If you’re just beginning to consider using YouTube as part of your marketing mix, the task of creating a strong piece of YouTube creative can seem daunting, especially if you have a limited video production budget or a creative team strapped for time. 

You might be wondering, should we just upload our TV or Facebook video ads to YouTube and use those? How long should our videos be? Are there certain things we should or shouldn’t be including in a YouTube ad to make it more direct response oriented? Well, here are our own five recommended best practices to save you from making major errors at the very beginning.

Keep Videos To At Least 2 Minutes

YouTube is both an entertainment and an intent platform. Most people end up there to watch specific content, and they understand that they will probably have to watch an ad to do so. Ads intended for the most popular YouTube ad format, TrueView In-Stream, should clock in at a minimum of 2 minutes if your goal is direct response.

Ultimately, there is not a perfect run time for YouTube ads (which is a shame as it would make it far easier) so an ad’s engagement will mostly depend on the ad itself – message and presentation – rather than how long it is. It is useful to go into production with a length in mind. 

Captivate, relate and associate

Even more important than the length of the ad is the content within it. The main thing you need to do and we cannot stress this enough is to captivate your audience immediately. A few ways you can do this is through being upbeat, having a sense of humour, utilising a recognisable influencer or celebrity or posing a compelling question.

From there you want to relate with your audience, a way you can do this is through empathising with their needs and pain points, and use characters and scenes that, chances are, they will likely identify with.

Finally, you need to then associate your brand as the solution to your audience’s problem. A simple way to do this is through placing a logo in the corner of your ad, but also look to creatively place your name or logo more naturally in the video as well of course.

Show your brand in action

Particularly for videos that will be shown to an audience who has not interacted with your brand before, make sure your ad clearly shows them what your brand does and how they will be using it. For retail brands, include your most popular products being used in real life situations. For B2B brands, try working in shots of an interface or including clips of a product demo.

Design ads for mobile

More than half of all YouTube views are on mobile devices, so make sure your creative is geared towards mobile devices. Use bright scenes and backgrounds, keep the frame tight, and leverage clear text or graphics that convey your message well even on a mobile-size screen.

Ultimately, creating effective and compelling YouTube ads doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. Use these 4 best practices to guide you and you will be well on your way to making powerful YouTube creative that will drive success for your business. And if you need further guidance on your journey then make sure you get in touch with an s.media specialist today.


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