Nobody likes a skipper. Here are 3 ways to capture viewers’ attention with creative video.
Nobody like a skipper—no advertiser that is. With more and more ad dollars going toward digital media, the dreaded SKIP button is a problem. Even more so considering that on average, a whopping 80% of video ads are skipped. Even at this rate though, video ads are far more effective than banner ads, According to YuMe.com, 2.5% more.
When you find a way to capture viewers’ attention, the result is pure magic. 55% of people who view a video ad take action. 25% purchase after viewing, and 32% share the video with friends. With more people viewing more content in more places than ever before, it’s simply impossible to dismiss this advertising option. So how do we keep viewers from “dismissing” our ads?
Here are 3 helpful tricks I’ve implemented to turn skippers into viewers.
Catch People Where They Are
Historically, advertisers have separated their media buy for digital content by screen type: TV, laptop, tablet, mobile device. The trick is to think about it not just by what the content is being viewed on, but more importantly by where folks are when they are viewing. For example, when you are at home, connected to high-speed internet, you can relax and view more long form video content, usually on a laptop or tablet. Shorter, snackable content is most likely consumed better during the work day when consumers are out and about, using their smart phones for streaming. And, by the way, vertical video is far more impactful on a smart phone than traditional portrait video. It just makes sense, right? If you plan your media buy around this idea, and design your video ads accordingly, you have a much better chance of getting positive results.
2. It’s Not Your Father’s Commercial
I’ve had really good success by approaching video ads in a very different way than traditional TV commercials. We’ve all been taught to get the brand or product name out there quickly and often on both TV and radio. Sure people can walk away, change the channel, or turn the volume down, but they don’t have an actual SKIP button. That changes everything! Viewers of streaming video can literally skip your ad after 5 seconds. So the challenge is to find a way to get them interested enough in those first 5 seconds to choose to watch your ad. You can do that in a number of different ways.
If you are lucky enough to have a product that sells itself just by its name, then you’re ahead of the game. But most of us aren’t so lucky. We have to tell a story. We have to actually sell that product.
I’ve found that in most cases, leading with the product or brand sends people (especially millennials) headed straight to SKIP. But if you pull them in with an interesting fact, a cute or bizarre image, or some super cool music, then you have a better chance at cracking the code. After 5 seconds, put your URL on screen, let them know what you’re selling, and tell the rest of your story. Or better yet—drive them to your website. If they think you’re cool and interesting, they’ll want more. (Way more than if they think you are trying to force your product down their throat.) And they will share it with all their friends.
3. Don’t Give Them Time To Skip
Another technique I’ve had success with is creating a 6 to 10 second pre-roll. Be aware that this isn’t an easy task. As Mark Twain so clearly stated when he said “I apologise for the long letter. I didn’t have time to write a short one,” writing great copy for a 6 second pre-roll is tricky. But if you can do it, it works. And it can’t be skipped. This works particularly well if you are giving out a useful fact, or driving to a website with a teaser line.
Don’t fall into the trap of over-promising, because that will do nothing but make people mad—while nobody likes a Skipper, nobody likes a Trickster either. Another trap to avoid is making your viewer do more work just to provide you with more data, like driving them to a website that takes them to a landing page that requires them to take some other action. The more opportunities you give a person to disengage, the higher the odds are that they will.
Be bold, be creative, be brief. Video advertising isn’t going away anytime soon, so make the most of it.
Debbie Kennedy is a creative director and owner of Write for You with over a decade of experience as a creative, advertising, and marketing professional. Catch more of Debbie’s industry expertise in “High Impact Hacks for the Always-On Creative”.