A Guide to Video Content & Where it Fits in your Marketing Plan

While video marketing is not a new concept, in latest years it has become one of the most used methods of advertising a brand and increasing customer awareness. With so many platforms where a video ad can be posted and plenty of tools available for creating video content, it’s really not surprising.

A 2012 survey, conducted by B2B Demand Generation, showed that video was the second-most popular type of content used across channels. Another 2013 survey, ran jointly with MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, showed that (in 2012) video ads made 70% of the total number of ads on the market, a jump from 54% in 2011.

This makes for a very compelling argument to why you should go for a video ad instead of a static one.

Make Specific Ads

Before you start with your marketing plan, decide on its purpose. This will ensure your ads target people who will be interested in them, while also helping you increase ROI. Instead of creating an all-purpose ad, which will try to appease everyone, create short, easy to digest video, and choose to display your ad to people who are most likely to click on it and show a return on your investment.

What purpose could your ad have? Well, several, actually. You could try to build brand awareness, show off a new product, generate visibility through entertaining and shareable ads, or educate the market.

Whatever the purpose is, it also defines the metrics you measure its success by. There’s no purpose in looking at sales figures if your video is built as a story to show off your company.

Once you know why the ad is there, you need to figure out who to show it to. This depends, again, on the desired outcome. Do you want to consolidate your position in the market space you currently occupy or try to engage other audiences as well? Say you are creating an ad for a new smartphone. Do you want to sell it to tech-savvy customers, or are you targeting a more general type of customer?

How Long Should an Ad Be?

According to a report from Forbes Insight, most companies prefer 3 to 5-minute long ads, with 9% preferring videos longer than 5 minutes, and 36% going between 1 and 3 minutes. The most popular video ads on the market – with hundreds of thousands of hits – are between 90 and 120 seconds long. That doesn’t necessarily mean they were successful at reaching their desired outcome. It simply shows how long an ad should be if you want to reach a broad audience.

Of course, you won’t be able to tell your company’s story in 3 minutes, so you will need a video around 10 – 12-minutes long. On the other hand, there’s no reason to create a 5-minute long video presenting a new product, when you can do it in 90 seconds or less. However, if you decide to deliver the ad as in-stream, things may be different.

While you can embed an ad of any length in another video, data shows that 80% to 85% of ads are skipped after the mandatory 5 seconds. So, why not make the ad a 5-second long pitch, in the style of a vine, or a Snapchat video. This will save you money, better spent buying up more advertising space. There is no golden rule, really, so experiment and decide on the length based on purpose, audience, and complexity.

Make Ads Shareable

There is a lot of theory around creating an attractive and engaging video, designed to hold viewers glued to their screen for the full length of it. However, that won’t get you as many shares as a viral video would. Authors Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe explain the essential principles of creating a viral video and how to apply them in their book, “The Viral Video Manifesto”.

A viral video doesn’t just make you want you to watch it. It makes love it and want to tell everyone about it! And, while you would be tempted to say that luck has a lot to do with it, there are certain traits that viral videos have in common, something that can be controlled and used to make a video contagious enough to be shared.

Sharing a video is all about the emotion it generates. Sad videos, or those that make you feel contempt, won’t make you share it simply because of the low intensity of these emotions. Videos that generate powerful emotions, like fear or anger, will be shared a lot more, more often than not based on a flash decision taken immediately after watching.

The majority of viral videos are funny, exciting, and generate positive emotions. The positivity itself also helps drive their exposure.

All videos exploit something that is called an orienting response, a primal human reaction also triggered when we hear a sudden movement or an unexpected noise. Just like you instinctively turn towards the source of the sound you hear, you instinctively want other people to see the video which generated such powerful emotions for you.

The side effect to exploiting this reaction is that immediately after your emotional state balances, you go into a passive and relaxed mood, and your attention diminishes. This is an advantage for content creators, who don’t need to focus on intricate shot angles or complex sound effects. The impact it has is enough to make it an awesome video.

There’s really no reason not to integrate video content into your marketing campaign. Even if you lack the experience to create great advertisement videos, you can easily find people who specialize in doing just that, as long as you know what you want. Hopefully, this article will help in that regard.

About Author: Neomi Preston is a graphic designer & video animator for Video Caddy. She graduated university with a degree in architecture and started her freelancing career 5 years ago. Neomi wants to raise awareness about the benefits of video animation for online business promotion.

Original post: A Guide to Video Content & Where it Fits in your Marketing Plan

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