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5 Things You Need for a Video Ad

So you've decided to make a video ad. Video advertising is perhaps one of the hardest ways to market, since it involves far more planning and resources than text-and-graphics campaigns.

But you want to make sure you get this right. We've all seen examples of bad video ads. From the infamous Peloton commercial to those cringeworthy ads for local businesses, we all know what a video ad shouldn't look like. So what can you do to avoid the pitfalls of bad video campaigning?

1. Have goals

As with any marketing campaign, you need a goal in mind that will determine your video's call to action. Do you want your viewers to try out a new service? Are you advertising a big sale? Are you opening up a new location? Having a clear goal will allow you to figure out the overall tone of your video and decide what direction you want to push your viewers in.

It's also important to just have one main goal. Having multiple goals in a single video can make the ad seem confused and will ultimately confuse viewers, too. They will wonder what the ad was selling or what the point of the video was, which you don't want!

2. Decide if you want to work with pros

There are many companies out there that can organize video campaigns for you. Depending on what kind of company you are, you may want to outsource. Marketing firms and animation studios may already have most or all of the resources needed to create a quality ad campaign. However, if you think you don't have all the manpower and talent on hand to create a solid video ad, outsourcing may be the best choice.

Using a firm can be a rewarding experience, as you know you're putting out a quality product that was created by experienced professionals.

3. Video briefs, scripts and storyboards

Although this is more important if you choose not to work with professionals, it's a good idea for all companies to have an outline of the project.

Vidyard puts video briefs, storyboarding and script writing as the first steps in creating a video campaign. These steps are basically for putting together the skeleton of the project. And if you are creating the video internally, there are plenty of online resources to help you put the pieces together.

If you're working with an outside team, even having a basic video brief will still allow you to visualize your goals more clearly. The team will probably never see this script, but drafting one will help your internal team prep for the meeting with the agency.

Those beginning steps are obviously key if you aren't outsourcing the project. Having a clear vision for an ad that tells a story and ends with a call to action is ideal for any video campaign. An experienced writer within your team will want to make sure that all aspects of the video - especially dialogue - are focused, fluid and natural. Nothing should seem stiff or distracted.

Even if you choose to not work with an outside firm, hiring a freelance copywriter is always an option as well. By working with a single writer instead of a whole team, you maintain total control over your project while also having a pro writing up your script.

4. Equipment and talent

Again, this is only relevant if you're handling the project internally, but you have to be sure you're using quality equipment and actors. People that deliver their lines woodenly or outdated smartphones that take blurry videos are not what you want for your ad.

Investing in high-quality cameras, taking the time to find actors with talent and using a good video editing program can make all the difference between your ad being taken seriously or not. In an age where an ad on YouTube can be skipped after just five seconds, you want to be sure that you're capturing your viewers' attention with quality content.

5. Know your audience

A buyer persona is a must for any marketing campaign, not just video ones. Knowing who your audience is will allow you to appeal to that group more effectively. General information such as age group, background, gender and income level are things to think about. More specific information to consider is the customers' "pain points" and what problems in their life your product/service is solving

A business can't appeal to everyone. Having a fictional ideal customer in mind to represent your target demographic is crucial when it comes to planning your ad.

With these points in mind, you can create your company's next video ad with confidence. Good luck, and happy marketing!

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