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Video advertisers face a host of different challenges in getting their ads seen. Getting your ads served to your intended audience is one thing. Ensuring they pay attention is a whole other ball game. Various platforms have introduced the ability for viewers to skip a video ad to get to their chosen content. So now an even bigger battle for your audience’s attention begins.


YouTube’s TrueView video ads are one example of skippable video ads. They allow viewers to skip an ad after watching it for five seconds. The good news is you don’t pay for impressions if someone skips your ad. Your audience must watch a certain percentage of your video in order for it to count as a true impression. However, this new feature could lead to you losing impressions, with between 55 and 85% of viewers skipping TrueView ads.


Preventing people from skipping your video ad


Call to action


When used effectively, our eyes are automatically drawn to a call to action (CTA). Unfortunately, on your video ads, that “skip ad” button is an enticing CTA itself. To draw your audience’s eyes away, you need to provide a more compelling CTA. With this type of video ad, you can’t wait until the end to present your CTA. Lead with it instead, whether it’s a button or link to click on your video, or text suggesting a store visit.


Grab their attention


Make the first five seconds of your video so compelling that your audience doesn’t want to switch off. For example, use humor to entertain your audience and make them want to continue watching. Or, shock them so they can’t look away. Show them something different so they’re intrigue keeps them watching!


Offer more


There was a period of time where advertisements were getting shorter and shorter. That way they didn’t take up too much of the audience’s time. However, when the audience is making an active decision to view your content, they expect more from it. Popular online ads are typically around three or four minutes long. They have time to offer more valuable content to their viewers.


Brand it


No matter how good your content is, some viewers will still skip it. That doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from those first five seconds. By displaying information about your brand in those first five seconds, the audience knows who you are and what you represent. Even if they skip the rest of the ad, they have that information in their brain. This could be a simple tagline or banner within the video. Make it something that doesn’t take up the entire space, or appear too sales-y.


Five seconds is a very short space of time, but how you use it will make a huge difference in your online video ad. Capture your audience’s attention from the word go to create an engaged audience.