How can advertisers respond to the ever-growing demand for social video and the challenges it brings? Visually compelling ads set brands apart from the competition. It’s hardly news that video ads drive engagement, brand association, clicks, and ultimately, revenue. The shift to mobile-first advertising has already happened - 91% of Facebook's Q1 2018 ad revenue came from mobile. Social video spend was predicted to double in 2017 to more than $4bn, and 2018 will likely see a shift from not just mobile-first but also video-first advertising.
With scale comes the need for speed and most advertisers struggle with scaling production without blowing their budgets.
We at Smartly.io listened carefully to the challenges our customers were facing with creating compelling video content. We then worked closely together with our customers, which resulted in our bespoke Video Template tool. Let’s take a closer look at the most common obstacles and how Smartly.io’s Video Templates solution helps advertisers to overcome them.
- WORKLOAD: The process is both work-intensive and time-consuming from pre to post production as it typically requires scripting, filming or animating, and editing.
Solution: with Video Templates, brands can build, design, and iterate short-form, mobile-friendly videos from a single interface. You don’t need to involve a production company or editor, as long as your creative team is trained to use the tool.
- PERSONALIZATION: There is a pressing need in the market to localize video ads for different audiences as increased relevancy drives results across the board.
Solution: it is now possible to automate creative components in your video ads based on what or who you’re targeting, including language and location information: countries, languages, occasions, seasons – and more.
- PACE: Video ads should be refreshed often – both to maintain advertising performance and to keep up with changing product inventory. This is a challenge especially for large e-commerce retailers and travel advertisers with a high product turnover and/or frequently changing prices.
Solution: when automating video with Smartly.io, all content updates automatically to reflect changes in advertisers’ product feeds or in the template design making video ads personalized and relevant at all times.
- FORMATS: Different video standards and formats add a lot of complexity to the mix. Videos have mostly been shot in landscape 16:9 format, yet the standard on social platforms is either vertical or square. Different ad types require different videos formats. Advertising across Facebook and Instagram may require up to five distinct video formats with different dimensions. File formats, image quality, sound, autoplay, subtitles, and video length are other crucial details to consider when advertising across different platforms.
Solution: The tool has a series of predesigned templates for a variety of campaign types: product sales, promoting a product category, or app campaigns, to name a few. The templates are 4-15 seconds long and rendered in square or vertical formats.
- TESTING: Understanding what kind of video creative works and implementing best practices to know what works for your audiences. Running a single variation of a video ad is rarely enough to determine, e.g., whether video as a format performs better than static ads, or what direction a brand should take their video advertising. Should you have subtitles? How long should your video be? What’s the most effective way to engage in the first three seconds? Knowing what works requires some testing, and advertisers should plan their budgets and production plans accordingly.
Solution: Video Templates also allows to run head-to-head tests between creatives to determine the winning approach. Smartly.io platform helps you create A/B tests and Lift Studies to understand what works. Once you know what to change and what to keep, you can instantly update your video template and the changes will be live.
- BRAND INTEGRITY: Enough high-quality, on-brand video creatives. Some providers offer volume through user-generated and influencer content, but those can be risky from a brand safety and quality point of view.
Solution: with Video Templates, you’re in control of the visuality at all times: fonts, colors, borders, overlays, images, copy, animations, and transitions are completely customizable.
- COORDINATION: Video production has a lot of stakeholders, and there can be miscommunications - be it with agencies, creatives, studios, voiceover artists or internally with managers giving their input. It can be hard to describe what you want, people can be slow to give their comments or approvals, and edits can take many steps or rounds of back-and-forth - all in all, coordination can be frustrating.
Solution: with the in-tool editor, marketers can adjust their video templates, test what’s working, and implement learnings without involving their creative team or agency – a process that often adds several days or weeks to the timelines. Overall, automation eliminates most of the steps associated with traditional video production.
If you are curious to learn more about the Video Templates tool, read our blog post with more details here.