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Video has no doubt changed the landscape of social media over the last few years. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to find a social media platform that doesn’t rely heavily on video content. For businesses, this means that producing high-quality video content is an absolute must. A recent study from Wyzowl shows that 93% of marketers who use video say that it is an essential piece of their marketing strategy. It’s no surprise that video ads have been the secret weapon for many e-commerce sites that have seen incredible success.

When building out a video marketing strategy, a crucial area of discussion is how to structure your videos. Quick flashy videos showcasing your products or services aren’t always necessarily the solution. Is one 8-10 second video really enough time to let your product or service shine? On the other hand can you realistically expect to keep the dwindling attention span of a potential customer for longer than a few seconds to begin with? The back and forth between offering attention grabbing vs. high value video content can lead to confusion when trying to make efficient marketing spend decisions on your video ads.

So which type of video content is right for your brand? In this article, we will cover examples of both short and long form video ads, and more importantly, best practices to ensure the highest return on your media spend.

Short Form Video Ads

Short form video ads, which typically last less than 60 seconds, have become extremely popular over the last few years. These videos tend to work best in the awareness stage because they’re easier to produce and more shareable. When people are browsing through social media, they don’t want to be forced to watch a long video about a product they have never heard of or don’t have any interest in, which is understandable. They typically wait out their timer, skip the ad, and the majority of your video goes unviewed. Because of this, marketers tend to keep their videos brief, and strictly use them for awareness level goals.

While this strategy can be effective, it should also be noted that there may be a select few that resonate with your offer immediately. It’s important to understand that if someone watches 15 seconds of your 1 minute video, it puts them at a much higher level of purchase intent than someone who skipped the ad altogether. Retargeting these partial viewers can provide immense value later down the line in your strategy. Below is a formula that can be used in your short form videos to maximize the value of your Cost Per View and to potentially retarget viewers with higher intent.

4 Components of the One-Minute Video:

  • 0-3 Seconds: “The Hook” // The biggest mistake advertisers make in their short form video ads is filling this section with a brand logo or lengthy introduction. Don’t be afraid to get right to the point. Your hook should be the strongest statement you can muster up about your product or service.
  • 3-15 Seconds: “Ignition (Pain/Pleasure)” // After your viewer has been hooked in, they need something that resonates with them. This is typically achieved by either a problem or opportunity. Ask them a question that addresses a problem they have likely encountered. Show your previous success or failure in that area.
  • 15-50 Seconds: “The Solution” // If the viewer has made it this far, CONGRATS! You’ve kept their attention long enough to qualify them as a potential buyer. Now it’s time to showcase what your product or service offers as a solution to the Pain/Pleasure point mentioned above.
  • 50-60 Seconds: “Call To Action” // The last ten seconds of your video should be reserved for telling the viewer what action you want them to take next. If it’s a click to a landing page you’re after, tell them exactly how to get there and what to expect. Generating leads? Tell them how to opt in to learning more about your product or service.

Long Form Video Ads

Long form video ads work exceptionally well when it comes to building a brand image and standing out amongst the crowd. Long videos equip you with the opportunity to steer your brand in whichever direction you want. But what exactly is considered “long-form” video content? According to Google Ads, this is any video with a duration of 10 minutes or more. However, when advertising on other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, this is completely speculative. Most advertisers would agree that any video that exceeds the 1-minute mark would be considered a long form video ad. Below are 3 common examples of long form video ads that are sure to resonate with prospective customers at the consideration and conversion levels of their journey.

Explainer Videos

Long-form explainer video ads give you more time to educate your customers on everything about your product. This is why we see a lot of people use long-form videos in their sales funnel or as a part of their sales process. According to Hubspot’s report on animated video statistics, most people (94%) watch explainer videos to understand the product or the brand better, and 84% of those watchers decided to make a purchase after the video.

Customer Review / Testimonial Videos

This form of video ad allows the viewer to understand that you are an authority on the topic. If someone wants to learn more about a product or service, they don’t want to be pestered by a salesperson. Showcasing a strong testimonial by another customer who has used your product or service is the perfect way to convince the viewer that your company is the real deal.

Personal Connection With The Founder

Aside from giving you more time to talk about your product, long form video ads also allow you to show more of your personality. People like to see the face behind the product and what’s going on behind the scenes. Showing yourself on camera can start to build trust with your viewers, which is great for building rapport.

TIP: If you’re worried about looking silly or having a bad hair day on camera, remember that you can always do a voice-over for your video. This way you don’t have to worry about how you look, but still have the opportunity to connect with your audience and show off your personality.

When to Use Short Form vs. Long Form Video Ads

Short-form video ads are best used at the beginning of your ad campaign. In this case, the goal isn’t to teach about your product or service, but rather to create awareness about your brand. By relying on a “teaser” video with an eye-catching thumbnail and a short description, you can generate interest from potential customers who might not be ready to purchase yet.

Long form video works perfectly between the consideration and purchase stage of the sales funnel. Longer video ads tend to keep returning viewers engaged longer, which is why they have the highest view rates and most effective conversion rates.

The key is finding the perfect balance between the two by creating different ads for each stage of your marketing funnel. Remember to keep testing, experimenting, and optimizing your video ads. And if you get stuck, feel free to reach out to The Spark Group. We’re always happy to help!