watch

How to make short video ads that people will watch

Words by: Belinda Connolly

Research is backing something that digital marketers have suspected for a while: short video ads are crushing it! Across a variety of audiences and metrics, video ads between 5 seconds and 15 seconds are outranking their longer counterparts as attention spans dwindle. 

Of course, it’s not enough to just hack your existing two minute second video ad into a shorter version. Read on for the best tips on creating engaging, unskippable short video ads. 

Every second counts 

The Does Every Second Count? Understanding New Video Ad Lengths report by IPG Media Lab and YuMe found that short video ads on social media are successful in creating effective message recall, ad recall and brand perceptions.  

Millennials especially have a love of super-short ads, with 20 per cent of millennials being able to recall a five-second ad compared to every other age group.  

However, shorter ads may only be successful if the brand is well-established, with newer brands recommended to  adopt a mix of video lengths as part of their campaign strategy. 

The Goldilocks point for the ideal video ad length for all sectors, industries and audiences seems to be 15 seconds: not too short, not long – just right. 

What about Facebook and video ads? 

Facebook remains the number one social media platform globally, with a smidge under 3 billion active users. For this reason, when talking about what works with video ads, it is worth factoring in their findings. They say when it comes to consumers watching ads on mobiles, six-second video ads may be most effective for millennials. Brands that have an older target market may find that 15-second ads are more effective.  

Facebook also says that video ads that are 15 seconds or less are more likely to be completed by viewers. In fact, these short video ads have a 20% higher likelihood of completion compared to longer ones. 

If Facebook is an important part of your digital marketing strategy, you can find all the technical information about designing video ads for that platform here.  

How to make video ads unskippable 

Before you start creating the videos you need to get the basics right. Consider hiring a copywriter or agency like The BubbleCo. to create several iterations of what you want your video to highlight including the reason for the ad (Drive engagement? Sign up to a list? Promote a new product?) and ensure the CTA is included.  

Using the skills of an experienced designer to craft your video ad ensures that it not only meets the required technical specifications but also captivates viewers with an engaging visual appeal. A professional will ensure branding is on point, images are sharp and the messaging is unmissable. 

Try these tips to create video ads your audience will actually watch: 

  • Know your audience: Understanding your target audience is the cornerstone of any successful marketing campaign. Start by creating detailed buyer personas to gain insights into their preferences, behaviours and pain points. By speaking directly to their needs and desires, your short ads will resonate more effectively. 
  • Storytelling matters: Even in short ads, storytelling can make a world of difference. Craft a compelling narrative that connects with your audience emotionally. Whether it’s a touching story or a humorous anecdote, a well-told tale can make your ad unforgettable. 
  • Eye-catching visuals: Use high-quality images and videos that grab attention, and ensure that your visuals are relevant to your message and align with your brand’s aesthetics. 
  • Strong call-to-action (CTA): Every short video ad should have a clear and compelling call-to-action. Encourage your audience to take the desired action, whether it’s clicking a link, making a purchase or sharing the ad. Use action-oriented language to drive engagement. 
  • Create a hook: Grab your viewers’ attention right from the start with a captivating hook. Pose a question, present a problem or use a surprising statistic to pique curiosity and entice them to keep watching. 
  • Use hashtags: Research relevant and trending hashtags in your niche and include them strategically in your ad’s caption. This can help your ad reach a wider audience. 

How to finetune your short video ads 

Now that you’ve created engaging ads, it is important to keep monitoring their performance to ensure they work well. Try: 

  • Testing: Use A/B testing to experiment with different elements like headlines, visuals and CTAs. Analyse the data to fine-tune your ad for maximum engagement. 
  • Mobile optimisation: Most social media users are on mobile devices so ensure ads are optimised for mobile viewing. Use legible fonts, consider vertical video formats and make sure your content looks great on smaller screens. 
  • Monitor analytics: Closely monitor the performance of ads using platform-specific analytics tools that examine click-through rates, engagement rates and conversion rates. Use this data to optimise future campaigns. 

Creating engaging short video ads for social media requires a mix of creativity, strategy and data-driven decision-making. Remember, in the world of short video ads, less is often more.  

Unsure how to create engaging social media content? As a full-service digital marketing agency, we can help – get in touch to find out more. 

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