In a world where content is king, video reigns supreme. So understanding how to make a video advertisement for your business is essential. It’s way more effective at communicating emotion, tone, voice nuances and adds a human element to developing a more engaging, better converting relationship. 

Let’s be honest, it’s 2020 and there’s really no reason not to be using professional quality videos. 

In fact, it’s simpler and cheaper than ever to create memorable, professional quality video ads that will resonate with people. So please allow me show you how to set up a video ad that’s both free and professional.

Outline

  1. Defining Your Objective, Offer & Messaging
  2. Choosing A Software Platform & Creating Your Video Ad
  3. Setting Up & Running Your Ads
  4. PRO TIP: Video View Retargeting
  5. Conclusion
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1. Defining Your Objective, Audience, Offer & Messaging

Regardless of the medium you choose for your online advertisement, you’ll need to have your target audience dialed in with a specific offer and messaging, customized to that specific group of people. 

All other components of your campaign rely on having these details clearly defined.

When running digital ads, you want your audience to be more narrow (not too broad). 

An audience size of 500,000-3,000,000 is a common recommendation you’ll find from digital marketing experts across the internet (unless of course you’re running a more local or hyper-niche ad campaign).

You can easily create and find different audience sizes by first creating a Facebook Business Manager Account (if you don’t have one already), and then creating a new “Saved Audience” inside the Audiences tab.

You want to then match your offer to this specific audience. An offer should be something interesting, attention grabbing, enticing and/or irresistible. Focus on solving a real problem they’re experiencing or giving away value for free.

So if you’re running advertisements to cold traffic (i.e., people that have never heard of you), you may want to focus on just providing free, actionable value or some type of entertaining content (where sales is not the main focus). 

Think about it, if you saw an ad from a brand you’ve never heard of asking you to buy something right out the gate, how would you feel?

So unless you’re doing search engine marketing (where there is buyer intent) or you’re using informative sales videos in your website and content (where users generally find you, not the other way around), you’ll want to keep your social media marketing patient, calculated and strategic.

Now the bulk of your revenue-generating conversions (from digital marketing) will happen through retargeting campaigns and followup ads (see the section on video view retargeting for more on this!). 

And as for your messaging, a best practice is to appeal to the transformation they’ll experience if they take you up on your offer. People buy and convert on emotion, not logic.

Finally, when creating your video(s), you should consider adding text to also communicate your offer. Often times, viewers will be watching video(s) with the sound turned off. 

So of course you want to be sure that they’re actually consuming your content! So let’s talk a little more about the design and video creation aspects of your advertisement.

Recommended Read: Creating The Irresistible Offer

2. Choosing A Software Platform & Creating Your Video

Once you have your audience, offer and messaging clearly defined, then you can start thinking about how you want to present that information. 

And creating the actual video is the exciting and creative part of this whole process! So the first step is to choose a good video making software platform.

Ideally, you’ll want to choose a software that will align with your objectives and brand or image (such as color schemes, font designs, and animation and voice over options). 

Luckily, most of the software in the list below have equally suitable customization and design options. 

However, do note that some choices excel in areas such as animation and text overlay.

Video Making Software Platforms - Best Options

  • RENDERFOREST (free plan option)
    • Create professional videos online using beautiful templates and a simple editor
    • Use free video clips and images
    • Create animations and customize colors, fonts and branding options
    • Create free logos
    • Create websites and landing pages
    • Create slideshows, promos, presentations, niche and industry-specific intros, music visualizations and invitations
  • WAVE.VIDEO (free plan option)
    • High-quality online video maker and editor
    • Thousands of free video clips and stock images to use and customize
    • Customize with animated text overlay, branding options and done-for-you templates
    • Create animated text videos
    • Create for marketing, blogging, social media and business
  • LUMEN5 (free plan option)
    • AI powered online video maker and editor
    • Automatically turn any written content into a video with text (highlighting main points)
    • Easily customize text, fonts, music, images, video clips and colors to suit your brand, objective and taste
    • Great for bloggers, website businesses and content marketing
  • PROMO (free to try)

    • Easily create and edit professional marketing and business videos online
    • High-quality templates, video library and stock photos to choose from
    • Great for promo videos, social media marketing and YouTube ads
    • Create customized videos based on industry
    • Free to test out before paying

Creating the Video - Useful Tips

Creating an effective ad is strategic. People will, on average, only watch about the first 3 seconds of your video. This is your chance to capture someone’s attention. 

You want to make sure you quickly communicate the value that your target customer will be receiving if they stick around and watch the video ad (or better yet, if they claim your offer).

If you’re using video ads to send to cold traffic, keep it shorter. 

Marketing expert and online entrepreneur Ezra Firestone recommends using video that’s 1-2 minutes in length for new cold traffic prospects and saving longer video content for down-funnel communication. 

Simply put, longer videos perform better with audiences who already know you and trust you. 

Also keep in mind the platform you’re on and the content strategy you’re using. 

For example, a short-form video ad on Instagram stories will be much quicker compared to a YouTube (or even a Facebook) short-form video ad.

Overall, for new prospects, keep it short and capture attention quickly. 

If they show interest in the shorter video and continue watching past the intro, then they’ll be more likely to consume the longer-form video and possibly make a purchase from you at some later point (keep reading to the section below on video view retargeting!).

I like to think about those crime dramas that do so well at hooking us in to watching “just one more episode”. 

Obviously you don’t want to recreate a crime scene for your video ad, but if you can tap into that human need to satisfy our curiosity, you can create more engaging and effective video ads. 

You can also use testimonials or interview-type material.

People tend to trust a brand more if the content is coming from someone with personal experiences of the product/service or from someone that they can relate to – not from a sales person or brand’s biased representative. 

Beside the above points, you’ll also want to consider creating multiple video ads to test, so you can find the best-performing one(s) to scale and reach more people with a higher ad budget. 

This is slightly more advanced but it’s a good method to start adopting into your marketing strategy. Luckily, there’s a shortcut technique for testing multiple ads without changing the whole video each time.

I first heard about this approach from Wilco de Kreij (owner of the Connect.IO software platform, which provides tools for automating and optimizing Facebook ad marketing). 

Basically, he will only create and split-test the intros of his videos while leaving the rest of the content the same.

Remember, since most people will only view the first few seconds of a video before deciding whether they’re interested or not, why bother changing the middle and ends of the video(s) if people are most likely only going to watch the intro? 

Makes sense to me! 

This can save you invaluable time since you won’t have to create full length videos for each split-test.

3. Setting Up & Running Your Ads

Once you’ve got your offer, messaging and video(s) created and ready to go, it’s time to put them to use! 

Running ads online is a fantastic opportunity for any business or entrepreneur today. Without a doubt, it’s more accessible than ever to get your brand and business in front of the right people. 

The only caveat is, it’s not always the easiest thing to do – as some may have you believe.

Among other things, effective digital marketing requires a strategic protocol, thorough testing, high quality content, a decent budget, a good offer and effective targeting. 

I don’t want to scare anyone away from starting digital ads, since it can literally catapult a business forward. But it’s important to be aware of the potential difficulties. 

Either way, here’s a brief breakdown of how I’ll go about setting up a campaign:

  1. Choose Your Objective
    1. You should match your video messaging and offer, so this should already be clearly defined
    2. Common objectives: Reach, Engagement, Conversions, Video Views
  2. Create Your Target Audience(s)
    1. Remember the importance of testing
    2. Also remember to match your video as closely as possible to each target audience you test
  3. Craft Your Headlines, Text & Copy
    1. This should match your messaging and should clearly present your offer and the transformation your customer will experience
    2. Tip: You need to capture people’s attention quickly while they’re scrolling through their feed (if you’re using social media platform to advertise), so you can try using bold statement, enticing claims and even using emojis is shown to increase engagement (just don’t overdo it with the emojis and always avoid sounding clickbait-y)
  4. Upload Your Video(s) & Creatives
    1. You can also look into using Dynamic Creatives (within Facebook & Instagram ads) and testing variations
    2. This will allow you to automatically create split-tests of your creatives and copy
    3. This lets the Facebook algorithm automatically optimize your campaigns for you – powerful stuff!
  5. RECOMMENDED STEP: Create A Landing Page to Send Your Prospects To
    1. Landing pages act as the sales page that your customers will be sent to after clicking on your ad to learn more
    2. Renderforest allows you to not only create professional videos, but also landing pages and websites!
  6. Publish Your Campaign
    1. Double check that everything looks good and is ready to launch!
    2. I recommend reviewing Facebook’s Advertising Policies to avoid any issues with getting your ads disapproved
  7. Scale, Optimize & Retarget
    1. Increase your budget to the ads and ad sets that are performing best
    2. Split-test new creatives, offers, messaging, audiences and even landing pages
    3. Retargeting is the backbone to a successful ad campaign and absolutely required to convert cold traffic into something more (check out the section below for more on retargeting!)

Recommended Read: 6 Steps Quick Guide to Facebook Ads

Want even more? How about a full course training you in the art of online marketing and Facebook advertising, completely for free? Enroll in this free course by Jordan Schumacher Today! (it’s the course I took to jump start my career)

$$ Tip Jar

When you’re running ads and collecting data, don’t make any changes or adjustments to the targeting or the ad itself for at least 3 days. 

This will mess with the algorithms, not allowing them to optimize and test what works, leading to inaccurate data. 

In other words, just because your ad performs poorly for one day does not mean you should turn it off. You must give it time!

4. Pro Tip: Video View Retargeting

We’ve already established that video performs better and leads to higher conversions and more engagement (source). Now it’s time to explore the importance and profitability of running ad retargeting campaigns. 

Customers are always on a buyer’s journey and have numerous choices, brand and offers to choose from. So it’s your job to make sure they buy from you.

How? Besides providing a unique, irresistible offer, having effective targeting and engaging creatives, you must retarget your prospects with followup ads and/or email communication (if you’ve captured their contact info through a lead magnet for example).

Converting a cold traffic prospect into a paying customer today can take up to 7 points of contact (or more) before they commit. 

However, with video view retargeting, the efficiency, quickness and return rate for retargeting campaigns is greatly enhanced.

Within your Facebook Business Manager, you can create a new “Custom Audience” based on “Video” views (found inside the Audiences tab). 

When building this audience, you’ll first choose the video (from your initial campaign, after it’s been running for a little while and you have data from at least 1,000 people ideally) you want to retarget people from.

Then you’ll select whether you want to retarget viewers who watched 50% or more, 75% or more, or 95% or more of the initial video.

From here, you’ll send these groups of prospects another video (or image ad) that furthers the conversation with them and brings them one step closer to converting and trusting (or at least recognizing) you as a viable brand and business.

Repeat this process and customize your messaging, offer and followup ads to suit the specific audience you’re retargeting. 

This is a surefire way to boost your conversions and get a positive ROI for your online video ads.

If you’d like a full review on how to set up a video retargeting advertisement inside Facebook, check out this post!

Conclusion

This post has looked at how to make a video advertisement for online marketing and retargeting purposes. I’ve introduced the importance of choosing your objectives, creating an enticing offer with clear and consistent messaging and audience targeting and segmenting.

There are many powerful software solutions available, all of which provide us with professional, high-quality video ads. 

Whether your objectives are more social and engagement/brand awareness driven or you’re looking to increase your traffic, conversions and sales online, video ads and video view retargeting campaigns provide businesses and online entrepreneurs with extraordinary control over their growth, sales and brand building.

My recommendation is to clearly identify your objectives, your brand image and start exploring one of the platforms above. When you’re ready to launch your campaign, stay strategic and patient and always look to the data for decision-making and ad adjustments.

If you ever need an extra hand or guidance with your digital marketing and online business development goals, never hesitate to reach out using the contact page above! Thanks for reading today!

Let me know in the comments: Have you ever considered using video for your advertisements and/or business? Did you know it was so simple (and cheap) to get started?

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