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How to increase watch times on your YouTube ads



One of the most powerful marketing tools at a company’s disposal is reaching your customers via YouTube. Simply take a look at the monetisation and optimisation of pre-video ads, and you will understand the significance of YouTube advertising. That being said, practically everyone sighs when that five-second ad kicks in before you can skip it and tune into the video that you want to watch. Here, we take a closer look at the value of these ads and explain how you can put together an unskippable YouTube ad.

Do all YouTube ads get skipped?

The idea of creating an advert that will seemingly get skipped at the earliest possible chance is a crazy prospect. However, you may be surprised to learn that brand recall is increased by 22%, even amongst people who serially skip ads at the earliest chance. Of course, it would be much better if they tuned into the entire ad, but this statistic highlights the fact that skippable ads can still be beneficial to your business. Regardless, it’s still better to try and create an ad that people want to tune into.

Capture, brand, action

In order to create an unskippable ad, we can break it down into three main criteria: capture, brand, and action. Your job is to capture the audience’s attention, brand the video clearly, and action the audience into carrying out the intention of the video. If you can successfully harness these three core elements, you’re well on your way to creating a YouTube ad that begs to be watched in its entirety. But remember, if you don’t capture the audience’s attention within the first few moments, the rest of your video is essentially pointless, as they can skip the ad and get to their content. So, how do you make sure your audience is engaged from the very start?

Involve your viewers

It helps to approach your YouTube ad from two sides of the same coin. The best way to do this is to ask them a direct question at the very start or by inviting them to touch the screen and actively get involved in the ad itself. This will encourage engagement from the very start and make your viewer less likely to skip the ad right away.

Acknowledge the skip ad button

While acknowledging the skip ad button isn’t anything new in YouTube advertising, it’s still effective. It gives your audience a decision to make and seemingly puts the ball in your court if you are able to incorporate it into your initial pitch.

How to brand your video

If you manage to captivate your audience from the get-go, you need to think about how your video will be branded. There are several ways to do this, and the most obvious is to use your logo. Google research, however, highlights that including a brand logo in the first five seconds of a video increases its chances of being skipped. But on the flip side, both brand awareness and recall are increased with this method. At the same time, if there is no logo in the first five seconds, recall and awareness decrease, but viewers are less likely to skip the ad.

Ultimately, it’s about striking a balance between the two. A good idea is to tie your branding into your product or service if you’re planning to mention it in the first five seconds. If your logo is simply floating around the screen, people are less likely to remember it, and it comes across as a little lazy at the same time.

Call to action

The final step is ensuring that there is a clear call to action. If you’ve managed to keep the viewer engaged until the end of the video, failing at this final hurdle makes everything else pointless. As such, you should decide on one call to action and keep it simple – the last thing you want is to confuse your viewers. Of course, you need to add an element of creativity to the call to action, but keeping things simple usually has the desired effect.

While it’s not easy to create an unskippable YouTube ad, the above tips will point you in the right direction. For more information about no-nonsense SEO and online marketing tips, contact Terrier and grow your online brand the right way.


I'm Nikos Alepidis, blogger at motivirus. I'm passioned for all things related to motivation & personal development. My goal is to help and inspire people to become better.

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