Online video advertising spots offer a more cost-effective way to touch your customers, without spending the thousands of dollars necessary to create, edit and pay for a slot on network television.
While the financial costs are less, the potential to tarnish your brand is greater, given that the most popular platform to use, YouTube, allows viewers to voice their comments easily and share those opinions across multiple platforms with a simple click.
Today’s post contains advice from “The Martin Scorsese of Online Video Advertising” who also goes by his birth name, Adam Lisagor. Adam is an expert in creating video ads that resonate with viewers and drive more sales. Hence his well-earned nickname.
Adam’s made online video spots for many of the big names in Silicon Valley including Square, Coin, Flipboard and Airbnb through his company Sandwich Video:
1. Length is malleable, but keep it as short as possible.
TV spots rarely afford a brand the time it needs to touch customers effectively and get right to their heartstrings in 30 seconds or less. Online video allows advertisers a little more leeway in the time department.
“Humans receive and retain information at a certain pace and in a certain linear order,” Lisagor says. “So the longer Web format allows us the space to receive new information without having it shoved in our eyes and ears.”
Lisagor recommends keeping your videos below the two-minute mark for maximum branding effectiveness. “If you have the viewers’ attention, don’t squander it. It’s the most valuable thing,” he warns.
2. Don’t try to be funny when you’re not.
It’s tempting to try to make a funny video when it comes to advertising. After all, the goal of any branding video is to get as many eyes on it as you can.
Funny gets shares, funny makes money. No doubt about it.
The problem, Adam tells us is that the desire to be funny as an advertiser can quickly turn the viewer off. “If funny comes natural to you as a storyteller, then tell a funny story. If it doesn’t, then forcing it is a huge mistake.”
3. Avoid jargon and buzzwords.
In an effort to come off as an authority, many advertisers make the mistake of trying to build that authority by hitting viewers with a bunch of industry terminology and/or acronyms. “Marketing people often make the mistake of using industry jargon and buzzwords as shorthand for describing value,” Lisagor says.
He uses the term “global solutions,” used by many companies seeking a global reach. The problem, he says, is that statements like this often don’t resonate with viewers because they aren’t specific enough to a layperson or someone who’s new to an industry.
Lisagor tells us it’s even worse when advertisers try to string jargon, buzzwords and unfamiliar acronyms together to appear more authoritative. He claims this is nothing more than a bunch of jumbled-together “gobbledygook” to the viewer.
4. Get the viewer to viscerally see themselves using your product.
“If you can allow the viewer to project him or herself into a mental state of experiencing the product and having a positive reaction, it can go a long way toward convincing them that they should take the next step toward having it,” Lisagor says.
He advises that this takes careful blending of words and images to pull off effectively: “If you try to make the response to a product seem more grand or have a larger impact than people intuit it would, it’ll have an adverse effect on your brand,” Lisagor forewarns. “People don’t like to be lied to.”
5. Don’t overreach on your expectations for the video.
You can create and master the best video ever made and the end result will still always hinge on the quality of the product you’re selling. “The biggest mistake to make when embarking on a video is to assume that a video can answer questions that the product can’t on its own,” Lisagor states.
In a nutshell: always strive to make the best video message you can, but don’t assume you can throw a bunch of good actors, wicked editing and your entire advertising budget at it and it’ll surely succeed. If the video doesn’t blow up and go viral for you, maybe the business or product is the problem and not the ad itself.
Have any tips you’d like to share?
Please do leave a comment. According to Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and a ton of other industry big-wigs, video in general is the future of entertainment and advertising — much to the dismay of TV advertisers across the globe.
Main Image Credit: Scott Simpson/Flickr