In The Republic by Plato, he states that “the beginning is the most important part of any work”, and while he likely didn’t have video ads in mind when writing this, he was still on to something. The beginning of your ads set the tone for your campaign and your brand. In the first five seconds, audiences decide whether or not they’re on board with watching your ad instead of fast-tracking to their content.

YouTube’s TrueView inventory fuels this countdown by allowing audiences to skip video ads after five seconds. However, up to 85 percent of viewers skip TrueView ads and never get to see key aspects of a brand’s message after the five-second mark*—meaning that for every 10 million impressions served, 8.5 million viewers only see five seconds of a video.

So, how do you combat the dreaded skip button? The key is to provide actionable content in the beginning of your videos to generate meaningful brand impact with those 8.5 million viewers who did not watch your ad. This content creates compelling video experiences that increase the chance that audiences will stick around to watch the rest of your ad.

 Here’s what you can do to ensure 5-second engagement and beyond:

1. Adapt your creative with a branded canvas: Encompass your video in a branded “skin”, displaying additional creative elements such as additional branding or product information, alongside your video. This highlights important features up front, without forcing the audience to watch the entire pre-roll to understand the bottom line for them.

2. Engage viewers with a call-to-action: Increase awareness by incorporating a custom overlay that drives your brand message home and prompts action in the moment.

3. Personalize your content: Heighten relevancy with your target audiences by utilizing personalized versions of your video creative, tailored to each audience group—showing that you’ve done your homework about what your audience wants and needs.

Given the fact that the average human attention span is eight seconds—it’s more crucial than ever to make an immediate impact with viewers. By adding simple CTAs, branding and more—you can drive the momentum of the first five seconds of video ads to encourage your target audiences through the purchase funnel.

For more information on how to jumpstart your video creative for YouTube TrueView, contact us now. 

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