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The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your First Video Ad

Step-by-step strategies for success

Video ads aren’t just for big brands anymore. Social media helped even the advertising playing field for smaller businesses, and the data proves time and again that videos are what users want to see (and what Facebook shows them! It’s true, you can actually double your organic reach on social media with video).

One recent survey found that 83 percent of businesses would want to create more video content if they didn’t have restraints such as time and resources. Fortunately, creating your own video ads is simple with Promo — now we want to make sure you’ve got the inside info to make it a success.

Let’s get started!



Your First Video Ad, Step-By-Step

Step 1: Set Goals

You can’t get where you want to go if you don’t know the destination. Rather than set your goal as revenue alone, get specific on what immediate action you want your audience to take, and just as importantly, how you want them to feel about your brand. It is with these smaller steps that you will see your business grow and customers returning to you. 

Pinpoint the goal(s) of your video ad to guide your decision-making in all the steps that follow. Here are examples of clear goals when creating each video:

  • Excite visitors to view my website
  • Promote a special sale
  • Ask a question that elicits social engagement
  • Attract readers by promoting original blog content
  • Tell the story of my business to build brand loyalty

Step 2: Decide on your message

The most effective ads convey a clear, strong message, and do so very quickly. While you may have a lot of important things to say to your audience, focus on just one message at a time, and save other points for your next video. Your message should always speak to your customer’s viewpoint. Remember, it’s not about telling your audience how awesome your business is, it’s about how awesome you can make them!

Questions to ask yourself as you prepare the video concept:

    • Why should my audience care about what I am telling them?
    • What is most unique about my brand that the customer won’t find elsewhere?
    • Is my message about my business, or is my message about the customer’s experience?


Step 3: Bring your message to life

Now for the fun part! Start by choosing from millions of premium video clips so that your video will be uniquely yours. Then write the text that will accompany each frame. Text should be brief and to the point, conveying your message clearly and compellingly.

  • What tone will best convey my message to the audience? Humorous? Empathetic? Nostalgic? Cautionary? Keep the tone consistent throughout when choosing footage, text and music.
  • Does the footage match the emotion that I want my message to evoke?
  • Is the visual experience interesting and eye-catching?
  • Is my language clear and understandable?

Step 4: Put it all together

Video is so effective because it combines footage, text and sound to give your audience a multi-sensory experience. You will want to consider each of these aspects and how they work together as a whole.

  • Does the opening of my video ad hook the viewer quickly? A strong start is crucial to get people watching.
  • Are all the elements brought together smoothly? Do the visuals, text and music enhance the message or detract from it? Preview the ad through the customer’s eyes.
  • Most videos are played without sound, so make sure your ad works equally well with and without music.

Step 5: Clarify a Call to Action

Once you have conveyed your message to your viewers, you must give them the next step. Tell them exactly what it is you want them to do, whether it is to go somewhere for more information, fill out a form, sign up for a promotion or order your product. Generally speaking, the call to action (also known as CTA) appears at the end of the video. To take a deeper dive into creating CTAs for your video, check out our Blog post.

Step 6: Promote Your Video Ad

You did it! Now you’re ready to debut your first video ad to the world. Make sure to cover all your marketing bases with a distribution strategy that hits every major channel.

Here’s a list of places to share video content with your audience:

Social Networks. Of course, you’ll want to post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but also consider LinkedIn and SlideShare for B2B exposure.

Your website, blog and campaign landing pages. Videos on your site can help increase conversion by 80%, and Google boosts search results for pages where users are spending more time (in this case, watching a video keeps them on your page longer). Make it easy for viewers to share your video by adding share buttons where applicable.

Your YouTube channel. YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web behind Google, and can be leveraged to drive viewers back to your website or social media pages.

Your email list. Just adding the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribers by 26%.

Your email signature. Even after you’ve sent an email campaign that showcases your video, you can still continue to link it in your signature for additional views, or for customers who come along later.

Online communities. Many industries or interest groups create their own online communities, whether on Twitter chat, a Facebook group, Reddit, or another forum. For best results, make sure you are already active in these communities and not just there to advertise, and that you are sharing content that is relevant to the group.

Step 7: Make more video

You didn’t think it was over, did you? After conducting a recent user review we found that the most successful marketing efforts include publishing 1-2 videos per week. That means that you have many more opportunities to play with new footage and showcase new elements of your business online.



Ready to make the move to better engagement with video ads? Try Promo today!

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