If you’re just beginning to set up a YouTube ad campaign, the task of creating a strong piece of YouTube creative can seem daunting, especially if you’re a smaller advertiser with a limited video production budget. You might be wondering, should we just upload our TV ads on YouTube and use those? How long should our videos be? Are there certain things we should or shouldn’t be including in a YouTube ad?

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Launching YouTube for the first time can be daunting, but don’t let that deter you from taking advantage of this powerful channel. Image via Pixabay.

To help guide the creative creation process, here are five video creative recommendations to keep in mind as you launch your YouTube efforts:

Keep videos relatively short

Keep in mind that people are coming to YouTube to watch certain content, and that content likely isn’t a five-minute advertisement. Ideally, you’ll want to get your full message across in 15 to 60 seconds, and you should experiment with different video lengths to determine what works best relative to your goals.

Make sure to hook your audience quickly

For in-stream ads, you’ll only have five seconds to grab your audience’s attention and pique their interest before they’re able to skip the ad. This can mean using upbeat music, utilizing a recognizable influencer or celebrity, posing a compelling question or using humor, among many other possible ideas.

Insert your brand name or logo early in the video

Because people can skip video ads after five seconds, you’ll want to get your brand name or logo in the video as early as possible. This ensures that you’ll still make a branding impact even if someone does skip the ad. You can do this either by simply inserting a logo in the corner of the ad or finding a way to creatively place your name or logo on a product or object in the video.

Utilize Google’s Brand Lift study

Google’s Brand Lift solution allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of different ad creative in terms of lift in brand awareness, brand recall, purchase intent, brand perception and more. A lot of times, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to YouTube creative, so using a Brand Lift Study can help narrow down what aspects of creative work best for your business and your goals. If a YouTube Brand Lift Study is beyond your budget or isn’t feasible for your business, simply flighting different ads to evaluate metrics like view rate & CTR can be helpful in determining what types of creative are working well.

Don’t reinvent the wheel

If you already have creative assets from TV or videos on your website, you can and should use that as a starting point. However, keep in mind the unique attributes of the YouTube platform and re-cut your existing assets in different ways to address the best practices above.

Creating effective and compelling YouTube ads doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. Use the best practices above as a starting point, and you will be well on your way to making powerful YouTube creative that will drive success for your business.