My first ever attempt at making a video ad was in Year 7 English class. As far as I was concerned, I was equal parts actress, director, producer, project manager and script writer. I was unstoppable. Totally out of my depth, but unstoppable.
The video I made ran for 12 minutes. Yes, that was the condensed version. No, you could not have convinced me to cut anything out.
Fast-forward to presentation day, minute 1 of my ad was a sensation, but as we ventured into minute 2, 3, 4, 5 and then finally 12, everyone had totally zoned out. The lesson I learnt that day is that despite A-Class content, most people don’t want to sit through a 12 minute, home-job ad when they could be playing Candy Crush.
I’m not sure if, like me, you’ve had a similar brutal awakening, but we’re quickly learning that in the ‘Age of Digital’, our collective attention spans are shorter than ever before. Consumers are in a constant state of over-stimulation as a result of unyielding exposure to media.
As a result of this, businesses are increasingly turning to video advertising as a means of reconnecting with customers. Since last year, there has been a 60% increase in time spent viewing video online, with 64% of consumers saying they are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
With this in mind, if you’re looking to create a YouTube ad, or just wanting to generate some video content to share online, here are some helpful tips to get you started and make sure that your ad is one worth watching.
#1 First impressions matter
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count! If your video is not easy to access and watch/listen to, this could mean that customers don’t engage with the full content, and walk away with a less than ideal opinion on the professionalism of your brand! Lighting and sound should always be on point, and you should consider investing in a tripod to reduce camera shake and avoid ‘home-job’ vibes.
#2 Quality over quantity
Make sure that your ad is punchy and to the point. Ad length will vary depending on the media that you’re using, but really you should be looking at no more than 90 seconds. When looking at something like a YouTube ad, it should be anywhere between 6 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your message and ad format.
#3 Know your audience
Who are you targeting and what do you think that they want? Bear in mind your demographic, their age, where they’re from and what might appeal to them in terms of language and visuals. A good example of this is Telstra Bigpond’s – “The Great Wall of China”, with a clear target audience of middle-aged parents with young children. Also, who doesn’t crack up every time they hear ‘to keep the rabbits out’.
#4 Make them laugh
Ads should be relevant and engage with people on a personal level. Consider taking a humorous angle, or appealing to the audience emotionally. Nothing stands the test of time like something that makes you laugh. Everyone remembers Libra’s – “Invisible Pads Superhero” ad right?
(On the other hand, some ads tug at the old heartstrings in a melancholy way instead – check out Dove’s – “You’re More Beautiful Than You Think” campaign).
#5 Represent your brand
It’s all well and good to have a hilarious and engaging ad, but if it conflicts with the ideals and values of your brand, it could do more harm than good! Brainstorm the brand ideals that you’re looking to embody with your ad and work from there.
#6 Make it distinctive
We’ve all seen brands and visual/video content that we instantly recognise in the first few moments. Truly powerful ad content is distinctive, meaning the audience doesn’t have to think too hard to understand what they are supposed to be looking for!
At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is having your ad be memorable for all the right reasons. Are there ads that spring to mind when you’re looking for a particular product or service? Think about why these ads have stuck with you and use that as inspiration for how best to tackle your own memorable video content!