Top 9 ways to optimize video creative

One of the questions we’re asked the most is how to optimize video creative for online advertising. The truth is, there’s no special recipe and equation to achieve virality, but there are specific steps you can take to help ensure your video achieves the levels of impact desired.

Over the years we’ve seen first hand what works and what doesn’t. We’ve organized 9 key steps for creative video success:

1. Pay attention to length

There are a few things to ask yourself when it comes to the length of the video. Where will they be watching the video? What are your expectations for its performance? What are you trying to accomplish? It’s safe to start by putting yourself in your viewers’ shoes. For example, if they’re watching a pre-roll video ahead of the content they selected, it’s good to keep it short. That said, long form has real advantages in terms of emotional engagement, and we are seeing an average of 2.5 minute videos being run on the Virool platform. Length can give you more power than you think!

2. Slip branding into first few seconds

Of course we don’t want our ads to be skipped, but truth is, many are. With this in mind, Millward Brown recommends placing your branding within the first few seconds of your video. That way the viewer can mentally attach your messaging to your brand name in the off chance that they do step away. Bonus: Slip your branding into the key pivotal, emotional moment of your video creative to make an even stronger connection!

3. Appeal to people’s emotions

The best way to increase a personal affinity for your brand and leave a lasting impression is to make an emotional connection. We know that happiness is the easiest way to create that connection; it’s easy to make someone laugh. That said, don’t shy away from the power of sadness, shock or surprise! If used correctly, we have seen tearjerkers be even more effective at capturing the viewer’s attention. If you pull them in within those valuable first seconds they will want to stay to see what happens.

6. Consider video formatting

And by formatting we mean, what orientation should your video take? The debate for horizontal versus vertical video has been heating up recently and while there’s no definitive “use this one over that one”, it is certain that each has its own place. Horizontal is prime for desktop, it matches the shape of the screen. Vertical is mobile-first and in a recent study, eMarketer found that 72.9% of the US population in 2016 will watch digital videos, so it’s worthwhile investment!

7. Make sure it’s shareable

You’ve worked so hard to make great content, so now you must make it easily sharable so that your viewers do your job for you! Make sure to wrap your video in one-click social sharing icons for the networks that matter most. Quality content that is then easily shareable can be distributed widely and at no additional cost to you. We’re all trying to create that next piece of viral content, so make sure you’re giving yourself the chance!

8. Leave a clear CTA

This step is very important! Before you distribute your video to the world, think about what your ultimate goal is. Do you want people to look at your website, buy your product, or learn more? Make sure you’re facilitating an easy way for them to complete your ultimate goal. One effective way of doing this is by including a banner ad right below your video, or an end card with a clear CTA on it. It’s a great way to drive your viewer to take an action.

9. Know what your KPI is ahead of time

Knowing your KPI ahead of time helps you craft your entire approach to reach your goals. Different video formats and video types are effective for different KPIs and can impact your video content itself. For example, if your top KPI is engagement, then selecting an native outstream video unit is the right pick for you. If your top KPI is video completion rates, then consider running your campaign through a desktop preroll unit.

Clearly there’s a lot to consider when planning a video campaign! Virality can be a bit of a fluke at times and certain amount of your chances pertain to your content itself, but with the right plan of attack you can help set yourself up for success. Still have more questions on what your strategy could be missing? Feel free to reach out to our sales team at! We’re always ready to chit chat and talk digital video.

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