Is your business ready for six-second video ads?

Why six-second videos you ask?

Facebook has been telling advertisers for a while to hit people with faster messages. Because of a recent test Facebook conducted with Tropicana, six seconds has emerged as the ideal length. Tropicana compared the performance of 6-, 15-, and 30-second ads, and the shortest produced “higher brand metrics across the board,” according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Six-second ads were already becoming a standard format in digital marketing as brands have been using them to combat consumer ad avoidance. There have been moves towards these shorter form ads with YouTube. During the pre-roll of YouTube content, there are 5 seconds before the “skip ad” button becomes active. This has led an increasing number of brands to push themselves to tell an entire story before the button becomes active.

Recently Fox debuted its first ever six-second TV ads during the Teen Choice Awards. And Michelin started testing the snack-sized clips on YouTube. “The format allows us to continue on our quest to reach a younger demographic,” said Candace Cluck, director of consumer experience for Michelin North America. Larger brands are catching the short-form wave.

Facebook had a 47 percent surge in ad revenue from the quarter a year earlier, owed in large part to both video and mobile advertising. “Video is an important part of our mobile strategy,” Sandberg said. According to a few industry players, the upcoming fourth quarter will be known as the incubator phase of the six-second video ad unit, and next year, it’s go-time. With the explosion of mobile content consumption, the need for thumb stopping content is becoming increasingly important for advertisers.

Is your brand ready for the six-second revolution?

Here are some ways to start using six-second video ads:

Think mobile-first. Design your video ads for mobile devices by making them square or vertical in format. The tradition landscape format has less impact on mobile. Also, mobile ads need to be designed for no-sound first; make sure to add captions if there is speaking so that people can get the impact of your ad without having to turn the sound on.

Think of them as a powerful new tool for orchestrating your brand story. Tease your audience: keep them wanting more. Use short video as a way to pique your audience’s interest to learn more ahead of a product launch or an upcoming campaign. Six-second ads are a great way to deliver an effective reminder at the end of a campaign as well.

When companies like Facebook and Google tell you that six-second video ads are the most effective, you should sit up and take notice.

If you’re interested in launching a video ad campaign but don’t have the in-house capabilities or don’t know how to go about it strategically, contact the Union Leader's Digital Advertising department at 603-668-4321.

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Retail/Classified Advertising
Jim Normandin

Advertising Services Manager
National/Major Accounts
Robin Wilson

Digital Sales Manager
Chris Durant

Member: (AAM) Alliance for Audited Media, (NENPA) New England Newspaper and Press Association, (NENAEA) New England Newspaper Advertising Executives Association, (NCAMA) Northeast Classified Advertising Managers Association, Co-op New England.

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