Checklist for a Powerful Video Ad
Whatever you’re selling, a video ad can be powerfully effective when done well. It also can be a bloated, costly project that kills your brand.
First thing to understand is that there isn’t an exact formula to creating the perfect ad. Anyone promising that they can create a viral video is about as honest as a snake-oil salesman. There is, however, a few things to be sure of to make a great video, no matter what your industry.
#1. Who is Your Audience?
This is the most important question to ask yourself (and to keep asking as long as you have a business). Your video, along with all your advertising, is not about your business. It’s about your customers. What are you solving for them? What do they get out of doing business with you? Always be thinking from your customers’ point of view and the rest of your marketing will be much, much easier.
#2. Check Your Competition.
Competition is a good thing, even copy-cats are a good thing, as hard as that is to accept. They push us to improve what we do. Look at your competition and identify what seems to be working for them. And please, don’t get hung up on their resources, but rather look for their resourcefulness.
How are they communicating effectively to their customers? What can you learn from them.
#3. Plan Your Marketing Message.
I’m surprised at how many videos are created without a clear sense of messaging. A marketing message needs to be clear and narrow. The result of any marketing is for the customer to be left with a single action to take. The message is to do one specific action. Make sure that your video won’t leave the viewer with a variety of actions to take. It is okay, of course, to offer two or three ways to contact you, but make sure that they are contacting for one specific reason.
#4. Kill Your Babies.
It’s an awful phrase, but it’s helpful. It means that if/when you are especially attached to a certain element of your video, be able to consider if it really is necessary or not to your marketing message. This is the baby. It’s a tagline, a pain point or an awesome shot that you have fallen in love with, but you have an objective view (either yours or someone else’s) who says it’s not needed for the video. A video ad must use every precious second effectively, so if that amazing drone shot over your business doesn’t fully contribute to your marketing message, kill it off.
If you’re hiring a video producer to create this, make sure that they also are not insisting on a cinematic shot that isn’t necessary. A lot of video producers are truly wanting to be filmmakers, which is fine, but you may have to reign in their inner Spielberg to make sure the video is going to do its job.
#5. Be Open To Ideas.
Along with needing to reign in your video producer (or your own creative flair,) still be open to ideas. Some of the best advertising we’ve all experienced was something that was way different than what we’d normally expect. Be open to ideas that are different. These might be the perfect ad that will launch your business.
If you are creating your own video and want a few tips, read: How to Create Better Video with Your Phone