Scale your UA with high performing video ads

Welcome to the twenty first edition of MAMA Boards, an AppsFlyer video project featuring leading mobile marketing experts on camera.

For today’s mini whiteboard master class, we have Alek Grinberg, Head of Performance Marketing at HOMER Learning, an early education company for kids ages two to eight.

As an app marketer in a hyper-competitive mobile world, it is essential to make your ad campaigns stand out. One of the best ways to do that is through video ads, which have been around several years but continue to pack a punch. Join Alek as he gives us the lowdown on all things video ads, from benefits to testing to production, so that you too can make your mark with some high-powered videos.

Real experts, real growth. That’s our motto.



Hi everyone. Welcome to another edition of MAMA Boards by AppsFlyer. I’m Alek Grinberg, Head of Performance Marketing for HOMER Learning. HOMER Learning is an early education company for kids ages two to eight. Today, we’re going to discuss How to Scale UA with High Performing Video Ads. 

Why are video ads important?

Let’s talk about why video ads are important. First, video ads allow you to create deeper connections by tapping into people’s emotions through the use of story, music, and sound. Think about a dating app showing you an intimate first date or a fitness app showing you how fun a workout could be.

Second, video ads allow you to use multiple value props. One of the challenges that we run into with static ads is making them look too busy. But with video, you could use two value props or even three and still make the ad effective. 

Third, you could demo your app’s best features. 

Fourth, you could acquire qualified users that know what your app is about, which ultimately leads to a more profitable customer. What we found is that, even though CPIs can be a little bit more expensive for video ads, when you look at CPAs, or cost per purchase, video ads are very effective. 

Last, you could maximize your inventory because social media and in-app games and apps have a ton of video inventory. 

benefits of video ads

The beginner’s guide to incrementality for remarketing


What types of video ads can you make?

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of video ads, let’s talk about the types of video ads you can make.

The first, and probably the most cost effective, is direct response. This is because you can activate purchases and build awareness at the same time. 

There are several ways to do this. One is showing how your app works. Another is showing results of using your app. You could also demo your app’s top features or, if you’re a shopping app, you could show products in your catalog. 

The second type is a brand ad. A brand ad is an aspirational video that aligns your brand with the values of your audience. This is usually used at the top of the funnel to drive awareness and position your brand. A really good example of this is the Bumble Super Bowl commercial where Serena Williams tells women to make the first move. 

The third type is brand response. This is a combination of brand and DR. We use this frequently at HOMER. You start with an aspirational opening and you add the app value props and a strong call to action. 

The last type we will talk about today is testimonials, or influencer ads. Now, this is a nice way to combine brand and DR, and this is great for retargeting because you’re building trust in the consumer journey throughout your entire funnel. 

types of video ads

What parts of a video ads can I test?

Let’s turn to what to test and how to deconstruct your video to make the most out of it. There are several components to a video.

The first is your narrative, or your storyline, which your script is going to be based on. So there are a couple of things to remember here. The first is that, in a mobile environment, sound is usually off. So we combined voiceover and text overlays together. The nice thing about using text overlays is that there are a lot of elements there that you could test, including color and style.

The second, and probably most important part of a video, is the hook. The reason it’s so important is because, in most formats, the hook, or the first five seconds of the video, is not skippable. Hooks could be aspirational, they could build curiosity, or, if you’re a parent-focused app like HOMER, they could be cute.

The third component of the video ad that’s really important, and this is probably the largest component of your video, is the body. This is really where you demonstrate the value that your app brings. There’s a lot of ways to do this. One is using efficacy claims. Another is obviously speaking about your features. Building trust is always a great way.

The last part is combining an effective body with an end card, where your call to action will live. There are several aspects to an end card, but what I recommend testing is your logo, your tagline, or your main value prop, your call to action, and then your App Store badges.

video ads - what to test

Why should I design video ads with the platforms in mind?

When we produce video, we need to keep the platform in mind. There are several reasons for that. First, on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, your audience is really there to engage with their family, friends, influencers, people. So we lead with people as our hook.

Second, when it comes to in-app video, people are usually playing games. So for their transition to be smooth, we want to use content such as screenshots of your app or maybe even results of using your app, but something to make it a smooth transition.

Third, UAC has a lot of different types of inventory. It has rewarded video as inventory, it has in-stream video as inventory, and it has YouTube where the sound is on. So we really want to use all of the videos, at least test all of the videos to address every type of audience that’s on all of these platforms.

designing video ads

How can I test my video ads?

When it comes to testing, we use the Facebook A/B testing tool to test videos because it’s a great A/B testing tool. We split our work into two parts: new concepts and iterations.

New concepts are about 30% of our work. This is the work that we do to try to beat the control to create a video that we don’t have in our arsenal yet. We use the CPA goal because what we want to know whether the new storyline gets us to the same CPA goal or a better CPA goal than we had before.

When it comes to effective ads that are already running, those ads will often or always get fatigued after a while, so we need to keep iterating on them. So we’re always creating new iterations and when we test those, we use the CPI goal. The reason we use the CPI goal is because it gets us there cheaper and faster.

video ads A/B testing

How can I actually create my video ads?

Now, that we’ve discussed why you should create video ads and what to create, let’s discuss your options for creating video. It doesn’t have to be expensive. 

First, your most cost effective option will be to create video using static images you already have and Facebook has a really great tool to allow you to do this.

Second, your next best option is combining stock video with a freelancer. This could be very cost effective as well. 

A third really good option is using influencers. Small influencers don’t have to be expensive. 

Fourth, you could hire a big production company for TV style quality. However, unless you’re running TV ads, this could be a very expensive option and may not lead to the best results. You want to keep iterating and being flexible and using some of the options that we discussed before will allow you to do this to achieve the best results.

Finally, when you’re ready, I recommend that you look into an in-house video resource. They’ll allow you to iterate quickly, keep your brand consistent, and optimize towards what works. If you find yourself spending a lot of time with freelancers, then probably this is the option that’s right for you. 

video ads creation

That’s it for today. Please feel free to comment below. Use this link to subscribe to more MAMA Boards. Thank you! Have a good day.

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