How to create video marketing that makes an impact
Best practices and video marketing trends from top platforms you need to know
Mar 1, 2023
The golden age of traditional television may have come to an end, but the golden age of online video is upon us. Maybe you can’t compare the artistry of a TikTok to an episode of Mad Men, but in terms of impact and reach, video marketing holds sway.
Video has become a mainstay for innovative brands. According to Wyzowl, a whopping 96% of marketers (the highest ever proportion!) value video as an important part of their strategy. This is no wonder, with the same analysis showing us that consumers are watching an average of 17 hours of online video per week, and are twice as likely to share video content than any other type of content, including social posts, blog articles, and product pages.
Video advertising allows marketers to meet consumers where they are and deliver the content they want, but it’s not just about video-first platforms like YouTube and TikTok. With everyone from Bing to Twitter offering options for video marketing, it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s take a look at some general best practices for creating video ads and then dive into the various platforms.
Social media users are constantly scrolling, so it’s important to grab their attention — fast! According to Twitter data, there is a 13% increase in overall breakthrough metrics when a message is conveyed within the first three seconds of a video ad. Use those first seconds to draw viewers in with plenty of color and movement. Consider opening with your product, and try tight framing of your subject, whether it’s a product or person. And YouTube suggests keeping a quick pace, including at least two shots within the first five seconds to improve ad recall and consideration.
Optimize for mobile
An overwhelming 70% of YouTube global watch time happens on mobile devices. Be sure to create for the small screen with tight framing and attention to brightness and contrast. Consider your aspect ratio, too: Square (1:1) or Portrait (9:16) will work best for those holding their phones vertically, while 16:9 takes advantage of the full screen in landscape mode. And don’t forget about your landing pages! Optimizing your pages for mobile ensures that anyone who clicks through from an ad can take action.
Balance text and audio
Considering how often viewers watch video marketing on their mobile devices, they often have to do so silently. After all, a subway car full of people isn’t going to appreciate your ad on full blast. Not to mention that Facebook ads (most often) autoplay with the sound off, so you’ll need to find another way to draw in these viewers. Captions and text give video ads context without sound and keep viewers from scrolling past, driving a 28% longer view time. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore audio altogether: More than 93% of top-performing TikToks incorporate audio, and 88% of users said sound is essential to the TikTok experience. So, partner well with your copywriters and pair your text with music or voice-overs to maximize engagement.
Put your logo front and center
Well, maybe not front and center, but placing your logo in a corner of the frame keeps your brand top-of-mind. Integrating a logo into the story can improve ad recall, while a text overlay or persistent watermark boosts consideration, according to a study by Google and Ipsos. Twitter found that a clearly positioned logo increases brand recall by 36%. Meanwhile, Facebook advises that displaying a logo within the first three seconds of a video can improve ad performance. (There’s that three-second rule again!)
Keep it brief, and to the point
While video ads of all different lengths can perform well with top notch creative, there are a few general rules of thumb to consider when it comes to maximizing brand impact. To optimize for your brand awareness and consideration goals, LinkedIn recommends keeping your video ads under 30 seconds. Other platforms, like Pinterest, provide similar guidance. To make the most of your pins, the platform suggests video ads between 6 and 15 seconds long.
Feature a clear call to action
Whether it’s an overlay linking to your website, a pop-up graphic reminding viewers to subscribe, or just a verbal command, a CTA shepherds viewers through the customer journey. It’s best to keep your CTAs simple and direct so that viewers know exactly what you want from them. (Think “Download now” or “Learn more.”) You wouldn’t create a display ad without a CTA, and video ads should be no different.
Specs for popular video advertising platforms
Sharp storytelling and stunning visuals will always be the jumping off point for creating impactful video marketing, but each platform has its own formats, sizes, and specs to consider.
Google & YouTube — From short bumper ads to prominent mastheads, Google runs through its various format options for YouTube and video partner sites.
Facebook & Instagram — Meta has all of the specs and design recommendations for its manyvideo ad placement options across Facebook and Instagram.
TikTok — Find a full list of TikTok video ad specs in their Business Help Center, along with tips for better ad performance and user experience.
Microsoft Audience Network — Here’s a full rundown of Microsoft video ad elements, requirements, bid strategies, campaign metrics, and best practices.
Twitter — See recommendations and specs for all types of Twitter video ads, from standalone video to ads with buttons and polls.
LinkedIn — Check out LinkedIn’s guide to choosing campaign objectives, measuring success, planning content, and more.
Pinterest — The (p)inspirational platform shares full specs for standard-width and max-width video ads, as well as multi-video Idea Pins.
Stay on track with an effective video feedback tool
Whatever platforms you choose, your video ads are only as good as your video collaboration tools. A creative workflow management platform like StreamWork can help your team move work forward with streamlined creative project management, a built-in video review tool, and automated marketing approvals so you can move from ideation —> launch faster. Learn more at www.streamwork.com and start collaborating on all creative assets in your campaigns.
Meredith is the Founder and CEO of StreamWork, a creative workflow management platform built for teams who work on creative. Meredith has 12+ years experience working as a marketer at Apple, Google, YouTube and Warner Bros., and has worked on hundreds of creative assets with teams large and small. Her mission is to simplify the way teams work on creative.