YouTube Video Marketing: What are Pre-Roll YouTube Ads?

Whether you’re a small business owner or working in the marketing department of an enterprise, you may have researched YouTube advertising once or twice. Some of the most common types of YouTube marketing are pre-roll video ads, and even if you’re not overly familiar with these, there’s still a good chance you’ll have seen them before.

This short guide from the video marketing experts at Ginger Digital is here to explain what YouTube pre-roll video advertising is all about, and how it can be an effective marketing tool for your business.

What is a YouTube Pre-Roll Ad?

If you’re not using the YouTube Premium service, you’ll encounter video ads in some form while using the platform. Click on any YouTube video, and you’ll invariably see a short advertisement play directly beforehand; this is what’s known as a pre-roll video ad.

For some consumers, the idea of sitting through video advertisements may seem frustrating, but this could likely be the result of poor YouTube ad targeting by marketers. In other words, if you’re trying to view certain content and you’re forced to watch an ad of no relevance or interest to you, this can affect your relationship with that brand. 

YouTube Ads

Types of Pre-Roll YouTube Ads

There are three main types of YouTube ads using a pre-roll format.

Bumper Ads

These don’t have a skip option but only last six seconds long, making them feel less invasive for some consumers. They’re generally only available in specific markets.

Skippable Ads

Viewers are given the chance to skip the ad after a few seconds with these ads. To qualify for this option, the skippable videos themselves must be a minimum of 12 seconds long.

YouTube Ads

Non-Skippable Ads

These ads are fairly self-explanatory; viewers aren’t given a chance to skip the ad. They can be a maximum of 15 seconds long.

Why Use Pre-Roll Video Ads in Digital Marketing?

There are numerous benefits of using pre-roll ads in your video marketing campaigns. Below are just a few of them.

  • YouTube itself is the second most popular website and search engine in the world. It’s second only to Google, which is the parent company of YouTube, ironically enough.
  • Users worldwide collectively consume approximately 1 billion hours of video content on YouTube every single day.
  • It’s no secret that people’s attention spans are notoriously short these days, which can work in marketers’ favours. Just a few seconds can be enough time to expose new viewers and potential customers to your brand and create a meaningful impression.
  • YouTube makes the process of reaching the right audience easier with powerful targeting tools. Powered by Google Ads, you can target viewers by demographics, interests, topics, keywords, geographical location, language and much more.

Best Practices for Pre-Roll YouTube Ads

To get the most out of your YouTube video marketing strategy, here are some things to bear in mind when using pre-roll ads.

  • Context is everything.

A common complaint about pre-roll YouTube advertising is when a video ad is longer than the content it’s attached to. It’s safe to say that most won’t want to see a 30-second ad before a 10-second clip, so you should keep the context of your viewer in mind. 

  • Target your audience carefully.

YouTube provides excellent targeting options for your preferred type of audience. Make sure your pre-roll ads match the needs or interests of the people who’ll see them.

YouTube Ads
  • The first five seconds are crucial.

It’s expected that at least 90% of users will skip YouTube ads if given a chance. However, knowing your audience will hopefully alleviate this worry. If you can deliver a hook or pain point in the first five seconds, you stand a better chance of keeping their attention for longer.

  • Pre-qualify viewers.

Remember, you’ll be charged if users watch more than 30 seconds of your ad. So you should be clear from the beginning with what you’re offering and who it applies to.

  • Make it entertaining.

Some top-performing YouTube ads involve humour to some extent, which might be worth considering in your video production or animation content, as your audience will be more likely to respond favourably to your ads.

Help from a Professional Video Marketing Agency

Hopefully, you’ll see how beneficial video ads on YouTube can be if you deliver campaigns in the right way for your audience. 

If you’ve tried YouTube advertising campaigns before and found little success, Ginger Digital would love to hear from you. We produce video campaigns for clients across many sectors and provide in-studio and on-site video production services.
For a no-obligation YouTube marketing strategy review, fill in our contact form, and we’ll be in touch to have a chat.

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