The following is an exclusive guest post by Dillon Becker, a video producer who previously worked at Storm8 and MZ (Machine Zone).
What do high-performing and low-performing video ads have in common. They both have room for improvement. No, that’s not the punch line to a joke. It’s a clue to creating winning video ad creatives for mobile.
Making video ads with stellar metrics means—say it with me—effective A/B testing. But your standard 30-second video ad can have countless items (call to actions, text overlays, live-action footage, logos, and much more), each potentially helping—or holding back—an ad’s true potential. Knowing what variables to test that will increase an ad’s effectiveness is only half the battle.
As a video producer in the mobile game industry, I’ve tested hundreds of video ads. From time to time, I made mistakes A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) the wrong items, but those mistakes led me to find out what’s best to test. Here are 9 reliable A/B testing ideas to give your video ad campaigns—for either performance marketing or programmatic with VAST—a healthy jump in click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CVR).
1. Button color
Yellow is the most visible color to human eyes, but does that mean you should use yellow buttons from now on? There are other factors that come into play, such as the tone of the ad, and the rest of your video’s color palette. Button color is an easy thing to test and can have a major impact on the performance of your video ads.
You’re probably used to testing CTAs, but how many aspects of your CTAs are you testing? Are you asking users to Play, Download, or Install? If your game is free, are you including a “Free” tag somewhere in your CTA? Have you tried a search bar with your game’s name being typed into it? How long is your CTA on screen?
Have you tried putting your gameplay in a phone or tablet? If you have, have you tried showing it without? The use of a device can visually explain where or how your game is played, but it can also limit the number of ways you can show off your game.
4. Title cards
Text is essential to most mobile video ads, especially on Facebook where videos autoplay muted. Most mobile video marketers A/B test different text, but you can also test how your copy is used. Try separating title cards in between gameplay versus text overlaid on gameplay.
A logo can tell a viewer a lot of information, especially if it’s a recognized brand. But if your brand is unknown, utilizing a logo might be a waste of time. Instead of starting your video with logos, try diving right into gameplay and see how it affects retention and click-through. After all, you only have 5 seconds to capture the viewer’s attention.
6. Social proof
A positive user or critic review can be worth more than any video ad you produce, so why not just put positive reviews in your ads? The obvious answer is that viewers may not think they’re genuine, but that’s not always the case (just look at movie trailers). Try including star ratings and/or positive review quotes in your mobile video ads as a test.
Advertising is all about emotion, and what better way to connect with a viewer on an emotional level than to show other people using your product? Live-action video ads are becoming more and more popular with mobile games, but considering that gamers want to see gameplay, the use of live-action can be a high-risk, high-reward item worth A/B testing.
Gameplay is important, but if you’re striving for that emotional connection then why not rely on a story? A good narrative will resonate with most viewers, but it can come at the expense of showing more gameplay, and there’s always a chance that the viewer won’t care enough to pay attention. Depending on your game, using your video ad to tell a story might be an effective strategy.
Data shows that mobile video ads are most effective when they’re between 23 and 29 seconds in length, but cutting all of your ads to be 26 seconds long won’t guarantee automatic success. Try testing different video lengths, including videos outside of the 23-29 second sweet spot.
Become a mobile video ad design expert by checking out Dillon’s previous stories: