YouTube Director: How to Create Video Ads for Your Store

Jun 26, 2017 by Lina Vashurina, Ecwid Team
YouTube Director: How to Create Video Ads for Your Store
Posted Jun 26, 2017 by Lina Vashurina, Ecwid Team

Video is a remarkably effective marketing tool, especially for e-commerce stores. It allows you to showcase your products and tell the story of your business. Little wonder that users who watch a video are 64% more likely to buy a product on a page.

However, making a good video for your business can be remarkably hard (and expensive). You have to buy video software, find the right equipment and edit raw footage into a compelling ad for your business.

This is where YouTube Director comes in: it’s a free mobile app for iOS that helps you create YouTube-ready videos with ready-to-go templates right from your smartphone. In this post, we’ll show how you can use YouTube Director for creating your videos without expensive tools or experience and share some of the best practices for video marketing (helpful for non-iOS users as well) that will make your watchers ignore the “Skip the Ad” button.

Also read: How to Sell Using YouTube

Why Make Video Ads?

A video ad is essentially a video that talks about your business, what it does, the products it creates and the people behind it. Think of it as a 2-minute segment on your company on the local news. You get to show off your brand, your products and your people.

For an example, consider this video ad for LSTN Headphones.

It’s a short video — just 2 minutes, 10 seconds. It shows viewers LSTN’s inspirational story, mission, and includes plenty of shots of its beautiful product.

The question is, why should you even bother making video ads?

Here’s why:

  • Missouri Star Quilt Company earned 1.8M organic views with its video ad (made with YouTube Director). This helped the small family-owned business become the largest quilting fabric retailer in the world.
  • The BBQ Guys used YouTube Director’s video ads to grow their channel to 44,799 subscribers.
  • A popular sunscreen brand used a video ad campaign to grow brand awareness, earning a 600% return on every ad dollar spent in the process.

Beyond the statistics, making a video ad like the one above helps humanize your brand. It shows potential shoppers that you’re more than just another faceless corporation; you are real people running a real company. This brand humanization can be a massive competitive advantage for small businesses.

Of course, a video ad also means that you can start advertising on YouTube. If video is a part of your marketing strategy this will give you the raw material for running a video ad campaign.

If you’re still on the fence about making videos, check out how you can use video in e-commerce marketing.

What is YouTube Director?

YouTube Director (a rebranded version of Directr for Business) is a mobile app available for iOS now that helps businesses record, edit and upload videos. It works seamlessly with Google AdWords so you can start an ad campaign easily. You can find it on the iTunes store.

This app is meant for small businesses who don’t have any video production know-how, nor have the budget to hire video professionals. You won’t be making any Superbowl-worthy ads with it, but for simple business videos, it works perfectly.

To see what kind of videos you can create with the Director app, check out this example:

Related: Facebook Video on a Budget: Create and Run Ads in No Time

How to Use YouTube Director to Create Videos

YouTube Director works on a template model. You pick a template and the app will tell you what to shoot and talk about (and for how long).

As such, most YouTube Director videos follow the same, proven structure. You are free to add your own creative flair, of course. For businesses on a budget, this is a free solution to getting started with video creation and advertising.

To use YouTube Director, first, download the app (here’s the link again). Once installed, log in with your YouTube/Google account.

On your home screen, you’ll see a few default templates. This includes a “bumper” video (a short, 5-15 second branded intro/outro), a daily tip, testimonials, etc. Tap any template to see its structure.

YouTube Director screenshot

Once you’ve decided on a template, YouTube will tell you exactly what to shoot for each shot, and for how long.

YouTube Director screenshot

Once you’ve got all your shots, you can start editing. YouTube will let you pick the background music and add your own voiceover.

YouTube Director screenshot

After editing, YouTube will stitch everything together into a cohesive video that you can publish on your channel.

YouTube Director screenshot

It’s cool that you can use your video beyond YouTube, for example, as a great addition to your “About Us” page. Look how a video on Mark McKenna’s website dramatically emphasizes your first impression and makes you feel his positive vibes.

Ecwid allows you to add videos to product descriptions in the online store as well.

Also read: How to Create Cinemagraphs for Product Pictures With Your Smartphone

What Kind of Videos Can You Make?

YouTube Director has templates for a number of different video types. We’ve already seen examples of the 30-second “business introduction” video before. For an example of a much longer video, watch this:

As you can see, this video is drastically different from the 30-second commercial. It’s a full-fledged, 8-minute long buying guide with over 250,000 views.

Most businesses will create videos that fall into one of these categories:

Short business introduction video

This is the kind of video you’ve already seen — a 30-second long multi-shot video that showcases what the business does and who runs it.

Most of these videos are visually arresting and have some sort of human interest element, such as a founder’s or customer’s face/voiceover.

Here’s an example of this video-type:

Long business introduction video

One of the great things about video marketing online is that you’re not confined to the formats mandated by TV (such as the 30-second commercial). If you have a story to tell, you can make your business introduction videos that are 2, 5, 10, even 30 minutes long.

These longer videos usually expand the focus of the video. Instead of covering just the founder and the product(s), you might cover the business’ mission, employee stories, or even add some humor.

For an example of how powerful this video type can be, check out DollarShaveClub’s hilarious introductory video.

Promotional video

These are usually 5 to 30-second videos created for a specific promotion, such as a seasonal sale.

Here’s an example of one such video:

Notice how different this is from conventional promotional videos that emphasize the offer, not the person or business making the offer.

Such “human interest” videos do better on YouTube for small businesses.

Product videos

You’ll sometimes want to create videos showcasing your best products and their features. The product video format works well here.

Here’s an example:

This is a very straightforward video with the founder talking about the product followed by shots of the product itself. Such videos are much faster and easier to create than stylized, over-produced product showcases. The low cost, fast turnaround works really well when you have a large product line.

Tutorials/tips videos

Tutorials, how-to’s, guides, etc. are a core part of any video-focused content marketing strategy. YouTube Director helps you make these as well.

Here’s an example:

There is no standard length for such video-types; you can go as long as the tutorial needs to be. Since such videos are more about educating customers than marketing your brand, make sure that you don’t push your own products too hard.

Related: How to Create a Professional-Looking Promotional Video With Your Smartphone

Tips for Making Better Videos

YouTube Director makes it painlessly easy to make marketing videos. You just have to follow the guides, get good shots and pick the right music/voiceovers to make a professional-looking video.

To get even more out of your videos, follow these proven tips:

Start strong in business introduction videos

If you’re going to promote your video via ads, it’s important that you start strong. Most viewers will decide to watch or skip the ad based on the first 5-seconds alone.

Some ways to do this are:

  • Show viewers the gist of the video in a single shot. If you run a store selling shoes, create a 3-4 second long slogan (“XYZ is the best place to get running shoes”) and place it at the very start.
  • Add human interest or a dramatic action. A friendly “Hi!” from a founder looking confidently at the camera is often enough to get people to stop and pay attention.
  • Use unexpected music. An unexpected sound effect or musical choice at the start can grab viewer’s attention.

For example, note how this video for Zagg (made with Director) starts off with a dramatic gesture — someone hitting a phone with a key.

Follow the who, what, how format

For short business introduction videos, follow a simple three-part format:

  • Who: Tell viewers who you are and the name of your business.
  • What: Tell viewers what you do and what makes you special.
  • How: Finally, end by showing viewers how they can get in touch with your business, find your site, or call you.

Remember: show, don’t tell. If you sell shoes for ballerinas, don’t just tell people about it; include shots of the shoes. Similarly, include a video of yourself when you’re talking about the “who” part.

Get lots of footage

One way you can make your videos stand out from the crowd is to get lots of footage. Keep the phone camera one even after you’ve filmed the script. This will help you capture any unscripted moments or shots. These moments make your brand much more human and work perfectly with YouTube’s amateur focus.

Also, try taking multiple angles of the same shot. For instance, when you’re talking about yourself, get a close-up as well as a wide-angle shot. Combine the two later to give your video a sense of movement.

Be visually interesting

More than anything else, video is a visual medium. Try to find the most visually arresting areas in your office. If you don’t have any, try filming outdoors in good weather. That way, you’ll have some visual interest in your background.

If you’re filming products, use a mix of close-up and mid-range shots. You want to show viewers what your product looks like up close and in context of its surroundings.

For example, RevZilla films its videos in a room filled with motorcycle gear:

RevZilla ad

This video uses a heavily decorated wall to create a visually interesting backdrop.

Heavily decorated video background

This video is filmed inside the owner’s barber shop. Notice how it films the barber doing something to give the video a sense of activity and movement.

Barbershop

The inside of your store, a beautiful, well-lit room in your house, or even your garden are good places to film your videos.

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Have you ever used videos in your online store marketing? Share them with us below!

About The Author
Lina is a content creator at Ecwid. She writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce. She loves to travel and runs marathons.

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