5 Tips for Creating Engaging YouTube Ads

Published on
June 20, 2023
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With approximately 1.22 million active users per day and a whopping 2 billion users per month, it’s no surprise that businesses of all sizes take to YouTube to advertise their products/services. But in order for your ad to be effective, there are a number of things you must consider. Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled our top tips for creating powerful and engaging YouTube video ads. 

5 Tips for creating engaging YouTube ads include: 

  1. Keep it short & eye-catching
  2. Optimise for mobile use
  3. Use emotion to tug on your audience’s heart strings
  4. Be relatable
  5. Include a call to action

1. Keep It Short & Eye-Catching

One of the key features of a YouTube ad is that viewers have the option of skipping the ad after 5 seconds if they choose not to watch. Capturing the audience’s attention within the first few seconds is therefore absolutely crucial for the success of the ad. To keep the attention of your audience early on, there are a number of things you can do. 

Firstly, you want to keep your video short and sweet. Ensure you deliver your most important messages early in the video, in case viewers stop watching before it's over. Play rates drop off significantly after 45 seconds, so use your time wisely and get your key message across quickly and clearly. You want to be super clear about what your business offers and how your products/services will benefit the viewer. 

To keep your viewers watching, start your ad with an attention-grabbing hook. We also recommend using bold visuals, catchy/trending music, or a provocative statement to get their attention.

If you’re not confident in creating your own YouTube ads, you might want to consider outsourcing your content to a specialised Ecommerce Video Service like Aura Ads. Through fresh direct response creative, we have helped to drive growth for some of the world’s leading eCommerce brands. But don’t just take our word for it, take a look at some of our work here!

2. Optimise for Mobile Use

Although YouTube is available for both Desktop and Mobile users, recent studies have found that around 70% of YouTube users actually come from mobile devices. This proves just how important it is to optimise your video ads for mobile, otherwise it may not display correctly or might be challenging to read on a smaller device. Although these visibility issues might only sound minor, they could result in viewers clicking away from your ad. 

youtube ad
Mobile users often have shorter attention spans than desktop users, so you need to make sure your ad is engaging and easy to understand quickly, as we touched on in the point above. 

Optimising your YouTube ads for mobile will therefore lead to better engagement, more clicks, and ultimately, better results for your advertising campaign. Some examples of how to optimise your YouTube ads for mobile include using large text, bold graphics, engaging visuals and simple messaging - the perfect recipe for small screens and short attention spans. 

The landing page that your ad leads to should also be optimised for mobile. This means that the page should load quickly, be easy to navigate, and have a clear call to action.

3. Use Emotion to Tug on Your Audience’s Heart Strings

If you want to truly connect with your audience and create a memorable experience, using emotion is one of the most powerful ways to do so. But how do you effectively create emotion? 

Prior to creating your ad,  have a think about the emotion(s) you want to evoke. Do you want your audience to feel happy, inspired, motivated, or something quite the opposite? Once you've established the emotion, you can start thinking about how to create a message that will bring out that emotion.

One of the most popular and effective ways to stimulate emotion in your audience is through storytelling. By this we mean, use a narrative to create a story that connects with your audience's emotions, whether this is a personal story, a customer testimonial, or a fictional scenario that showcases the benefits of your product or service. 

4. Be Relatable

A crucial part of any successful YouTube ad is that it is relatable to your target audience, and in order to be relatable, you must first know who it is you are trying to relate to. 

Your target audience will be defined by various demographics, such as gender, age, location, social class, consumption habits and purchasing power… just to name a few. Once you establish your target audience, you can then shape your narrative so that it provokes their interest or stimulates a pain point.

creating an engaging youtube ad
Although you want to be relatable, you don’t want to try too hard to relate, but the better you know your audience, the more natural it will come across.

5. Include a Clear Call to Action

A call to action is a message that clearly states what action you want your audience to take next, and it is an essential element of any YouTube video ad. CTA’s come in a number of different forms, such as ‘learn more’, ‘buy now’, ‘visit website’ or ‘call us now’, and are typically found at the end of the ad. 

CTA’s are important because, without clear directions, viewers might watch your ad but then forget about it or move on to the next video. By directly telling the viewer what to do, such as signing up to the company newsletter or visiting the website, it can help to convert viewers into paying customers. 

CTA’s are also great as they can help you measure the success of your YouTube ad campaign by tracking how many viewers take the desired action. This can help you identify what's working and what's not, and make adjustments to improve your overall campaign results.

We are Aura Ads, an ecommerce ad service designed for D2C eCommerce brands. We help clients sell more online and grow at scale with our bespoke video and static creative delivered on a monthly basis. Find out more about our services on our website or, for more tips and tricks from our experts, head over to our blog page.

Written by Kate Jones for Aura Ads.

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