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5 Best Practices for YouTube Video Ads

These are the best times to be a marketer, and these are the worst times to be a marketer! Why are these the best times? The sheer variety of platforms available to you as a marketer was unimaginable, even a few years ago. Whether you work with traditional media – newspaper, radio, television or include the latest digital platforms – blog sites, social media channels; the options are simply unlimited.

As every savvy marketer knows, focusing on any one medium doesn’t work anymore. And that brings us to the point that these are the worst of times to be a marketer. The opportunities that these platforms present can quickly become daunting. Keeping up with each platform and its specific requirements can drive anyone crazy. What then is the way out?

The best bet for any marketer in these times is to have a healthy mix of traditional and digital mediums in their marketing communication. While most people have experience with traditional mediums, the audience increasingly prefers digital modes. For example – a user these days is more likely to watch YouTube ads as compared to TVCs.

How, then, do you ace your game with this particular medium? Digital marketing is a vast field and needs a lot of detail. However, here, we have put together some best practices for managing YouTube ads that can give a much-needed boost to your marketing strategy. Before getting into it, though, you need to understand why YouTube ads are so important for your marketing mix.

Being a platform dedicated to videos, YouTube provides an immersive experience to users. When a user needs any information, they prefer to search a video of the same over text. Thus, YouTube is not just a platform for playing videos. It is also one of the largest search engines. This can lead to increased organic traffic for your brand if you can leverage YouTube ads. With that background, let’s look at some of the best practices for YouTube ads.

1. Grab attention

When a user searches a video on YouTube, they are looking for something specific. In such a scenario, they may find your YouTube ads distracting. They may have the option to skip the ad in a few seconds or not, but they are not here for the ad. That is the situation you have to begin with. The biggest challenge is to get them interested in this short duration. Thus, your YouTube ads need to be much crisper than your TVC.

The longer duration you take for story building, the faster you may lose the audience. Thus, the first few seconds are crucial in YouTube ads. The beginning has to be so interesting that the user does not skip your ad. And even if they do, they should come back to check out the full ad later. There is ample scope for creativity utilizing the visual space to present your brand in this short timeline. Experts recommend that your YouTube ads should capture the audience’s attention within the first seven seconds for better engagement.

2. Keep it short and interesting

So, you managed to capture the attention of your audience with your YouTube ads. Great! Now what? They certainly had not come with the intention of watching your advertisement. Yet, they are ready to spend their time watching the ad. The most important thing you can do is be mindful of their time and have shorter ads.

You can have 60 seconds or longer YouTube ads. But the recommendation by experts is to keep them within the 15 to 30 seconds timeframe. This is respectful to the audience as well as sufficient time to tell your story. And if you can interestingly convey your message within 30 seconds, your YouTube ads have done their job well. The longer ads should be created for the users who search for your brand to watch these ads.

3. Present your brand story

When you have successfully captured your audience’s attention, you must effectively present the brand story. Crisp storytelling is a prerequisite for YouTube ads. Be creative in how you want to achieve this. Put up visual cues of your brand – packaging, interface, taglines within the storyline. Have your logo placed prominently and yet unobtrusively throughout the video. Make the voice-over repeat the benefits of your brand. There are so many ways to achieve brand placement. The ultimate aim of every ad, including YouTube ads, is to ensure a better brand recall by the audience.

4. Mobile-first is the way to go

This is another paradigm shift in user behavior that every marketer must be aware of. More and more users are watching the videos and the ads on their mobile devices. So, your YouTube ads must be created, keeping this fact in mind. Yes, having them play on laptops and desktops is important.

But you need to ensure that your YouTube ads are optimized for mobile viewing. This includes testing the creatives in different mobile resolutions and browsers before releasing them for a live audience. You may also experiment with the placement of elements like logos, text, links, etc., within the YouTube adsand then check the audience engagement. The engagement is generally higher for audiences using mobile devices. Thus, mobile-first should be the mantra when creating and editing YouTube ads.

5. Drive user action

Having higher engagement rates and views may be good if that is the outcome you want to drive with your YouTube ads. However, if you want your audience to take action, like subscribing to your channel, visiting your website, or purchasing an item after watching your ad, you need to tell them so explicitly. The basic idea behind putting time, effort, energy, and money into YouTube ads is to drive user action.

So, go ahead and include the proper CTA in the ad. Make it a part of the video as well as the audio to emphasize the same. There are many online video editing tools available that make adding these elements in a video simple. However, these should be a seamless part of the ad and not feel forcefully fitted.

The first thing you need to do when working on YouTube ads is to articulate their purpose. Having a clear idea of the desired outcome, all you need to do is take care of a few points – and you will be amazed at the engagement you get on the platform. Having a powerful brand recall is the ultimate aim of any marketer. YouTube ads are a perfect vehicle to achieve this with little effort and creativity.

By Allan Diamond

Hi! I am Allan Diamond who is inspiring junior manager who enjoys working with others.

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