Asking just anyone what they think about your video ad is one of the best ways to ruin great creative.
You’ve just gotten the first cut of your B2B video ad. Great!
Now it’s time to email the ad to all your friends and coworkers asking them, “what do you think?” Right?
Asking just anyone what they think about your video ad is one of the best ways to ruin great creative. I’ll explain why – but first, let’s start with why we all like to “ask the audience.”
The logic goes, if you ask enough people what they think then eventually the crowd will be right and you’ll get insights on the video ad you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
This is correct to a certain extent.
It starts to break down as the number of people in your target audience shrinks.
Think back to when folks “ask the audience” on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. If the question is hard but generally known like, “What’s the capital of India?” Then the audience would usually get the correct answer, New Delhi.
But if the question was both hard and not generally known like, “Who directed the 1952 film High Noon starring Gary Cooper?” Then the audience would usually get the wrong answer. The correct answer is Fred Zinnemann.
When you ask a wide swath of people who are not in the target audience, you are effectively asking a question that’s too hard for the crowd to accurately answer. You’re going to get one of those answers where the crowd gets a score around 25% on each of the multiple choice options.
How does that manifest itself in feedback on a video ad? Basically every part of the video will have some kind of negative feedback. When you ask people to be critical, they will be critical.Which then will lead you to question the entire video. “Did we just miss?” No, you didn’t. You just cannot rely on the crowd unless it’s truly your target audience.
I know what you’re thinking. And I’ll address that in the next section.
OK. We know not to ask random folks not in the target audience for feedback on our video ad. What about our coworkers? They know our business. They know our audience.
That they do. But they are not your audience.
Your coworkers have the curse of knowledge. They know where the bodies are buried. Which actually makes them some of the worst people to ask for feedback.
They are going to know things that your audience doesn’t know — which will cause them to react to parts prospects won't and not react to parts prospects will.
Your coworkers, if not intimately familiar with the brief, may also give you feedback that’s good — but for another project.
Finally, there’s always politics involved when asking coworkers. Internal beefs and tiffs show up in feedback more often than you think.
There’s three groups of people who will give you the best, most usable feedback. And no, none of them are your partner or parents.
Do you have creative partners that don’t offer video ads as a service? Perhaps a trusted copywriter or branding agency. Run the ad by them. They know your target audience and are creatives, so they’ll know how to give actionable feedback.
Only ask creative partners who don’t offer video ads because if they do, you can guarantee they’ll give you negative feedback so you use them the next time.
You can pay to get feedback from people in your target audience by using a tool like Test Your Ad. A service like this will work if your audience isn’t too niche.
For the free route, reach out to prospects who didn’t convert into paying clients. They’ll be able to give you good feedback because they’ve never actually been inside your business. Also, you could convert some deals this way!
Finally, you can run a small test paid media campaign to a very small audience so you can get the frequency high enough to become statistically relevant. This is a great way to see the ad out in the open and get actual real data. Heck, this is what big brands do with their TV “test markets.”
One of the biggest reasons people over-index in asking others for feedback is they’re unsure of themselves. They don’t trust in their opinion so they seek consensus.
Let me be clear: you are a better judge of this video ad than anyone will ever be. No one knows the goals and strategy like you.
Don’t get caught in the trap of doubting yourself. This article is your permission to go with your gut. Always.