If there's something I learned in my years as a marketer (and teaching some marketing) is that people love formulas.

Marketing frameworks, formulas, "secrets".

My guess is that we tend to think there's one formula or secret, that will finally turn us successful. What I discovered? Doing your marketing based on popular formulas makes you extremely boring and vanilla.

But formulas can be useful starting steps. Start with them. But put your own creativity.

Now that you've been warned, let me show you how to make more effective videos using the ABCD formula.

The ABCDs of effective video ads

They are:

  1. Attract
  2. Brand
  3. Connect
  4. Direct

I first came across the formula going through Google's Video Ads certification. Beyond that, I've no idea who invented the formula.

Here's how to use the ABCD formula when shooting your next video ad or content.

1. Attract

1.5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. Those are just content videos. We're not counting the video ads that bombard us.

The first thing your video has to do is to attract attention. Nothing else matters if a viewer doesn't stop scrolling to watch your video.

This is the reason why some marketers do silly things in the first few seconds of their videos.

  • Their video starts right in the middle of the action.
  • Opens ups with a close-up.
  • The actor does something out of the blue.

You probably remember this Volvo ad:

Right when it starts, it gets you curious. What's going on? What's happening? Why is Van Damme closing his eyes?

Ok, so you don't have the budget to hire Van Damme. That's OK. Here's a technique I found useful for YouTube videos.

Tease your viewer with the end result, early on.

Let's say you're making a video tutorial on baking a pizza. Instead of bringing viewers through 10 painful mins of explanation, show them what the end result looks like in the first few seconds of your video.

This gets them invested to watch the rest of your video.

Watch the video below to see this in action for a video review I made.

2. Brand

Once you get your viewer's attention, your next goal is to quickly establish your brand in their minds.

You can tap into two human sensories with videos – visual & sound.

The reason you'd want to establish your brand quickly in your video is to create stickiness and brand recall – basically, a fancy word referring to the ability of consumers to remember your brand with little prompting.

Why is this important?

Glad you asked. Imagine standing at the toothpaste aisle in the supermarket, starting at more than 15 different toothpaste brands.

Holy shit. Which one do you choose?

When overwhelmed with almost similar brands, consumers will usually choose brands they can recall in their minds.  

Besides establishing your brand in the video, use visuals to explain why how your brand is different from the others as well.

3. Connect

Have you watched Deadpool?

In Deadpool movies, he is able to talk directly to the audience (you). See the video below for an example:

This is known as the 4th wall technique in film-making. Most of the time, actors do not acknowledge the camera or audience. The fourth wall is when they acknowledge the existence of the audience.

Use the same technique in your videos! Connect with your viewer by speaking directly to them.

A tip I found useful was to imagine speaking to one person when shooting your videos.

4. Direct

Finally, before your video ends, you have to tell the viewer what to do.

Do you want them to sign up? Go to a website? Go to a nearby store to pick up your product? To leave a comment?

Whatever is it, make sure your call to action is clear. I've seen many great videos which didn't get much traction because they forgot the direct the viewers. Don't make the same mistake.

  • Speak to the viewer, and tell them what to do next.
  • Write your call-to-action in big, bold text.
  • Create catchy graphics for viewers to click.

Remember the legendary DollarShaveClub video? Toward the end, the video directs viewers to visit their website.

Notice how big their website is written? Don't use small text sizes for your call to action. Go big.

Get creative

Follow the ABCD formula and you should see results straightaway. But remember to differentiate. Your videos won't attract attention if it's the same as every video out there.

So start with the formula, but break some rules along the way.

Use videos to grow your business

In today's internet-driven world, videos have become a powerful tool for businesses to communicate their message.

Sure, written words (like this post) and images are important. With videos, you're able to convey emotions, tell stories and capture attention in a way that other mediums can't.

Not every business needs to produce videos. But those who can invest in video content (and ads) have the opportunity to stand out.

Introducing Go Videos – A video editing subscription service.

Over the years, I've been lucky to have a team member, Sri – who edited all my videos – video ads, YouTube videos, content.  

My process was simple.

I shoot the videos on my phone or camera. Upload all raw footage, including bad ones into a Google Drive. Provide some instructions and context. Then I'd go focus on other things in my business.

He'll receive the files, edit them and send back a completed video within 1-2 days. Take a look at one of his works below:

Today, I'm launching a video editing as a subscription service - where you can hire him to edit videos for your business. For a small subscription fee, you'll get unlimited video editing and revisions.

Visit Go Videos to see the samples and subscribe

We're excited about offering the service, and will only open up to 5 subscriptions for now. Love to hear what you think.  

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