The 4 Best Video Formats for Performance Marketing

Performance marketing has never been more competitive. New platforms, channels, and brands are entering the landscape at a record rate. Your target customers face an abundance of choices—and content—on a daily basis. To effectively reach and grow your audience, you need to be publishing a constant stream of smart, targeted performance video in more places than ever before.

Check out these stats:

  • Video will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2022
  • Mobile video consumption increases by 100% every year
  • 85% of consumers want to see more video content from brands
  • Performance video ads get higher conversion rates than more generic visual advertising because they are tailored to specific customer personas. 

Video marketing content is without a doubt the best medium to get your audience to convert in your performance marketing. To help you get a leg up on the competition, we’ll reveal which formats of performance video work best, give you tips for different types of video content, and show you how it all comes together by deconstructing a successful performance video ad.

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Performance Marketing Video Format #1: UGC-Style Testimonial

Strike an instant connection with UGC-Style (User-Generated Content) Testimonials. This format features relatable talent speaking directly to the viewer about your product. 

Audiences have become accustomed to seeing friends and influencers speak about brands and products on social media. UGC-Style Testimonials mimic the style of true UGC content, leveraging the familiarity of the format. They are constructed so that it seems like the person shot it themselves, even though a (small) production crew was likely present. 

Regardless of whether you choose to use real customers or actors, cast talent that your target audience(s) will relate to. Have them discuss the problem that your product solves for, the benefits they’ve experienced since starting use, and how other core differentiators led to them abandoning your competitors’ products in favor of yours.

Tips for Your UGC-Style Testimonial Video

  • Use on-screen talent that your target audience(s) will relate to
  • First-person positioning works well (e.g., “I love this!”)
  • Use general talking points rather than a formal script to ensure a conversational tone
  • Set your video ad in an identifiable and familiar setting where it makes sense for your product to appear
  • Don’t forget your CTA

Learn More: Social Media Video Ad Specs & Placements Guide

Performance Marketing Video Format #2: Product Focus

Product Focus videos make your product the hero of the story. This format is particularly versatile as it can vary in depth depending on your objective. 

A Product Focus can be educational, taking on a narrative feel that demonstrates your product’s utility. Or, it can be a short eye-catching video that makes your product stand out in a crowded content landscape.

No matter the direction you choose to take with your Product Focus video, aim to highlight key value propositions and showcase your product in the best light possible.

Tips for Your Product Focus Video

  • Put your product in a familiar, relatable environment
  • Think of how you can use props to make connections for your audience
  • Make sure to capture footage of your product being used
  • Highlight packaging and unboxing for D2C products
  • Use post-production editing techniques to make your product pop

Performance Marketing Video Format #3: Lifestyle

Achieve an authentic or aspirational environment with a Lifestyle video. This format features on-screen talent interacting with your product in a familiar environment. Unlike in UGC-Style Testimonials, talent does not directly address the camera—instead, on-screen text and/or voiceover is often used to deliver messaging.

Think about all of the places your product can be featured or used and test them all: indoors vs. outdoors, bathroom vs. bedroom, kitchen vs. living area, etc. The Lifestyle format works best when it’s supplemented with other formats in the same ad. Pair Lifestyle shots with UGC-Style Testimonials to communicate authenticity and demonstrate how your product is actually used in everyday life.

Tips for Your Lifestyle Video

  • Set the scene in a familiar, relatable environment—the viewer has to be able to see themselves in this setting
  • Think about all of the activities your product may be associated with
  • Aim for a specific feeling that you want your viewers to have
  • Consider your target audience(s) and cast relatable talent

Performance Marketing Video Format #4: UI Focus

If your product is an app or tech offering—or if there is a digital component to your customer experience—showcase it with a UI Focus video. Lead your viewer through product features and communicate your value propositions.

Because some or all of your product experience is intangible, think of ways you can elevate your video to make it stand out. Use motion graphics to call out specific elements of the interface. Think, too, of the holistic experience you offer to your customer. Highlight any customization quizzes, customer service perks, or processes that happen separate from the actual product. 

Tips for Your UI Focus Video

  • Include shots of your product in use on various devices
  • Test talent interacting with UI vs. full-screen UI without talent to see which resonates more with your audience
  • Test different CTAs to optimize for conversions

Anatomy of a Performance Video: Using Multiple Formats in a Single Video Ad

As you’ve probably gathered by now, it’s rare for a single performance ad to stick to one format. The most successful performance videos mix shots from several formats to achieve visual diversity and dynamic positioning.

Let’s take a look at one performance video ad to see how it’s done:

UGC-Style Testimonial Performance Marketing Video Ad Snapshot

This performance video for Hairstory opens with a UGC-Style Testimonial. The on-screen talent addresses the viewer directly and introduces the problems the product is solving. She continues to narrate the whole ad while on-screen text communicates messaging for audiences viewing the video without sound.

Product Focus Performance Marketing Video Ad Snapshot

A Product Focus unboxing sequence is introduced that shows what the offering looks like when it arrives at a customer’s home.

Lifestyle Performance Marketing Video Ad Snapshot

The ad then transitions to a Lifestyle shot that demonstrates the product, a shampoo, being applied in its natural setting—the shower.

Product Focus Performance Marketing Video Ad Snapshot 2

A Product Focus shot set in a bathroom wraps up the video ad while talent voiceover hammers home core differentiators.

And here’s how it all comes together:

KEEP ROLLING: How to Turn an Idea Into a Video Ad

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