6 Secrets for creating a kickass YouTube pre-roll video campaign


The mother of YouTube, Google announced last month to end the 30-second, non-skippable pre-roll ads in 2018. The reason? The company says it wants to provide a better advertising experience for online users. Mainly, because people didn't really like them or they were simply too long. That's why the company has said that is going to offer video formats that are more engaging for both advertisers and viewers.

So farewell to the 30-second, non-skippable format - by the end of year that is, it will be among us for another couple more months. So question remains is how to make those videos more engaging.  To optimise the content of  your YouTube video campaign,  be sure to tick all these boxes to get a head start:


 Make the first five seconds count. Don't make them skip your ad, but tease your audience them by grabbing their attention.

 Communicate your message in the beginning! The rest of video is in support of your main message.

 Keep it short. An ad that is almost the same length as the video you want to watch will annoy people.

 Always include a call to action. Make it clear what you expect from the viewer, tell them if you want them to subscribe, engage or watch more.

 Give your video ad a real title and don't mention Ad in the title, but rather focus on you keywords and your key message.

 Play with the format. Be creative!

All noted? Great! You can be really creative with the different video ad formats YouTube offer.

1. Skip it! 

Next to the non-skippable ads, YouTube also offers a skippable variant. The skippable YouTube ads allow viewers to skip the ad after 5 seconds. These first five seconds are thus of utter importance. Moreover, you will only pay for the ad if a user watches the ad. The people who watch your ad are thus more qualitative and more likely to engage with it.

2. The 20-second non-skippable pre-roll ads.

Huh? I hear you think. Indeed, YouTube will lay off its 30-second non-skippable format, but the options until 20 seconds will still be available. Especially because people cannot click this type of ad away, make sure that your ad is well targeted. Because if a user is continuously confronted with and ad that is not valuable to him, he might perceive it as spam.

In the video below, Netflix created the first Friendly Preroll campaign. The ad that is shown to the viewer is related to the search term, so there will be a link between the ad and the video that viewer is about to watch. That's how you can truly engage your audience!

3. Go mobile with Bumper ads 

These add are especially designed for mobile devices. In the hasty world of the mobile user, there is no room for long ads. That's why YouTube introduced a 6-second non-skippable video ad. Instead of naming this a non-skippable video, it has received the more engaging name Bumper ads. Think of it as a pop up video, although it looks more like GIF,  that automatically goes away after 6 seconds.


So whatever format you're going to choose, don't forget to check your ideas with the checklist to create a stunning pre-roll campaign.

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