5 Mistakes You’re Probably Making with Your Social Video Ads – and How to Fix Them

If you’re using paid traffic to grow your business, this has probably happened to you. 

You create some neat-looking video ads. You put them up on social media. You set a reasonable ad spend (or so you think).

Your campaigns go live. 

You can barely wait for the flood of visitors, leads, and sales that you’re sure will come… 

But the next thing you know, your hard-earned ad bucks are all spent — but there’s nothing in your sales funnel (much less your bank account!) to show for it. 

What happened? 

Let’s investigate! Wait a second as we whip out our comically large magnifying glass, like proper detectives…

This week, we’ll talk about 5 common (and very expensive) mistakes businesses make with their social video ads. And we’ll also give you specific action steps to fix those mistakes and make your videos much more persuasive and high-converting!

You will learn:

  • How to make sure your ads grab people’s attention in the first 5-10 seconds
  • Things you can do to make your videos stand out on social media
  • How to make your ads convert better by focusing on the viewer, not the product
  • Why your ideal customers might ignore your message (even if they need your product)
  • How to create compelling calls to action for your social video ads

And more. Let’s start with the most important element of your ad…

The image shows The Draw Shop mascot, ROIVid, grabbing a blonde man by the collar of his blue shirt. Above the mascot, there's a speech bubble with an orange warning sign.

1. Your introduction doesn’t grab attention

Remember: viewers don’t see your social video ad in isolation. They’re probably scrolling through their feed, chock-full of gorgeous pictures, cute animal videos, and other fun distractions.

Want them to pay attention to your message over everything else? Then you’d better make sure that the first 5-10 seconds of your video grabs the viewer by the brain and doesn’t let go!

There are lots of ways to craft a compelling intro:

  • Tell your viewers about a highly desirable result they want to achieve
  • Stun them with a shocking fact related to a problem they’re having
  • Zero in on the #1 burning pain your target audience is trying to solve
  • Start telling a story where the main character is a “stand-in” for your ideal customer
  • Ask your viewers a question that sparks their curiosity

Check out this article for different examples of attention-grabbing introductions for your social video ads. 

2. Your visuals aren’t pulling their weight

Now, you don’t know exactly how most people will be watching your ad… but you can make an educated guess. Chances are, it’s:

  • On a small-ish screen (60+ percent of social media traffic in North America is mobile).
  • With the sound off (that’s how most social websites display videos in their feeds).

That means, your visuals need to be clear and compelling enough to convey your message — all on their own. Or at the very least to make viewers turn the sound on!

Follow these guidelines to make sure that the visuals of your social video ads are up to snuff:

  • Keep the frame as uncluttered as possible, with just a few main objects of focus: e.g. your product and the main character.
  • If you have to have tons of stuff in the frame, choose a visual style that’s clear and easy to understand — like 2D animation, whiteboard video, or simple motion graphics.
  • Use closed captions and on-screen text to let the viewer know what’s going on if they’re watching with the sound off. Plus, it helps with accessibility!
  • Don’t go wild with editing tricks and fancy camera work — stick to simple close-ups and medium shots of what’s happening.
  • Consider different video formats that fit the social media platform you’re using. E.g. square videos do well on Instagram and Twitter, and vertical videos are a good fit for Facebook.

Also, make sure that the visuals perfectly reflect what’s being said in the voiceover, and vice versa. And if you manage to tell the story only through video, even better!

3. You’re too focused on your product/brand

When you’re making social video ads, you want to dedicate most of your attention to the viewer

Don’t forget: people care about themselves a heck of a lot more than some product, or especially the company making it! If you want to generate leads or boost your sales, then the best thing to do is meet your customers where they are and talk about them first.

Once your viewers know that you understand them and sincerely want to help, then you can introduce your product or service as something they need!

Here’s how this can work in a video ad:

  • Use the PSA formula to talk about your viewers’ problems, set up your offer as the solution, and nudge them to take action.
  • Whenever you mention product features, or your services, always bring it back to the benefits and outcomes your customers want to achieve. No bragging for its own sake!
  • Mention other people (or companies if you’re B2B) who have used your product or service — and back it up with testimonials.
  • Address unspoken objections and concerns your viewers might have, so they know if your offer is right for them.
  • Don’t be afraid of emotions. Empathize with the frustration or fear your customers might be feeling. And talk about how awesome they’ll feel after using your solution!

People don’t make buying decisions in a vacuum — they always, always buy something to solve a problem or get results. The better you can connect with what they want, the more persuasive your message will be.

4. You aren’t speaking the viewer’s language

Industry jargon. Overly formal or way-too-goofy tone. Weird phrasing. There are many, many ways in which your social video ads might fall flat.

But they all boil down to the same thing: you’re not speaking to the viewer in a language they understand. Or, to be more specific, they understand it perfectly… but it just doesn’t resonate.

There’s only one way to fix this problem — make the effort to understand how your viewers communicate!

  • Do they prefer a formal tone, or something more casual and relaxed?
  • What words are they using to describe their problems?
  • How do they talk about their goals, hopes, and dreams?
  • When they talk about themselves, what do they say and how?

Talk to your customers on the regular, do your research online — and learn as much as you can about what they talk about, what they say, and how they say it. Knowing your customer’s language (and writing ad copy with this in mind) will make your video ads 100x more persuasive!

Tip: sometimes “not speaking the viewer’s language” is literally true. If your target customers don’t speak English, or speak it as a second/third/n-th language, you might have trouble getting your message across.

Translating your video ads into more than one language will help you reach more people in your target market — even if all you do is create some non-English subtitles!

5. Your call to action is too vague

What’s the #1 job your video ads need to do? That’s right — they need to convert viewers! Otherwise what are you spending all that dough for?

And even if everything else about your video is top-notch, jaw-droppingly amazing… without a compelling call to action, you’ll be struggling to get the ROI you want. So, here are some solid rules of thumb for making a highly effective CTAs for your social video ads:

  • Ask your viewers for specific, small actions. For example, instead of “order [product] at [website] today!” you can say “click the link below to visit [website] and get your [product] today.” Same thing, but it feels more manageable because the initial ask is small and specific.
  • Avoid generic, cookie-cutter language whenever possible — today’s consumers are very good at tuning it out! Especially placeholders like “subscribe,” “submit,” “buy now” and the like.
  • Connect your CTA to the core value proposition of your product or service. E.g. an ad for a recruiter might end with something like “call [number] and book an appointment.” But it can easily become, “Time to fill that ‘Head of Engineering’ position you’ve been holding open for 6 months! Call [number] and book your free consultation today.”
  • When appropriate, use scarcity and urgency to encourage people to take action. Give them a small, exclusive discount, or a free gift with their order, or limited-time free shipping… or just remind them how precious their time is, and why they want to act now.

Improve your social video ads with a kick-butt Elevator Pitch

What if you could capture your customers’ attention and get them pumped about working with you… in 30 seconds or less?

Having a powerful Elevator Pitch that delivers an irresistible message to your prospects is the single fastest way to grow your business in 2020 and beyond.

You can:

  • Run it as a highly effective social video ad
  • Put it in your social media bios or pinned posts, so it converts people 24/7
  • Share it with your team
  • Feature it on your website
  • Use it in your email signature
  • Put it on the back of your business card

And more.

To create your Elevator Pitch, all you need is to hop on a 30-minute consultation with one of our expert copywriters here at The Draw Shop. They will help you define the problem you solve, how you solve it, and the life-changing results your customers will see from working with you.

Then we’ll transform your input into a single-statement Elevator Pitch for your brand — a powerful 30-second video scientifically designed to stand out, delight, persuade… and convert.

We’ll even top it off with a one-page, one-of-a-king infographic that makes your pitch into an engaging visual story!

Want one? Then head over to this page to book your appointment!