#1 Consider the crop
This is a big one and quite often an afterthought. It’s great that you have content shot in 4K with beautiful panning shots capturing the emotion, but it’s not so great when you crop your masterpiece for vertical video (9:16 ratio) and you’re left with heads and legs cropped out of the frame.
To avoid this look at shooting video specifically for the format; thinking about how you can take advantage of shooting in a portrait orientation where a user’s eye will be looking up and down instead of left and right. If this isn’t possible you should at least be allowing for extra space around your subject so that once cropped nothing important is missed out.
#2 Content and order
We know attention spans are much shorter on social platforms, therefore it’s important that we tailor our videos accordingly. You should be adding impact and hooking users within the first 5 seconds, making sure you introduce the brand in an organic way if possible (try to avoid big logo overlays and instead show someone using the product or service). This is especially important for Instagram where users prefer to see ads that blend into the rest of their feed’s content. Lastly, provide a clear call to action to guide users.
Facebook also recommends a video length between 5-15 seconds, so time is of the essence!
#3 Are they listening?
The majority of users on social media will have their devices on mute. This means you should be looking at visual substitutions to deliver your message instead. Take a look at designing some text overlays or even subtitles. Facebook’s data also says view time increases by 12% if these are added. Just remember to make them big enough as most video views will come from mobile devices.
#4 Clicks vs views
So, you’ve made it this far and are feeling pretty pleased that you’ve ticked off all the above. But what’s the purpose of your video? They might watch for a few moments and scroll right past, leaving your brand far in the back of their minds along with the rest.
If it’s general brand awareness and ad recall you need, you’ll want to create something memorable; either through relevance, humour or emotion. If you want to drive an action like clicks or purchases, then be sure to include clear calls to action, be more descriptive with product information and possibly include incentives or discounts as well.
#5 Who is watching?
Just like other areas of advertising, you’ll want to tailor your video ads to your target audience. A great client example of this was adapting their existing vertical video to target personas interested in photography; the first half of the video featured clips of landmarks, artwork and architecture. You can probably guess what performed better!
#6 Testing and insights
Testing and looking at the data are in the foundations of all our creative work at Merkle. What performs well can always be made better and what we think is true or relevant to an audience quite often isn’t the case. That’s why you should always be looking at what you can test; whether it’s different audiences, the order of content, or how it’s edited.
Still stuck? Get in touch with the Merkle creative team for help with your next campaign.