7 Ways to Make Video Ads Work Better for Your Brand

Programmatic video is hot, and getting hotter. According to eMarketer, in 2014, advertisers and publishers spent an eye-popping $700 million on programmatic video. By the end of this year, that number will triple, topping a cool $2 billion.

Everyone wants in on the action (including brand marketers). And why not? Video ads deliver great performance, and can pack a lot of storytelling in a matter of seconds (as Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” Super Bowl ad makes clear).

But does that mean you can retool your 30-second TV spot for digital channels and then sit back and watch the conversions roll in?

If only life were that easy! There’s an art to creating the perfect video ad campaign. Below are seven tips for getting the results you need.

1. Articulate Your Goals

A successful campaign starts with the basics: what do you want consumers to do as a result of seeing your ads? And how will you know you succeeded?

Digital is highly interactive. Unlike a 30-second TV spot, your digital video ads can invite consumers to take the next step – i.e. click through to a store-locator or show-time tab, download a coupon. Those behaviors will serve as your KPIs.

You can qualify an audience based on completion rates, and then follow up with retargeting later on.

2. Get Social

According to reports, social media will be critical for video ads, helping to “propel digital video ads to $7.2 billion” in spending in 2015. That’s no surprise given how easy it is for consumers to view and share video ads they like. Savvy marketers will design ads with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in mind.

3. Invest in Great Creatives

As Matthew Waghorn at Huge says, “Forget about the big reveal.” Consumers have little patience for pre-rolls, so present your brand and key message ASAP. And invest in multiple video ads so the same consumer doesn’t see the same ad every time.

If you’re using programmatic video (as you should!), then let data inform your content. For instance, if women are three times more likely to watch your pre-roll, then update your content to speak directly to them.

4. Take Advantage of Video’s Inherent Interactivity

Video ads offer unprecedented opportunities for engagement. We’ve seen ads with hot spots to learn more about a product, and video carousels that let consumers select additional videos to view. And you can put that landing page to good use by turning it into a mini landing page, with dinner menus, store locators, coupons for downloading, and more.

5. Select the Right Formats

If mobile devices are part of your plan, design your content so that it works on a small screen (which will also work fine on a large one).

In-banner videos do a better job in driving clicks and traffic, making them strong options for performance campaigns. In-stream video, on the other hand, should be saved for branding, since consumers are unlikely to click away from content they took actions to view.

6. Select the Right Buying Model

If reach, frequency, and targeting are paramount to your campaign, go for CPM buying model. But if you need your audience to watch your video in full, go for a cost-per-completed view (CPCV) model. In other words, let your campaign goals drive your media acquisition strategy.

7. Buying Inventory

Go programmatic so you can get really specific about who you target for your ads. Plus, you don’t have to commit a lot of your budget to specific placements, freeing your budget to focus on the sites that deliver great results.

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