5 Tips to make Perfect Youtube Video Ads

The number of people streaming video content has been bigger than ever and it is clear that the attention is on video. This is also why video ads are one of the best-performing formats today.

If you have been running Youtube video ads (or on Facebook / Instagram too) or if you plan to start video marketing, you will be focusing a lot on the targeting and other technical aspects.

But in most cases, a good creative (the video to be run as an ad) can be the difference between a well-performing campaign and one that doesn’t give expected results.

Everyone has their own way of making video ads. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t. But what if you didn’t have to leave your campaign performance to chance?

In this article, you will learn 5 tips to ensure your youtube video ads have a higher chance of success – beginning today:

1) The ABCD Method of structuring Youtube Video Ads

One of the misconceptions about Youtube ads (and other platform video ads) is that they are purely a guessing game. You make an ad and pray it works.

That’s not true. While ads require you to experiment with your video creatives, it does not mean you have to be shooting in the dark.

There are some basic principles of making Youtube Video Ads that can increase your chances of success.

These principles are used in the ABCD Method of making video ads.

This method has been designed by Google itself by analyzing thousands of skippable Trueview ads across 11 industries, from around the world.

This study allowed Google to better understand how creative elements including narrative, structure, visuals, audio, and characters, influence a brand’s video campaign performance.

This is what ABCD stands for:

ABCD-method youtube video ads
  • A – Attract: Hook viewer’s attention right in the beginning
  • B – Brand: Integrate the brand into the video in a natural way
  • C – Connect: Connect with the viewers by using emotion & storytelling
  • D – Direct: Have a clear and direct Call to Action in the video ad

It has been seen that the ads that use ABCD as a guiding principle have led to a 30% increase in sales in the short term and have also led to a 17% brand lift in long term.

2) The Ads should not feel like Ads

While ABCD is a great method, and you can use it as a thought-starter, it is in no way a one-size-fits-all approach. Please feel free to experiment.

Considering each brand is different and has a different audience, it has been found that focusing on the ad message is more important than focusing on how the ad looks.

It is not mandatory to have a huge production budget and get actors to perform. It doesn’t work like how a TV ad would.

In fact, some of the below formats have been working very well when it comes to Youtube Ads, especially in the APAC region:

  • Customer testimonial (Product review narrated by a user)
  • An interview with the CEO
  • Anime starring the heroic product
  • A product/service demonstration

When it comes to Youtube Advertising, creativity is a pre-requisite and the sky is the limit.

As a Youtube marketer, you will have an even playing ground like all other marketers. And if you can create video ads that not only give users a taste of your product/service but are also creative, then you are going to be unstoppable.

3) The Ads can be creative, yet be Direct

There is another misconception that lower-funnel ads cannot be as creative as upper-funnel ads.

The reason for this assumption could be because the upper-funnel ads are used to build awareness and get the attention of prospects. It does not aim to get any action taken by the user.

However, the lower funnel is where the user (prospect) is required to take an action – purchase or give a lead.

People feel that the lower funnel has to be direct and sales-focused, and that leaves no room for creativity.

The truth is, as an advertiser, you need to start thinking about more than just one impression. In most cases, the viewer will not take an action just because they have been served an ad.

According to a Google / Talk Shoppe research, 63% of Youtube viewers say they bought from a brand after seeing it on the platform.

youtube statistics - purchase

That means you have to start thinking about creating video ads that leave an impact beyond just one impression.

One of the ways to keep your lower-funnel ads creative is by aligning them to the interests and passions of your viewers to make a more direct offer.

Or you can do something unexpected – like how McDonald’s Malaysia did in an ad campaign. They asked viewers to not search for a product.

This created so much curiosity amongst viewers that they actually went searching for that product. That’s reverse psychology at work. Creative and Direct!

4) It is important to Experiment & Test

I know experimenting and testing can feel like a lot of work. But in my experience, this approach can actually give you long-term benefits and help you understand the variables that can improve your campaign performance.

Having an experimental mindset in marketing is different from doing one-off tests every once in a while.

What you need to do is, consider every video campaign that you do as a part of the experiment. Draw learning from each of them and keep finding out what works and what doesn’t.

This will help you optimize your future campaigns like never before.

As per a Google research in 2019-2020, it was found that advertisers who successfully used video experiments saw 60% higher ad recall from the better performing creative.

youtube statistics-recall

Here are some of the things you can experiment with:

  • Simple edits to your video
  • Change in framing of the opening shot
  • Slight tweaks to your copy / script

Sometimes small changes can lead to a big shift in performance.

With each A/B test, you will find out more about your audience and will have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t in your campaigns.

5) Create Digital Specific Ads instead of repurposing your TV Ads

I have seen a lot of marketers and brands make this mistake during my time working with agencies and corporate brands (before I started Young Urban Project).

Since a lot of brand marketers are still more focused on traditional channels (due to heavier spending there, or their lack of understanding of digital platforms), they would create video ads for the TV first and just run the same creative on digital (Youtube or Facebook).

Unfortunately, that approach rarely works. However, the vice versa can still work. The creatives that are made for digital can still work on TV.

When we make video ads for digital, there are a few elements we pay attention to:

  • Hook the attention right in the beginning
  • Have a tighter framing for mobile devices
  • Use large size for text overlays
  • Have color contrast for better visibility on smaller screens
  • Keep this sound on

Due to these elements resulting from the digital audience’s behavior today, the content works great not only on digital, but also on TV.

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding video ads and I hope this post has brought clarity regarding them.

If you follow the tips mentioned here, you will be on your way to create effective video ads that are creative and can trigger actual business actions.

PS: If you are interested in learning end-to-end digital marketing in the most practical way possible, then check out our cohort-based 10-Week Advanced Digital Marketing Course. Applications are open.