While the craft of creating a good video ad is definitely a form of art, you might be surprised to know that there is a method to the madness. By now we’ve seen enough video marketing experiments and run enough tests to confidently conclude what works and what does not.

Instead of keeping the formula to ourselves, we decided to share the 6 cardinal rules of creating winning videos so you can get a head start when creating video ads for your business.

To illustrate the process, we will use examples from a fictitious business looking to create a fictitious promo video for a fictitious audience. The lesson, however, is anything but fiction.

The Fictitious Family Diner

Step 1: Set a clear goal

The first step in the creation process is setting an explicit goal. To avoid convoluting your message and confusing your viewers, it’s SUPER important that each video only has a single goal. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have more than one goal, it only means that you should have more than one video.

There are dozens of goals that you can achieve with the power of video, including driving viewers to your website, promoting a special sale or eliciting social engagement, as long as you always remember – one goal per video!

Example: Our diner’s goal is to introduce a new menu to a new audience as well as their existing one.

Step 2: Compose a coherent message

Once you’ve set your goal, you should naturally be able to translate it into a message that will communicate it with your target viewers. Your message should be brief and to the point, conveyed in a clear and compelling way. If it’s a sale, consider adding a sense of urgency (for a limited time only) or a sense of exclusivity (for subscribers only).

The most important part of building your message is considering it from the audience’s point of view. You know what you want to tell them (come buy our stuff), but ask yourself, what is it that they want to hear (buying our stuff will improve your life and it’s worth it).

Step 3: Bring your video to life

Step 3 actually is comprised of 3 sub-steps so bare with us:

  1. Footage – You set your goal, you composed a message now it is time to string it all together. Search Promo.com’s vast video library for footage that communicates your message. A strong start is crucial to get people watching, so find visuals that stand out.
  2. Text – Once you’ve selected your footage, write the text that will accompany each frame. Don’t write something that you can show visually – there is a reason that you’re creating a video and not writing an article. Also, when writing your copy, keep in mind that text and visuals need to go together. Make sure the copy coincides with your footage in seamless rhythm, not random or out of place. If you’re not sure what to write, go back to your intended message and articulate in the shortest (but catchiest) way possible.
  3. Music – Check out Promo.com’s fully licensed music library and choose and soundtrack for your video. Music has the power to set the tone so make sure it compliments your message.

Step 4: Culminate with your call-to-action

In the last frame of your video, or what we at Promo.com like to call your outro, it is crucial that you include two key elements: A strong CTA and your company logo. Essentially, you are leaving the most important part for the end – your logo tells the viewers who you are and the CTA tells them what they should do in order to take action.

Your CTA should be crystal clear (no room for puns or jokes here).

Culminate with your call-to-action

Step 5: Review your masterpiece

Okay, you’ve done it. You’ve pulled all the pieces together and you have a fully functioning video. At this point, you’ll want to make sure that all the elements flow smoothly. Your visuals, text, and music should all do their part in enhancing your core message.

Watch and rewatch to ensure that that the graphics, fonts, and colors are consistent and correlate with your overarching message. Don’t hesitate to go back and continue tweaking the video. That is why we make sure to include this step. Also, when viewing your video, keep in mind that most videos are watched on mute, so it is vital that your message comes across with our without sound.

Step 6: Promote your video

It’s show time! Now is the moment to get your video out into the world. Remember that your distribution strategy is no less important than the video creation process. Build a spreadsheet that covers all of your marketing channels to make sure that you don’t miss an opportunity to get your video ad in front of the right eyes.

We recommend that your strategy includes social networks (a whole world unto itself), your website, blog, various landing pages, your emails list and other online communities.

Pretty simple, right?

Go crazy, knock yourself out, and be creative as long as you stick to these six simple rules. No matter what industry you’re in, follow these steps to create amazing videos that boost your business.

Head to Promo.com and start now!