As a marketer, it’s essential to understand the best ways to get your message across to consumers and to learn what tools you have at your disposal. With over two billion logged-in monthly users, YouTube has become the second-largest search engine and the largest video-sharing platform in the world. As such, it is a powerful platform for reaching and engaging your target audience.
By harnessing the power of video advertising on YouTube, brands can raise awareness, foster loyalty, and achieve their marketing goals in a dynamic and compelling way. In this blog, we’ll explore the best practices for video advertising on YouTube.
Top Five Tips for Creating Impactful Video Ads
1. Multiple Aspect Ratio
YouTube supports three primary aspect ratios for video ads: landscape (16:9), square (1:1), and vertical (9:16). Each aspect ratio serves different purposes, and selecting the appropriate one depends on your content and advertising goals.
- Landscape (16:9): This is the traditional video format, well-suited for storytelling and providing a cinematic experience. Use this format when you have a visually captivating narrative or a wide-angle view to showcase.
- Square (1:1): Square videos occupy more screen space on mobile devices, making them ideal for capturing attention in busy feeds. A 1:1 aspect ratio works well for product demonstrations, explanation videos, and when you want to deliver a focused message.
- Vertical (9:16): Vertical videos are similar to square videos in that they are designed for mobile viewing. These are excellent for showcasing mobile apps, interviews, or anything that looks best in portrait orientation. For vertical videos, it’s important to keep in mind that the top 10% and bottom 25% of the video may be cropped out due to a viewer’s device or settings. To ensure that your core messaging is not cropped out, make sure all pertinent information is positioned so that it remains visible.
For each of the aforementioned various aspect ratios, you should also diversify your messaging. By creating multiple versions of each video, you can compare the performance of the different ad variations and identify which ones resonate best with your audience.
For Performance Max campaigns, it’s recommended to include all three aspect ratios. You can create up to five videos total, to give Google the most possibilities.
2. Test Video Length
Most of the time, the key to success in video campaigns is brevity and impact. With consumers’ increasingly shorter attention spans, it’s crucial to deliver your message quickly and effectively. It’s recommended to test different video lengths to see how the video campaigns perform. If a video is compelling enough, we’ve seen long-form videos (those over 45 seconds) resonate well with audiences and drive conversions. We recommend testing the following lengths:
- 10 to 15-Second Ads: Focus on a clear, concise message or call to action (CTA) to avoid overwhelming viewers. Use bold text overlays and high-impact imagery to capture the audience’s attention within the first few seconds.
- 30-Second Ads: With this slightly extended duration, you have a bit more room to elaborate on your products or services. However, you should still maintain a fast-paced and engaging approach, so viewers stay interested until the end.
- Longform Ads: These videos are longer than 45 seconds and really allow you to tell a brand story. Make sure the video content is compelling and engaging. You can demonstrate how a product works, provide customer testimonials, share how-tos, and more.
3. Hook Your Audience Early
Regardless of the video ad length or aspect ratio, the first few seconds are critical for hooking your audience. Start with an attention-grabbing visual or an intriguing question to pique curiosity. The goal is to entice viewers to continue watching your video ad rather than scrolling past it.
4. Clear and Compelling Call To Action
Your YouTube video ad should have a clear CTA that guides viewers on what to do next. Whether it’s visiting your website, subscribing to your channel, or making a purchase, the CTA should be prominently displayed and align with your campaign’s objectives. Your video should close with an end card that includes that call to action, your website, and your company logo.
5. Optimize for Mobile Viewing
A significant portion of YouTube views come from mobile devices. Ensure that your video ads are optimized for mobile viewing, regardless of the chosen aspect ratio, for a seamless user experience.
Making effective YouTube video ads requires a balance of creativity, time, and audience-targeted messaging. By choosing the right aspect ratio and crafting impactful messages, your ads can engage viewers and drive positive performance. Remember to continuously test, analyze, and optimize your ads to achieve better results over time.