The 6 Steps to Killer Youtube Creatives

Feb 8, 2021 | Creative, Paid Search, Video | 0 comments


What makes a successful Youtube campaign? Many brands miss out on the most basic step – ensuring unique and innovative creatives. To drive success for your brand’s next YouTube TrueView for action campaigns, creative should be the number one priority. Many brands try to cut corners and reuse creatives instead of constructing assets specifically for YouTube. All too often, brands will repurpose videos that are running on social platforms, run as television advertisements, or have performed well on organic YouTube channels. This is a major pitfall and will likely hinder paid YouTube performance as TrueView for action campaigns do not operate in the same way as those other placements. 


To ensure a killer Youtube campaign, follow these six recommendations and start your campaign off on the right track. 


1) Take Full Advantage of the First 5 Seconds 

  • Trueview Instream ads are skippable after 5 seconds with the majority of users (95%) utilizing that option. Therefore, we recommend mentioning the brand and product in the first 5 seconds
    • Additionally, aim for at least 2-3 shots in the first 5 seconds to grab attention


2) Length Variation Matters

  • There is no one size fits all for ad length. Google recommends testing various lengths ranging from 15 seconds to a minute and a half. 
    • This allows the Google algorithm to optimize the ad length to the individual viewer. 
      • At least 5 different creative variations are recommended 


3) Don’t Forget the Importance of Audio

  • The majority of YouTube views will have their sound turned on. It is best to use this to your advantage in the ad. 
    • Do not rely on text to get your message across. A voice-over or host should say the name of the brand and product


4) Consider Where the Overlaps Will Go

  • Place all text and graphics in the center of the frame away from clickable elements such as the Call-to-Action overlay (bottom left), skip button (bottom right), and the Visit Advertiser button (top right) 
Screenshot from Google’s YouTube Best Practices for Digital Creative – 2020


5) Stand Out on Mobile Screens  

  • The majority of YouTube Ads are seen on a small screen. Optimize toward that by using the following:
    • close up shots of faces or elements
    • fast-paced cuts to hold attention
    • bright colors to stand out on a dim screen
    • large text in the center of the screen


6) Drive Action

  • The main goal of TrueView for action campaigns is to help drive leads and conversions by adding prominent calls-to-action (CTAs), headline text overlays, and an end screen to your video ads. Don’t shy away from this feature and be sure to add it to the creative itself.
    • Show offers and call-to-action through text cards, simple animations, or voiceover. Do this with a sense of urgency and be specific. 

Andrea Duffy-Cabana, Senior Search Analyst


Interested in learning more about YouTube creative strategy? Direct Agents’ in-house creative team specializes in video production. From initial strategy to final product, our team of video content & production specialists use creative insights to drive successful campaigns. For more insight into YouTube creative practices, reach out to marketing@directagents.com.