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  • Why do I need to create engaging online video ads?
  • How can I make sure my online video ads are entertaining and memorable?
  • How can I test my online video ads to see which ones perform best?

Before we start talking about online video ads, let’s try a quick exercise: imagine you’re on the way to the store to buy eggs when you notice a street musician.

You’re drawn in by the quality of the music and the crowd, so you stop to listen. Before you know it, you’ve heard 5 songs.

Successful online ads are just like that street musician. They convince someone who stumbles across them to stay and watch, instead of immediately continuing on their destination.

Of course, not every online video ad will be able to stop viewers from hitting the “skip ad” button. Certain types of ads have a higher chance of drawing viewers in. so what type of video ads attract the most attention?

An online video ad that pushes sales or is irrelevant to viewers probably won’t grab a lot of attention. However, an effective online video ad draws audiences in quickly before they can hit the skip button.

There isn’t one definitive way to make great online video ads. That’s because good ads use online platforms in surprising and creative ways.

However, there is one starter step you should take before coming up with ideas online video ads: Think about how you want these ads to help you reach your business goals.

The goal of your video ads could be increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or building a loyal and vocal following. Having a clear goal helps you narrow in on the emotions you want your online videos ads to evoke.

Clear goals also help you figure out what action viewers should take, like visiting your online store or sharing the ad on their social media accounts.

Depending on the scope of the project and your resources, you might consider using a digital agency that specializes in online advertising. But, if you have a smaller budget, you might hire freelancers with expertise in shooting, editing and analyzing the results of online video ads.

After you’ve decided what your goal is and found an agency or freelancer, it’s time to brainstorm some internet-breaking ideas.

While the content of your online video ads should be original and unique to your brand, you can rely on some tried and true elements to help make your videos more entertaining and engaging.

First, if it’s appropriate, consider using humour. That’s because humorous ads usually get more views than other types of ads. Obviously, being funny isn’t right for every brand, so use it wisely.

Star power can also go a long way. Partner with social influencers or celebrities to get your audience interested. Just make sure to get the right permissions.

Also, the right use of animation and appropriate music can draw people’s eyes and ears to your video ads.

Once you’ve come up with your concepts, think about what lengths your video ads need to be to get your message across.

If you want to keep your brand top of mind with people, for example, consider making a 15-second video ad that shows your brand or product in action to increase awareness.

If you’re introducing a new campaign or trying to tell a bigger brand story, a 60-second ad allows enough time to show your creative idea and create a cinematic feel that will keep audiences engaged.

The online world is ever-changing, so it’s best to test different ideas, learn from mistakes, and adapt your ads, rather than trying to hit a home run immediately.

Some features, like YouTube’s TrueView, allow you to do live testing of different ad variations so you can play around with music, logo, placement, and animation to improve your ads.

This type of iteration and testing allows you to push your creative juices to limit and experiment with new concepts, interactions, and tactics.

Also, data analytics on online video ads let you test whether or not your messaging is resonating with your audience. This can help you do a better job targeting them, which can increase your return on investment (ROI)

Mondelez International teamed up with ad agency Droga5 to test 3 versions of a Honey Maid online video ad. Their goal was to find the one that performed best.

All 3 ads told the story of a Hispanic family, focusing on their immigrant experience in America. But, one version was 15 seconds, the other 30 seconds, and the last 2 minutes long.

Mondelez International made sure each version of the video ad had different balances of story, product, and messaging. Then they tested all 3 versions on YouTube.

Mondelez International measure which version people chose to watch, how long they watched each version, and how that impacted brand favorability ad awareness.

The 2-minute and the 30-second ads not only had stronger VTRs (AKA view through rates), but were also both more effective in lifting brand favorability for the brand.

Start by brainstorming ideas with your agency or freelancer. Once you’ve come up with the chosen idea, test out different variations to find the one that performs best.

References: Google Webmasters, Think With Google, Google Primer

Mohammad Rahighi

Mohammad Rahighi

Designer and Project Manager who loves crafting big ideas and is passionate about designing meaningful experiences that can influence positive change and help make the world a better place.

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