An image is worth a thousand words. Now, how much is an image and a video worth? It’s been three months since we released video ads on the Google content network and we've seen a variety of interesting ads during that time – some that performed well and others that weren't quite ready for prime time. Over the next three weeks, we'll be sharing some of the key attributes of the ads that performed well. We'll start by sharing the tips below on creating rich and engaging video ads.First, make sure that the opening image is engaging. Here are a few tips for the image:Memorable Image: Your opening image must capture the user's attention, and keep it.Vibrant Colors: The opening image has to entice users to hit play, so catch their eye with rich, sharp colors.Text: Although a stand-alone image can work as an opening image, we suggest that you include a few words to describe the product, service and/or company you are promoting.Call-to-Action: An opening image with a call-to-action is highly recommended. Informing the user that they can learn more by clicking play usually increases play rates.Multiple Sizes: In order to increase the number of placements where your ads can show, include an opening image in all of the following sizes 300x250, 250x250, 200x200 and 336x280. Please note that your image may be resized if it doesn't fit one of these sizes.Second, you'll want to review these tips to ensure that the content of your video ad itself is as compelling as possible:Key Messages: Because users may not watch your entire video, make sure you deliver your key messages early in the video.Keep it Engaging: Video should be entertaining, informational, and relevant. Unlike TV advertising, you only have a captive audience if they choose to continue watching your ad. Whenever it appears on a site, your video ad will be your only communication with that site’s users, so it’s important to be clear about what your business offers. And remember, your audience won’t just respond to what you say, but how you say it.Short and Sweet: Although videos can be up to 2 minutes in length, we’ve found that users start dropping off significantly if ads are longer than 45 seconds.Make it Audible: Video ads allow you to use both sight and sound to communicate with your consumers – so make sure that the voices and/or soundtracks you use complement your overall message. If you are using a soundtrack, the music should not drown out any voices.Call-to-Action: Make sure you communicate to your users what you’d like for them to do – visit your store or site, call a phone number, complete a purchase – so they’ll have clear next-steps once the video’s completed.Now, to check out these tips in action, take a minute to watch this ad for Zero-G. (Note: The advertiser whose ad is featured will not accrue clicks or impressions, so feel free to enjoy the ad.)We hope you've found these tips helpful and please join us next week when we’ll cover monitoring performance and optimization.
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