Online video has grown massively in the past two years to the point where it is no longer a ‘nice to have’ and is instead a vital part of many brands’ marketing strategies.

Statistics included in our new Online Video Best Practice Guide show that more than 200m people in the EU7 (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia and Turkey) watch an average of 20 hours each of online video every month.

And as people are becoming more comfortable watching video online, the power of video advertising is also growing.

To help brands take advantage of this opportunity, social web video platform Ebuzzing has put together seven tips for maximising engagement with premium video advertising…

1. Keep branding discreet

People have an unconscious aversion to being persuaded, so they are more likely to be turned off by video content that includes huge corporate logos.

Rather than immediately going in for the hard sell and shouting the name of your brand, include logos discreetly.

2. Story matters most

With video advertising, engagement is key. You need your audience to feel involved enough with the content to keep them watching for the entire ad.

Therefore, marketers need to think more about the enjoyment a video offers to a viewer instead of how well it serves the brand.

While product managers may not agree, with online video the story matters more than the product.

3. Kick off with a bang

The window of opportunity for grabbing the consumer’s attention is small, so video ads need to hook people in within the first five seconds.

The best way to do this is by creating an emotional connection, so give them either joy or surprise. People get bored easily and long drawn-out stories can cause people to stop watching.

4. Build an emotional roller coaster

Even if your video is quite short, your audience will quickly lose interest if the emotion is constant throughout the ad.

To maintain engagement, the video must briefly remove viewers’ feelings of joy and surprise and then quickly restore them again.

5. Have multiple scenes

Having multiple scenes/mini stories is more effective than only having one or two.

Each scene should have its own dose of emotion – great examples in practice are VW’s The Force and Evian’s Roller Babies. 

6. Surprise but don’t shock 

While surprising the viewer will help keep them engaged with the ad, people won’t share something that is too shocking or crude.

To give your content the best chance of gaining shares online, it needs to be something that people will be willing to have their name associated with.

7. Target people that are prone to sharing and have a voice

There are tactics that marketers can use to ensure that there content is viewed by the widest audience possible, such as hosting it on YouTube, but ultimately the most effective way of building an audience is by getting viewers to share it.

Social influencers are often the best people to target when it comes to distribution as these people have extroverted and egocentric personalities on the social web and are most likely to share content.