The Ever-evolving Process of Video Creatives
In the Design Team at justDice we build video creatives for more than 20 mobile apps live in 100+ countries. In the fast-paced mobile industry, one video’s lifespan is short, meaning output is high. Every quarter we produce more than 80 creatives to feed the network’s algorithms and to keep creative fatigue at a minimum.
Read on to find out how we keep up the output and how the process of building video creatives has changed in the last five years.
First Steps 2017-2019
When I started at justice in 2017, we were two designers with two apps and two marketing creatives running. My job was to produce in-house build video creatives that drive CTR and installs.
After I graduated from university, I had no idea about the mobile gaming industry. My first few weeks on the job were a lesson to learn about the product, the user, and the competitors. The first creatives had the same approach, explaining the app to the user with animated content produced in Adobe After Effects.
But the first success came with a creative with stock footage with natural (human) people. From there on, the approach changed to be more catchy and grab the user’s attention in the first few seconds of a video. The stock footage clips worked so well that we started to produce that in-house as well. We bought camera equipment and light setups. We even organised several shoots with professional actors, camera operators, and studios.
Today, this type of UGC (user-generated content) is still a big part of all our video creatives even though the approach has changed but more on that later.
Vertical First 2019-2020
A video must work in 3 formats: landscape, portrait, and square. The format you start building your video is critical in layout, composition, text, etc. With social media getting bigger through the years and the introduction of Reels and vertical video platforms, the way we build creatives changed to a “vertical video first” approach. This means when we make a video, we put the main effort into the portrait version before resizing it to the other formats.
And short vertical videos are now more significant than ever. Posting a video on Instagram will be displayed as a Reel. TikTok is a platform solely built for vertical video. YouTube is heavily pushing YouTube Shorts. The list goes on…
The Pandemic 2020-2022
Throughout the pandemic, the approach to making UGC drastically changed. All the camera gear, greenscreens, and light setup we had in the office were not available anymore. We also couldn’t organise shoots. So we relied more on stock footage from royalty-free video websites. But even with websites like this and over 25+ million available stock videos, it’s sometimes pretty hard to find a clip that perfectly matches your type of video.
One of our company values says, “To be fast, we will always try to reach 80% of the possible outcome with 20% of effort, rather than building things in a perfect way”. This describes the key learning during that time. You don’t need a camera with three different lenses or a big greenscreen background to create UGC. The phone you have is more than enough.
This 80/20 approach is still crucial for us when it comes to making videos today. The not-polished creative is more authentic and outperforms the high-quality one in most cases. And we start to see a lot more of these videos on sites like TikTok, where visuals don’t have to be perfect.
Right Here, Right Now 2022
With more and more apps and the always fast-paced gaming industry, our team also grew professionally and in terms of numbers. Currently, our team consists of 6 designers. Our apps are published in over 100 countries. We need to translate the original version into ten languages for every new video. Therefore we built an in-house tool that generates translations automatically and makes copying and pasting claims obsolete.
Outlook for 2023
As video marketing is one of the fastest-growing ad formats in recent years, we need to keep up with the high output. Thus we are looking to grow our strong, experienced even team further.
Everything we have learned from recent years is still relevant and will be more important than ever in the upcoming year. Videos are getting shorter and shorter. Vertical video platforms will continue to be on the rise in 2023. Authentic UGC will build a connection with your audience. We are looking forward to it.