YouTube ads? What’s the hook? Why should viewers watch?
YouTube advertising can be incredibly lucrative for your business, especially if you’re trying to reach a niche demographic or interest group.
However, as growing social media use contributes to content overload and declining attention spans, companies are getting less time to earn their audience’s attention.
If you want to make YouTube ads people will actually watch and take action on, you need to ensure your videos start strong with a hook that keeps your audience interested.
In this article, we’ll introduce five best practices for crafting YouTube ads with great hooks at the beginning of each video.
Manage Your Audience’s Shrinking Attention Span
Skippable YouTube ads, which users can skip after five seconds, are one of the most prominent forms of advertising on the platform. Unfortunately, these ads are rarely viewed in full. The average YouTube user skips ads after 5.5 seconds of play — less than one second after they get the option to skip — and 84% of viewers skip before advertisements end.
Putting the most compelling information, audio, or visuals in the first 5-10 seconds of your ad will encourage viewers to stick around. When your full ad is lengthy, packing it with funny content — like Zillow’s “Susans” and Amazon’s “Alexa Loses Her Voice” — is an effective way to grasp consumer attention, especially at the start.
Alternatively, you can run unskippable YouTube ads, which are limited to 15 or 20 seconds (depending on your region). Users must fully view these ads to watch their desired videos.
However, if you want viewers to pay attention and remember your advertising message, it’s still best practice to capture their attention in the first five seconds of your brief ads.
Include Distinct Visuals
One way to craft unforgettable YouTube ads is by adding distinct visuals to your content. Since video ads are built for people to watch, visuals play an important role in building engagement. Highly eye-catching visuals — from bright colors to unexpected or unusual content, as demonstrated by Old Spice — can keep your viewers engrossed in your advertisement for long periods of time.
Adding an eye-catching and visually pleasing logo to your advertisement can further help your advertisements stand out. Instead of creating a generic ad, you can brand your content as your own and build brand awareness. If you don’t want to outsource your logo design, make a logo that helps you stand out by starting with a professional-looking template and customizing it with your company’s colors and fonts.
A great voice-over can give your viewers a reason to pay attention to your videos. When you add enticing audio narrations to your content, you can set up a quality storyline for your advertisement. Plus, if the voice you use is unique and memorable enough, it can become an iconic part of your brand that promotes brand recognition.
Many of Pou-Pourri’s YouTube ads demonstrate the power of voice-overs. While the visuals in its ads don’t tell much of a story, Pou-Pourri uses a voice-over from a memorable, exaggerated posh accent to develop a relatable background story that draws viewers in.
Cater to Niche Markets
A big reason why YouTube ads are successful is that they can be targeted to highly specific audiences.
However, all too many advertisers fail to create ads that cater to their niche market — and when irrelevant ads show up, they can interrupt the natural user experience and lead viewers to tune out.
To ensure your viewers are watching, it’s important to cater your hook (and the rest of your content) to the YouTube user you’re targeting. For example, SaaS customers prefer when advertisers show, rather than tell, while IT customers often love data.
Create customer personas! — profiles that represent your ideal clients and their unique demographics, needs, goals, and interests — this will help you determine what will draw viewers in.
Include Calls to Action – CTAs
Crafting YouTube ads people will watch is all about starting with the right content, but making those ads effective requires you to end strong, too.
Ending your video with a strong call to action (CTA) is the best way to tell users what they can do with the information they’ve learned. For instance, you can clarify if viewers should go to your website to learn more or if they should call your business after watching your ad.
Craft More Engaging YouTube Ads
YouTube advertising is a tricky paid marketing method – for sure – but when done right, it will accelerate your business toward its desired results.
To start improving your engagement rates, produce videos that are built for the modern attention span by starting your ads with compelling hooks. Then, capture your audience’s attention by using distinct visuals and audio that tell a story.
Once you start achieving longer viewing times, make sure you’re ending your videos strong with effective calls to action. This way, your measurable results can improve as your YouTube engagement rates rise.
Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer with a passion for how technology and creativity come together in our everyday lives. When she is not hunting for the best mac and cheese in the Pacific Northwest, she is frequently lost in a good book.