YouTube has become one of the most influential digital advertising platforms for brands looking for higher visibility, leads and conversions online. Their ad sequences are a win-win situation for the brands as well as YouTube. This could be gauged from the fact that the company generated over $5 billion in advertising revenue in Q3 2020. Over the years, YouTube has been offering quite promising advertising options for brands. However, the mileage that companies can draw from them depends a lot on how they place their ads on YouTube.
Decoding the YouTube Ad Sequencing
YouTube offers the Ad Sequencing feature for organizations and individuals who aim to build brand salience by reinforcing a message for their targeted audience. The video streaming giant also allows these entities to serve video ads to their targeted viewers in a specific order. The whole purpose of this feature is to enable individuals or organizations to engage with potential customers and generate quality leads and achieve higher conversion levels. However, like any advertising tool, this needs skills, expertise, and experience to maximize reach and ensure enhanced engagement levels.
The working of YouTube Ad Sequencing
Several types of ad sequencing can be employed by brands depending upon the advertising strategy and business objectives. For instance, there is ad sequencing where the company aims to reinforce brand recognition and recall, and for that, it could utilize the Direct Shot. In this sequence, the company uses 4-6 videos for presenting one idea, albeit from different angles. This strategy has been working quite effectively and enabling businesses to boost their brand awareness. For instance, a Google/Ipsos Lab Experiment study says that +74% ad recall lift for video ad sequencing vs single 30-second TrueView YouTube Ad.
Understanding the need and psychology of viewers
People while watching YouTube videos may or may not show their interest in a particular ad sequence depending on how it is presented. For instance, when they are shown a 30-second video ad as the first video in the ad sequence, and if viewers skip the ad even before twenty seconds, then using such a video is a sheer waste of time and money. Instead of such a long video, working on short videos of six seconds could do an excellent job. Therefore, instead of a thirty-second video, creating four unique and unskippable bumper video ads should be worked upon. The four video ad sequencing frameworks, e.g., Signals, Context, Sequence and Immersion, are prevalent among advertisers.
Five tested sequences that work
Telling a story is crucial for any brand, as humans are wired to remember great stories. Using the same fundamental principle, YouTube video sequencing must tell a great story. The marketers who have displayed ads on YouTube having compelling and memorable story structures have been quite successful.
1. Get creative with your asset library
This is the oft-repeated and recommended method for advertisers as it helps them explore their asset library that includes old, new, and planned visuals. However, they must all contain gripping narratives to create the desired impact. Nonetheless, while advertisers are still exploring, they may also consider the entire funnel so that they can tack several parts of the funnel simultaneously.
2. Machine learning could save a lot of time
Cutting the videos for the ad could be a time-consuming exercise. However, as Google is testing a machine learning-powered ‘Bumper Machine’, you can take advantage of the same. This feature is available for all those who want to cut their videos in pieces for bumper ads. This tool cuts videos automatically to create multiple six-second bumper ads.
3. Old and tested formula - Tease, Amplify, Echo
This has been very effective in YouTube sequencing videos. For any advertiser looking for more views and engagements on YouTube, this formula can deliver impressive results.
Starting with a short video containing some sort of action or conflict can help brands generate curiosity. Then, once it has achieved considerable views, a longer video comprising detailed information is released to ensure that the target audience views it entirely and follows the CTA.
4. Testing different sequences
The old maxim ‘test, iterate, repeat’ also works in YouTube video sequencing. Here the advertisers are recommended to test different sequences. For instance, they can experiment with the order of videos and use comparative analysis to find out the sequence that is working the best.
5. Long Sequences could still work
Google/Ipsos Lab Experiment shows that longer YouTube video sequences, e.g., three or more ads had a significantly higher impact than single 30-second TrueView ads not just in terms of ad recall but purchase intent as well. It means that if you have 3-4 well conceptualized and produced video ads having a great storyline, they can still do wonders on YouTube.
Human beings like to hear and watch great stories. Creating engaging YouTube video ads and placing them in the correct sequence can enable brands to tell memorable stories and earn brand recognition and loyalty from their target audiences.