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This is Part II of our ongoing blog series on creating and measuring game-changing video advertisements. If you missed it, Part I covers establishing a foundation for measurement in order to prove ROI. Once you have set your desired KPIs against your brand’s goals, planning a powerful and relevant DV campaign is the next step. The key is to identify common creative issues and establish best practices to make video creative execution easier and more effective across different publishers.

Step 1: Nail Your Video Creative and Brand Messaging

Video creative production is a major obstacle for brands across the board. Two major offenses are: 1) creating a video without taking the audience into account, and 2) repeats of the same creative across many digital publishers. These mistakes can make or break a campaign, so instead of repeating the exact same thing or creating something that doesn’t resonate with your desired audience, it’s worthwhile to invest in video production so that you produce the right versions of ad creatives for different audience segments and publishers. In other words, take time to understand your audience so you aren’t speaking the wrong language.

Before we dive into engagement tactics, let’s take a look at a great example of winning video ad creatives and the strategy that boosted their brand awareness:

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Pine-Sol is Clueless” is 19 simple pre-rolls, targeting some of YouTube’s most popular how-to searches. Won an AdWeek “Ad of the Day.”
Creative strategy:
Represent a single theme in many ways to fit an array of audience types.
Critical Mass

Best Practice

From a tactical perspective, there are three general guidelines for producing engaging video creatives:

  • Keep it Short
  • Always Include a Clear Call to Action
  • Let Visuals Tell the Story

Why are these best practices? See more winning ad campaigns and dig deeper into these best practices in the Video Advertising Insider’s Guide.

Helpful resource: Facebook regularly updates its monthly creative ad spotlights across 9 industry verticals with video ad examples that adhere to best practices:

Step 2: Choose the Right Ad Format and Delivery Method

There are 3 key areas to choosing the right ad format & delivery method:

I: Review Ad Formats Available

Standard pre-roll: Usually 15-30 seconds long, plays before desired content to drive high completion rates (VCR). This is the most common ad unit used in long-form video content from providers like Hulu and TV networks’ online streaming platforms.

Interactive interstitials: These videos layer on top of a page and usually have buttons built in to encourage social sharing and likes. These ad units are highly customizable and can even be formatted with extra interactions built in, like a store locator or a showtime finder.

Native video ads: This type of ad includes out-stream ads that play on historically non-video content sites, such as WSJ. As a user reads the content and scrolls down, a video is displayed. If they continue to scroll down the page, the video resolves and disappears since the user is not interested in the ad. These units are usually pitched as 100% viewable, but are somewhat intrusive to the users as they are not expecting to see the ad.

II: Review Delivery Methods

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III: Choose the Best Format + Delivery Method Possible

Here are some key considerations for making sure you select the right format and delivery for your video ad campaign:

  • Can my ad format track important performance metrics?
  • Will the publisher report on those metrics?
  • Will my ads render correctly across devices and operating systems?
  • Which devices does my target audience use to consume media?
  • Which sites/environments are my target audiences receptive to?
  • Is the publisher-defined user experience in terms of default sound on/off, “skippability,” and above/below the fold in-line with my brand guidelines?
  • Is my ad experience non-intrusive?
  • Can my ad creative drive desired conversions (eg. in-store visits, leads, app downloads)?

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