Breaking down the specs of a successful video ad

Picture the drive to work you used to make every day before the COVID-19 pandemic struck — the same route, the same time and the same old billboards on the side of the freeway. Your drive to work isn’t about discovering new products or services, so in theory, you wouldn’t care about the dental offices, lawyers or whatever else that billboard is promoting.

But when there comes a day when your tooth aches and your insurance no longer covers your old provider, you might end up calling the number on that billboard after seeing it hundreds of times. That’s the billboard effect.

Digital marketing has largely left billboards in the dust, making it far easier to reach any of the billions of people online. But that doesn’t mean brands should be ignoring the principles that made billboards work in the first place.

Over the last five years, I’ve helped clients implement those principles by running video ads and have, for instance, helped a family lawyer in Joliet, Illinois book 130 phone calls with $1,000 in advertising spend with the strategy. Here’s how it works from start to finish.

The key to optimizing phone calls: Don't link your website

While many brands already see the value in video marketing, most still don’t know how to go about making an effective video without having to hire an expensive video production company. Remember, the video doesn’t have to be a high-production project; it just has to get the message across to the right audience and give people a way to learn more.

Videos generally have three components:

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