How to record a successful video advertisement

December 8, 2020

Getting a sponsorship on a video can be one of the most exciting moments for a content creator like yourself. Not only do you now have a reason to keep making videos, but you also have the opportunity to work with a brand and make a living off of something others can only call a hobby. Of course, with this next big step in your career as a creator comes the added responsibility of recording successful video advertisements.

How would you define a successful video advertisement? Something that gets lots of views? Something that earns lots of money? As it turns out, the answer lies somewhere in between: a successful video ad both features a majority of viewers watching at least 50% of the video ad and earns one dollar for every dollar spent by the sponsor.

No matter if you're working on a 15-second video ad on YouTube or minute-long sponsored posts on Instagram, your video ad needs to be engaging enough to get views and convincing enough for there to be a return on ad spend. To make this happen, you first need to understand the basics of a short video ad. From there, we'll detail some tips and tricks that will teach you how to make a video ad that gets results.

The basics of a successful video advertisement

As with any new endeavor, you're bound to have a few questions about how to make a video ad. How long should an advertisement video be? How do I make sure I say all that I need to say? How do I ensure people listen to what I have to say? The basics of a successful video advertisements cover all these questions and more.

  • Don't make your video ad too long. Regardless of if you're making a video ad on YouTube or sponsored posts on Instagram, no ad should ever be longer than a minute or shorter than 15 seconds (unless, of course, the sponsor's instructions say otherwise — we'll get to those in the next section).
  • It's important to use a script. This written outline can be as long and as detailed as you need it to be in order to help you remember all you need to say. A script helps you keep track of the who, what, when, where, and why of your ad and keeps you from rambling on and losing the viewer's interest.
  • Practice makes perfect. Don't just draft up a script, set up your camera, hit record, and upload your first draft. You want to rehearse your video ad as many times as it takes to make it sound convincing and genuine. If you're too nervous, then it might not sell — you may sound disingenuous. If you're too relaxed, then it might not sell, either — you may sound too showy. Practice will help keep this from happening.

Key tips and tricks for a successful video advertisement

Now that we've gone over the definition of a successful video advertisement and reviewed the basics of how to make a video ad, let's take an in-depth look at the tips and tricks to help make your newfound sponsor proud.

Tie the ad to the video, just be sure not to tie it too tight

To make a video ad that successfully convinces your viewers to look into the brand sponsor, start by crafting up an ad that ties into the main video. Try to avoid contradictions or inconsistencies in your message, because this will sever those ties. For example, if you're advertising a certain food or drink, be sure not to disparage that kind of food or drink later in the video. Make it cohesive, because this helps the viewer see why this brand sponsor is advertising in the video and makes the viewer more likely to pursue that brand further.

With this in mind, one of the most essential things to remember when shooting a video ad is the Federal Trade Commission (or the FTC, as you've likely seen it abbreviated). Because of the influx of online content creators with sponsorship deals in recent years, the FTC has an important set of rules in place for sponsored posts. Arguably the biggest rule is the one that prohibits any unfair or deceptive advertising. The viewer must know that they're watching an ad and that the creator is attempting to sell them something. To do this, you can change the scenery or the background of your video and add some background music or sounds that differentiate the ad from the rest of the video. You can also never go wrong by starting off your ad with a simple phrase like "This video is sponsored by..." or "Thanks to today's sponsor..." before getting into the ad itself.

Honesty is the best policy

It almost goes without saying that honesty is the best policy when it comes to recording a successful video advertisement. Nobody is going to want to finish watching your video ad or be interested in the brand sponsor you're promoting if you're not being honest about what you're advertising. This goes way beyond simply being honest about the video being sponsored, too.

If you have any minor qualms with the product tied to your sponsorship that you feel like mentioning, you should mention them. If you have things you don't like about the product, mention those too. Being up front and honest about the product being advertised helps the ad feel more realistic and believable. After all, there's no such thing as a perfect product. Why act like it for views?

Follow the sponsor's instructions, because they're there for a reason

If your brand sponsor has included specific instructions for your video ad (and, odds are, they probably did), then you need to follow those instructions exactly as they're written. They aren't merely suggestions, they're there for a reason: The sponsor wants you to follow them, so you should follow them. Our Curastory brand partners submit dates, scripts, phrases, and other instructions that content creators like you need to fulfill in your video ads.

Choosing to ignore the set parameters established by the brand sponsor can cause a brand partner to submit a claim on your video, which could result in the loss of monetization for that video. Nobody wants that! You can avoid this by simply doing what they asked of you. While you might know what's best for your viewers, you should understand that the brand sponsor knows their product better than anyone. Following their instructions while maintaining your unique voice is one of the best ways to make an ad successful.

Other things to remember for your video ad

Make your ad just as engaging as your video

If you came across an ad that seemed as unenthusiastic, uninterested, and unengaged as possible, would you be even remotely interested in the brand sponsor being advertised? No way! To record a successful video advertisement, make your ad is just as engaging as your video. Like we discussed in a previous post, engaging videos secure brand sponsors. If your ad matches the unique voice, content, and feel of your videos, then you will have a successful video advertisement on your hands. That's because, even though it's undeniably an ad, it won't feel like one.

Make each second count, no matter how many seconds you have

Have you ever heard the phrase timing is everything? This is especially true in advertising. It makes no difference whether your video ad is 15 seconds or a full minute: you have to make each one of those seconds count. This ties back to the importance of scripting, which can help keep you focused on the key points and the important keywords that brand sponsors want you to include. When you do this, you create an impactful ad that gets those all-important views and returns.

Stick to the script, even if your video doesn't

What kind of videos are you known for? Daily vlogs? Maybe trick shot videos? Sit-down videos? Whatever it may be, it's likely that there's an element of looseness and spontaneity present in the content you create. (In other words, things you can't script.) While this might be what draws viewers to your video, try to take out some of that looseness in your video ads. Not so much that it doesn't sound like you or fit the tone of your channel, but enough for you to successfully stick to your script and say what needs to be said to fulfill the needs of the sponsor and to earn those views and returns.

Need more help perfecting your video ad?

If you're still unsure how to make a video ad or you're looking for more tips to record a successful video advertisement, turn to Curastory for help. Whether it's a video ad on YouTube or sponsored posts on Instagram or some other platform completely, Curastory has the resources to make sure you create a successful video ad. Visit our website to learn more or contact us today to discuss taking your videos to the next level.

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