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Video advertising is a promotional tactic that mixes live-action footage, animation, images, and audio to increase brand awareness, reach more prospects, and attract new customers. With the appearance and popularity of social networks, video advertising is no longer exclusive to TV or subway stations. Instead, it can reach consumers wherever they are through the Internet.

Videos, unlike an image or text-based ad, allow you to quickly provide context around your product or service—and that’s not their only edge! Experts have furthermore found that videos outperform text and image-based ads in popular ad networks like Facebook.

By following these seven steps, you can create high-performing video ads and maximize your chances of seeing positive results.

1. Video advertising works best at 30 seconds long.

Google recently researched the ideal length of an ad. In their study, they showed participants 15-, 30-, and 120-second versions of the same ad. Google found that 30-second ads saw the highest view-through rate (VTR)—the number of people who watched the video in its entirety without leaving.

The template above offers a great peek into how a 30-second video ad can be structured to share a lot of information in a short amount of time. By blending scroll-stopping animations with a compelling story, you can make the most of your audience’s limited attention.

(If you’re a Vyond customer, you can create your own video ad by customizing this template!)

Create your ad in multiple lengths for maximum flexibility. If you can only produce one version, though, make it a compelling 30-second ad for the highest return on your investment

2. Focus on story, not video quality

You don’t need an experienced animator or a production team to create a video ad that sends potential clients to your website. In fact, you just need a compelling story.

Wistia found that video ads with great storytelling had a higher conversion rate than ads with much higher video quality. A high-budget film crew will inevitably make you stand out, but they can’t ensure a connection between you and your audience; genuine storytelling can.

Create a draft to test out your story with a storyboard. Storyboards are visual representations of your video ad’s scenes. They feature text-based descriptions of what will happen alongside sketches or unpolished animations of how the events will look. These cues help your team get on the same page conceptually before jumping into video advertising.

3. Encourage viewers to take action

Remind viewers to take an action, like visiting your website or buying your product. Do this with a call-to-action (CTA), such as “buy now” or “subscribe to our newsletter.”

Headspace calls viewers to “try the new Headspace” at the end of one of this ad. In addition, they’ve included icons for Google Play and the App Store, guiding viewers to the places they can go to in order to “try the new Headspace.”

A CTA tells viewers exactly what you want them to do next, and your video advertising should always end with one. Your CTA can be text on screen, a motion graphic, or a voiceover that encourages people to take action, for example: download software, hire a service, or purchase an item.

4. Test multiple versions of the same concept

Your team isn’t part of your ad’s target audience, so they can only speculate which version of an ad concept will bring the most results. To know what ad resonates the most with your audience, you should test multiple versions of the same ad. That might mean testing videos of varying lengths or with a different description, title, or thumbnail.

Webflow creates several versions of their Facebook video advertising to let the algorithm find the best combination of ad settings for their campaign’s goals.

Two versions of the same webflow video ad side-by-side.

To sum up, you can make data-backed decisions on which version of your ad is the best. Publish the same ad concept with slight variations in length, description, title, or ad elements. After a set time, stick to the ad version that brought you the most results.

5. Lead your video advertising with hooks

A hook is a scene at the beginning of your video that lets the viewer know why the ad is worth watching. But, without one, viewers may ignore your ad regardless of its high production quality and storytelling.

One of BAMSocks’ ads features a customer claiming the company’s socks are the best she’s ever tried. The claim acts as a hook, motivating viewers to watch the entire ad to discover what makes these socks different from others in the market.

Screenshot of a BAMSocks video ad with the caption "these are the best socks I've ever bought."

A well-produced video hook gives viewers a reason to watch. For instance, they can be the highlight of your story, an unexpected datapoint, or a teaser of what’s to come. You can craft excellent hooks by following one of three simple frameworks: the preview, the question, and the problem.

6. Add closed caption links to your videos

92% of videos viewers watch videos with the sound off on mobile—that’s most of the audience. So, you’ll need to reach those viewers without sound.

Buffer, for example, adds subtitles to their staffs’ and customers’ voices during their video advertising.

Buffer adds captions to make their Facebook video ads accessible.

You can add captions to your videos regardless of your experience with video editing software. Teams with video production knowledge can use professional tools like Adobe Premiere Pro to add captions to their videos. Meanwhile, those with less experience can achieve the same results with the caption features included with the hosting solution of their choice.

7. Retarget ad viewers over multiple platforms

Once you’ve created a video ad, it’s time to optimize your ad strategy. You can retarget your ads to only show your videos only to people who have already viewed your ads. This repetitive exposure to an ad, as Google discovered, makes viewers more aware of your brand and likely to visit your landing page. Retargeting keeps you top of mind with viewers who are already familiar with you and, therefore, more likely to purchase.

MasterClass uses retargeting ads to show their courses to people who have watched a specific course’s ad or to those who have interacted with the brand on platforms like YouTube or Facebook.

MasterClass video ads shown on both Facebook and YouTube.

You can run retargeting ads after placing Google or Facebook pixels on your website. A pixel is a code that monitors the behavior of your site visitors and ad viewers. Once the pixel is on your website, you can set up a Google Ads or Facebook Ads retargeting campaign to remind people of your brand’s potential impact on their day-to-day life.

Take your video advertising above and beyond with custom animations.

High-performing campaigns require planning, testing, and analysis. These seven guidelines let you produce compelling videos that fulfill your marketing goals: downloads, leads, sales, among others. Video ads, however, are traditionally expensive and difficult to produce. Vyond allows you to make your own videos easily and inexpensively. Our easy-to-use animation studio is packed with tools and templates to help you get started. Try it for free with a 14-day trial of Vyond.