Why do some video advertisements perform better than others?

Video marketing is a great tool for promoting your brand or business. In fact, 87% of video marketers agree that video gives them a positive ROI. However, this isn’t true for all video ads.  Some don’t hit the mark and brands end up costing money, instead of generating it.

So why do some video ads perform better than others? Video ads usually involve a lot of planning and preparation. They also use a range of tools and methods for boosting their views and engagement.

But before we discuss these tools, let’s dive into the core of video marketing: quality content.

What makes a good video ad?

Video is a unique marketing tool with unique features.

It allows you to engage with an audience without pages of text.

Good video ads will also help you to create an effective digital marketing funnel so you can generate more traffic and convert views into sales.

To create a good video ad, you should ask yourself the following questions.

  • What is the video for? This is crucial for establishing what to include in the video. Think about the problem you’re trying to solve for your audience. For example, if you have an umbrella that can withstand heavy winds, then show this solution in the video.
  • What platform is the video for? Good video ads are always tailored towards the video platform they are on. For example, Instagram and Tiktok have different video aspect ratios. As you can see below, Instagram needs square or portrait videos, while YouTube works best with landscape videos.

Source: Instagram

  • What tone does your video need? Base your tone on your company branding and target audience. A SaaS brand will use a different tone compared to a clothing brand, and millennials and Baby Boomers speak differently. 
  • How can you stand out in a crowded market? Aside from learning about the recent video marketing trends, identify what is unique about your product, service, or company. Then make sure this comes across in the video. Also, think about how your video can stand out. Humor always works. You could also use a celebrity or influencer that no one is using. Pepsi has done this with an advert that features Cardi B.

5 tips for creating fantastic video advertisements

So you have your ideas and talent ready to create a video ad.

But you still need to know a few things to make that video ad successful. 

Follow these tips and tricks to ensure your ad gets as many views and conversions as possible.

1. Get your audience’s attention inside the first 5 seconds.

If you want to interact with your audience, then first you need them to listen to what you have to say. And this isn’t easy when 65% of viewers skip online video ads as soon as possible. 


So try to be succinct. The skip button usually kicks in around 5 seconds, so you need to capture attention within that time. Because of this, some ads don’t even bother making their ads longer than 10 seconds.  

Check out this ad for Hefty Party Cups. It is exactly 6 seconds and uses humor to draw in potential customers. 

Source: Hefty Party Cups

This shows that you can summarise a product or service within the first 5 seconds of a video. You just need to find a creative way to achieve that goal.

2. Work with influencers

Influencers are everywhere. They’re in all the restaurants, fashion shows, and tourist destinations. There might even be one hiding behind your sofa – not saying there’s one, but it might be worth checking. Wherever and whoever they are, influencers are everywhere, and you can work with them to promote your brand.

You can now partner with the most successful YouTubers to market your online ecommerce platforms. They can show how your products work and recommend them to their audience. And some YouTubers have millions of followers. So you could end up reaching huge numbers of customers from all over the world with one video alone.

Popular YouTuber, Zoella, partners with brands for her videos. Below she is demonstrating some products for her followers. The video has received over 400,000 views and comes with her personal recommendation, too.

Source: Zoella YouTube

This is why 9 out of 10 marketers think influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing.

Research which influencers will work best for your brand based on their audience. Then pitch some products and marketing ideas to them.

3. Highlight the benefits to customers

Focus on all the benefits you can provide for your customers with your product or service.

If you’re advertising a product, then make sure you show all the unique features. Use close-ups to show them in action.

Gilette’s video for their Heated Razor does this by using close-up shots and clear copy. The product is the focus of the video and is set against a black backdrop to make it stand out.

If your video ad is for a service, then try using customer testimonials to highlight the benefits.

This adds authenticity as people can hear real-life stories from previous customers.

4. Include a call-to-action

A call to action within a video gets 380% more clicks than regular sidebar CTAs.

And this is great because more clicks mean more sales, subscribers, or website views. 

It’s best to have as many different calls to action as possible, like the video below. It has a spoken call to action for people who are watching, plus a subscribe button embedded in the video itself.

Source: Eva zu Beck YouTube

A call to action can also lead people back to your website. And you can convert this interest in your website into sales or engagement.

If this is what you’re doing, then try these landing page examples to improve your conversion rates.

5. Continue to test

Things don’t always go right on the first go. So keep testing to learn from your mistakes.

Research the tools that will help you measure your video marketing performance.

Look at why different videos are performing better than others. Then identify how you can make improvements.

Only through trial and error can you learn what to do to make improvements.

There are three reasons why video advertising doesn’t work.

1. Poor ad targeting

You must ensure your ad targeting is right as this will determine who sees your ad.

You don’t want products aimed at teenagers marketed to men over the age of 65. And vice versa. It will be a waste of your time and marketing budget.

Google’s video marketing tools allow you to target specific groups of people. You can choose them based on their age, location, and interests. Although there are also many other options to choose from.

Source: Google

Research your product and target audience first, so you know who to target. You can base this on your existing customer base or the customers of your competition. Either way, you need to stick at it. Keep optimizing your videos to ensure they’re reaching their full potential.

2. Incorrect video type 

People don’t watch all videos in the same way. For example, people watch 85% of Facebook videos without sound, which means you might need to add subtitles to them. On the other hand, most YouTube users watch videos with the sound turned on. 

However, this doesn’t mean you cannot use the same video for multiple platforms. You just need to ensure that the format you use is suitable for the platforms where you intend to publish video ads. 

3. Narrative defects 

Some of the best adverts involve stories.

They’re a great way to draw in customers and forge an emotional bond with your brand. And it seems to work, as 35% of people prefer to engage with short narrative stories most often.

But make sure your story is consistent and makes sense. Narrative defects are easily noticeable and will not look great for your brand.

For example, Skype has a story about a long-distance friendship between two girls. It has a clear beginning, middle, and end. And it builds an emotional connection within only a few seconds.

Source: Skype YouTube

Try creating your own story to show how your product or service can help people. Weave the business solution into the narrative. And use emotions to keep people watching. 

Wrapping Up

Video marketing can seem tricky at first and it’s not always easy to get right.

But, you should now be able to identify why certain videos perform better than others.

Use this information to create your own successful videos.

The key thing is planning and preparation. Think about the platform you’ll be using and the audience you’ll be targeting.

In time you’ll get the hang of it and your videos will be stronger than ever.


Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO of Shift4Shop, a completely free, enterprise-grade ecommerce solution. He’s dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance.

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