When marketing products with video ads, you have an extremely short amount of time to grab the attention of, and engage the viewer. Whether it be the several seconds you get before the “Skip Ad” button becomes clickable on YouTube or the split second pause between thumb flicks as someone scrolls their feed at potentially rapid rates. With this in mind, us marketers need to employ techniques and methods to command focus, pique interest and make people take pause to absorb our video product pitch.
In many circumstances our video will not be instantly unleashed on eyeballs but instead will be contained within a clickable image awaiting to be unleashed. This is common on social media news feeds, especially when a device is using mobile data. With this in mind, you could argue that the thumbnail is just as important, if not more so, than the actual video itself.
Making thumbnails that pop out (hint: Try using opposite colors to the platform’s main theme e.g. Facebook uses a blue heavy color scheme, so include lots of orange to stand out.), make people curious or showcase the best aspects of a product are all good practices to getting views.
Remember : Facebook video thumbnails should contain less than 20% text!
In most cases where a product video’s thumbnail can be submitted, you will have the ability to split test thumbnails. And split testing is nearly always the answer to any marketing question.
A dull colored, dreary video is not going to get anyone excited about your product. Make sure your videos pop by fiddling with the color a little before exporting. The trick is not to go overboard while ramping up the visual experience for the viewer.
Saturation is normally a good place to start, making your product videos brighter and delivering a bit more punchyness. Contrast can have a similar effect. The trick is to just fiddle around until it looks eye grabbing, but not tacky.
Don’t forget to also use a vivid palette for text, overlays and graphics also, to reinforce your effort to stand out.
Maybe your thumbnail has caused their brain to skip a beat or the intro to the autoplaying, muted product video injected some intrigue into them, but chances are they are still gonna scan the screen for some sort information to help them decide whether what your offering is worthy of straining any more of their modern day attention span.
This is where a top notch title and description come in to help increase watch time. Write compelling and engaging copy to keep them locked in and of course, split test!
85% of Facebook video views are played silently. Now you know you can’t rely on screaming at them through their speakers to make them take notice, so look at using visuals to draw them in and purvey your product’s message. Use attention grabbing imagery and text where appropriate. Of course, if you have someone talking on the audio track, get it subtitled and make sure it (and all text) is readable on smaller screens!
With the chances being that the vast majority of your video views are coming in on a mobile device being held in portrait mode, it makes massive sense to take this into consideration when chopping up a product video. YouTubers might want to give this section a skip, but if your video will be appearing on a newsfeed then you probably want to be cutting it in vertical mode or meeting in the middle with a square aspect ratio.
As you are trying to slot into a tall, slim space, it makes sense to make your videos taller and slimmer. Think about it, a vertical video takes up alot more newsfeed space on a phone screen held in portrait mode when compared to a traditional widescreen video that has to be squashed down vertically to fit it’s whole width in the feed on the same device held the same way. Taking up a smaller slice of the screen inevitably reduces your odds of getting noticed. Bigger is better.
Vertical videos aren’t great for landscape tablet and computer users though. This is why square video can be a good compromise. Of course, you could just cut a version for each aspect ratio and target each one to the respective screen it was designed for, but that sounds like a lot more work!
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