Video content with digital signage systems is very powerful. A network of connected screens allows a company to advertise, inform, and connect with people all over the world.

But as important as the screens are, it’s what you decide to put on them that really counts.

There are pros and cons to using video, but more and more companies are finding that videos are more effective than still images.

Why It Works

What is it about video ads that makes such an impact on consumers? That’s not something that has an easy answer, as it’s going to change from example to example. But there are definitely elements of video that put it on a higher level than print ads.

Here’s a list of 5 reasons why video works so well as an advertising medium.

1. Movement

There’s just something about a video that’s so much better than a poster or a billboard and I think it can be summed up in one word: movement.

Video allows you to show more than just one image of your product. You can show what your product looks like in different situations. You can show it at rest or in use. There are endless possibilities.

Most people aren’t looking for advertisements when they’re out and about. So your ad has to do something to catch their eye.

Movement is an excellent way to accomplish that.

People are drawn to movement. Don’t believe me? Find a friend. When that friend is busy, wave your arms around in their peripheral vision. Even if they know you’re there, they’ll look up to see what exactly you’re doing. Apologize for distracting them, but insist that it’s for science and research. Hopefully they won’t question you further.

A great way to grab someone’s attention from the sidelines is to incorporate movement into your ads and videos provide a natural way to do that.

2. Audio

Imagine that you’re in a movie theater. The lights have just dimmed and the screen lights up. A hush falls over the audience as they anticipate the beginning of the film.

Until a loud cough breaks the silence.

Almost like you’ve rehearsed the movement, every head turns simultaneously to stare at the unfortunate cougher.

Now, aside from embarrassing the poor soul with a cold or popcorn kernel stuck in their throat, the cough did something very important.

It got your attention.

Noise is a great way to catch someone’s ear, as it were. Video ads with audio aspects do a great job at making people walking by your sign stop and stare.

A word of warning: volume is not your friend. Your signs are likely in high traffic areas for more exposure. But those areas are also loud. So what do you do to make your video heard?

The answer is not to make your video louder.

Let me say that again. The answer is not to make your video louder.

You don’t want to irritate people.

One way to get around this is to use a motion sensor. I’ve seen this used in stores a lot. When a person walks by, it triggers the start of the video.

Or you can try adding some catchy music to your ad. People like music. But make sure it takes a backseat to your message.

3. Retention

Think of your favorite ad.

It’s probably safe to say that a commercial of some sort popped into your mind. Why is it your favorite? Maybe it’s clever or funny. Perhaps it features a song you like. Maybe it’s got a catchy jingle or tagline.

The important thing is that you remember it.

Videos have actually been proven to increase not only understanding, but retention in consumers.

That means your audience not only gets what you’re trying to say, they remember it long after they’ve seen the ad.

In fact, 80% of Internet users remember video ads they saw while online. That bodes well for digital signage that makes use of videos.

4. Connection

Imagine a piece of paper. It’s blue. There are some words on it, in black text. There might even be a picture of a product, let’s say a shoe, on it.

It’s a nice ad, but not particularly moving.

Now picture a video ad for that same product. Same color in the background (it’s the sky this time), same words in the same text. But the product isn’t stuck in one position. You see someone wearing the shoe, walking and running with it on. You can see how the shoe moves, how comfortable the person looks.

You probably connect with the second advertisement more.

Customers connect more with video ads. Video ads show the product in use. They show it in a variety of settings or being used by a variety of people. Humans aren’t stationary creatures. We move. We live. We’re dynamic.

So it makes sense that we connect more with a moving picture than a static one.

5. It Just Does

There’s not always a scientific reason why people like some things better than others. It just happens.

People like videos. It’s that simple.

In fact, 70% of professional marketers say that video is their most effective medium.

It makes sense. We’re a culture saturated in video advertisements. We see commercials on TV and our computers, sometimes even on our phones. We almost expect advertisements to be more than just a static image.

5 Tips for Making Effective Videos

Of course, it’s not enough to simply make a video. You want to make the best video you can, because you are a smart marketer.

Video ads can be a daunting project to tackle, but I have faith in you. More importantly, I have tips. Five tips, to be precise, to keep in mind as you create your advertising masterpiece.

1. Short and Concise

Even though you may have grabbed a passer-by’s attention, it’s not likely that person is going to stop and watch your sign for long. After all, your consumers have important things to do and can’t waste much time.

So be wise when it comes to the length of your video. Keep it short and to the point. Don’t try to cram in too much information or you’ll leave your audience confused.

Studies have shown that the best length for holding people’s attention is between 30 seconds and 1 minute.

2. Simple and Subtle

While you want your video content to be eye-catching, there’s a limit to how flashy your ad should be.

You don’t want to overwhelm the information you’re trying to get across with flashing colors and images.

So keep it simple.

Use as few words as possible. Get right to the point. Don’t be redundant. And especially don’t say the same thing over and over just in slightly different ways (like this paragraph).

3. Clear

The point of your video is to inspire your audience to action. The best way to do that is to present a clear image of your product. This allows your customers to imagine themselves’ using it.

Don’t overload your ad with fancy language, special effects, loud music and fast-moving graphics. Show your product off in all it’s glory and let it speak for itself.

You don’t want your ad to distract from what you are trying to say.

4. Relatable

All advertising should be relatable and your video content is  no different. Think about the audience you’re trying to reach and tweak your ad so that it’s something they connect with.

One of the best ways to do this is show people. Show them using and enjoying your product. Make the people in your ad the audience you’re trying to reach so they can picture themselves using it even more clearly.

5. Planned and Pointed

With such a short ad, it can be tempting to just make it up as you go. But the short length actually makes it more important that you plan it out.

So before you even think about filming and editing your video, you need to plan it all out in detail. Pick one theme or message you want to relay. Even if there are multiple aspects to your product, just choose one.

Then start writing your script. That includes dialogue, yes, but also actions and images.

After it’s all planned, then you can start creating your masterpiece.

So what do you think? Are video ads for you or do they not quite live up to the hype?