Two Ways You Can Create Video Ads Right Now

Written by Tim Edmundson

The internet is obsessed with video ads. Advertisers love them because they tell their brand’s story in a more fluid format. Shoppers love them because they’re engaging — a far departure from the obstructive, flashing popups of the days of old. Video has been seamlessly integrated into the online experience, and the lines between advertisements and content has been blurred to a point where many consumers often don’t notice (or care about) the difference.

This has all been great news for advertisers — if they had a big enough budget and team. Thankfully that’s starting to change too — advances in tech have led to tools, such as the Creative Suite included in the SteelHouse Advertising Suite (yes, that’s a shameless plug), that allow you to create video ad content without the need for a large production team or enormous budget.

“You don’t need high production quality video assets like TV commercials to tell a story with video,” says SteelHouse CMO David Simon in a recent chat with MarTech Series. “It used to be you had to be a big brand with a big budget to use video. We make it easy enough for any brand.”

He’s right — video doesn’t have to be hard, nor should it require a huge lead time and an enormous amount of resources. Advances in technology have opened the door for any brand to take advantage of video ads, so let’s explore two ways you can start creating video ad content today.

1. Get Your Static Assets in Motion

TECHNIQUE: Take the static images you already have and animate them so it looks like a video.

“At SteelHouse, we are encapsulating in the definition of ‘video’ ideas and techniques beyond what it’s traditionally meant,” says Simon. “For example, the SteelHouse Creative Suite can take snippets of anything from slideshows to still imagery and have them play as video with moving elements. This is far more eye catching than static ads.”

Taking static images and putting them in motion isn’t really an intuitive solution. In fact, the definition of static is literally “lacking in movement, action, or change,” which is the opposite of what video ads represent. But marketers need to get out of that simple mindset and go beyond the usual treatment of imagery. For example, by showcasing multiple product images in a slideshow, you can introduce motion into your ad. Using a visual trick like panning across a still image can introduce enough motion to catch your customer’s eye.

Any marketer can unlock video’s key element — motion — by getting creative with their current assets. By introducing movement into your ads, you end up with creative that draws the user in, and you’re able to convey the look and feel of your brand far better than a static image ever could.

2. Make Your Old Video New Again

TECHNIQUE: Take your pre-existing video assets and use them in a new way.

You might be thinking to yourself “well that’s not really a revelation, why wouldn’t I use video I already have?” Well, we agree – why wouldn’t you? The problem is, many don’t. The reason we’re calling it out here is because so many brands are sitting on useful video assets they aren’t even aware they have. In fact, if you check right now there’s a pretty good chance you have some videos in your own content library, or that others in your company have made, that are just collecting dust.

If you do have existing video assets, look for ways to recut them to use in display or social campaigns. An edit that converts an old video into a six, 15, or 30 second ad gives those videos new life, and gets you high quality video assets for a fraction of the work. Add an overlay of text to these newly reworked videos to help with messaging — 39% of consumers are more likely to finish a video with subtitles.

These are great to use for lifestyle or prospecting campaigns — chances are your existing videos will have footage that matches your brand’s style, look, and feel. Repurpose those portions, and you have a new campaign without any of the usual costs or extensive lead times. By using video assets that your team has already developed for your brand, you can put your digital and social campaigns head and shoulders above your competitors. This will let you not only stand apart from all the static ads out there, but also compete with other brands who have already made the jump to video.

Tech Allows Marketers to be Marketers

While creating video ads with existing assets is a great way to build compelling creative, it’s main benefit to the marketer is efficiency. As tech in advertising continues to improve, it enables marketers to step back from tasks that act as time sinks and focus on the more stimulating — and impactful — portions of their job.

“As more video is running programmatically, brands may need to have different sizes, shapes, specs and even a different set of expectations for their video ad formats for other platforms,” notes Simon. “[Marketers] shouldn’t have to be technicians, needing to solve all tech specs associated with video ads.”

Marketers need to focus on what they do best — marketing. They shouldn’t be spending valuable time working through specs and sizes, ensuring their ads will run right everywhere. That’s where technology can lend a helping hand. There are many things humans do better than machines, but optimizing ad sizes isn’t one of them. Solutions like the SteelHouse Advertising Suite let marketers focus their efforts on messaging, look and feel, and the other factors that can be the difference between a winning or losing campaign.

We’ve reached a tipping point where managing every facet of digital media is too much to manage, and the time for automation is here. Ad sizes, campaign optimization, bids, channel management — they can all be done by machines, letting marketers focus on creativity and strategy. So ask yourself: what can you automate today? The answer is more than you think.