Nearly 48 hours of videos are added every minute to YouTube. The platform has over 2 billion monthly active users, making it the hotspot for businesses of all sizes to advertise their brand, products, and services. However, the commercials need to adhere to YouTube Ads Guidelines before they can go live.

If you’re looking to reach out to your target audience, you cannot deny the power of video marketing. And, it is where YouTube comes in, which is the biggest platform in the video marketing landscape. However, businesses and advertisers need to invest some time to understand the fundamentals and guidelines of YouTube Ads. It not only helps in reaching out to your target audience precisely but helps maximize ROI at the same time.

What are YouTube Pre-Roll Ads?

Also referred to as in-stream ads, these commercials appear before the video begins. The intrusive nature of YouTube Pre-Roll ads makes viewers hate it by default as it prevents them from watching their desired content right away.

nissan preroll ad

However, when done correctly, it can grab the attention of the viewers and generate more sales and improve overall brand outreach and awareness. The length of the pre-roll ads makes a huge difference in its outcome. So, let us answer the most important question first –

What’s Should Be The Ideal Length of YouTube Pre-Roll Ads?

The ideal length of the YouTube Pre-Roll Ads can be anywhere between 15 to 30 seconds, and the industry standard revolves around 20 seconds. However, a few ads of 5 seconds and up to 1 minute have fared well with the audience.

As long as the ads are engaging and grab the audience’s attention, the length of the ads doesn’t get in the way of achieving its objectives.

In other words, the length of the ads does make a significant impact, but the timing is an equally important factor that cannot be ignored. Why? Because the viewers hate the pre-roll ads by default, so the ads have to have a hook in the first five seconds to grab viewers’ attention.

If the businesses roll out the same commercial they’re rolling out on TV, the results would be far from expectations.

Types of Pre-Roll YouTube Ads

The YouTube Pre-Roll ads can be classified into three categories –

  • Bumpers – Six-second ads that viewers cannot skip and watch before getting access to their desired content.
  • Non-Skippable Ads – 15-20 Seconds Ads. The viewers have to watch the entire length of the video before their desired video begins.
  • Skippable Ads – 6 to 20 Seconds Ads. Viewers can skip this ad after the first 5 seconds.
  • Non-Video Ads – Banners/Pictures/Overlays

The YouTube Ads must have a hook that keeps the viewers’ attention glued to the screen. If not, they would simply press the ‘Skip’ button or dread the ad till their desired content begins to play. Timing is what makes the desired impact, so focus on that!

Unskippable Pre-Roll Ads

The brand should start conceptualizing the Unskippable Pre-Roll Ads, understanding that these ads are not loved. So, rather than fight the format, embracing it is a more effective technique.

Don’t stray around your message and get straight to the point – acknowledging that you value viewers’ time. The honesty will be awarded, which helped Geico win the “2015 Ad of the Year” award by AdWeek.

The pre-roll ads must encourage engagement, but it is not the sole factor that determines its length. The length of such ads depend on –

  • Your marketing budget.
  • Increasing profitability and maximizing conversions.

How does YouTube/Google charge For Pre-Roll Ads?

There are tons of customizable options offered by YouTube to display your ads. The prices vary depending on niche, products, demographics, audience, and videos. In any case, you only pay for the ads that people watch.

YouTube says clearly in its guidelines that if the audience skips before 30 seconds or the end of the video, you pay nothing.

So, create a budget, and you may even consider making an ad video that’s 0.29 seconds in length.

Choose from the targeting type –

  • Keyword
  • Topic
  • Placement Targeting

You can optimise to get the maximum free impression. Remember, if the viewer doesn’t watch past 30 seconds, you don’t pay a penny. A 29-second video can be engaging to encourage viewers to view past the skipping stage (5 seconds), but once they have enough information, they might consider skipping nevertheless.

The idea should be to develop an ad that front-loads the video with maximum information you want your audience to see. So, even if they skip, you’re still winning. How? It is because you got a free impression while still managing to deliver the message/information to your audience.

With that said, the point is for your audience to stick around and watch the ads. So, don’t get disappointed when you don’t get free impressions. In both cases, you’re gaining.

So, make a YouTube Pre-Roll Ad that is interesting, honest, engaging, and self-aware. It helps with increasing engagement, creates brand awareness, boosts brand loyalty, and maximizes conversions and ROI.

Think out of the box, and check out the innovative and unique concepts tried by other ad campaigns that have performed well. It would help you get the insight you need to develop ads that perform well and ensure maximum results from your marketing dollars!