Updated: Oct 16, 2019

Credit by: by Heather-Mae Pusztai

When marketers wish for more time and resources, they often wish to spend it on video marketing.

Well, what if you only needed six seconds of video to make your impression?

The current run of 6-second ads on platforms like YouTube and Twitter has opened up new options for marketers who are looking to get their message heard via video without going overboard on video resources.

We’ve taken YouTube’s best practices and looked at the list of the best six-second ads to find all the secret ingredients behind short and snappy video marketing. We think these tips will help you craft the perfect YouTube bumper ad, Twitter video, Instagram story — you name it — and will make video marketing a cinch for you and your brand.

The benefits of being on YouTube

YouTube is a bit of a different animal when it comes to social media marketing, particularly because it has such a heavy emphasis on, well, video content. On Twitter, you can type out a message and hit send. On Instagram, you can upload a pretty photo or a meme.

On YouTube, you have to create a whole video!

We’ve written lots before about how to create awesome videos, whether you’re a newbie or on a budget .. or a seasoned pro. As with most marketing activities, it’s not as difficult as it might look at first. The hardest part is getting going.

Still, it can feel like a big hill to climb. 

So why bother climbing?

Well there are a couple strong points in your favor for putting in the work and making things happen on Youtube.

First, YouTube is gigantic.

Chances are that if you’re targeting consumers, then consumers will have some sort of connection with YouTube.

Take these stats for instance: 

  • YouTube has over 1.9 billion monthly active users.

  • In the U.S. over 90% of 18-44-year-olds watch videos on YouTube.

  • Not to mention that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and the second most popular website behind Google.

Now, we’re not necessarily talking about becoming a YouTube influencer or growing your channel to millions of subscribers and views. That would be great, of course. But it’s not needed in order to get value from YouTube. 

Spending some of your ads budget on YouTube ads can help you reach a targeted audience through a medium that is engaging and very strong on the storytelling side. 

Which brings us to the second reason why it might make sense to invest some in YouTube advertising … 

One of YouTube’s best formats is six-second video ads.

You don’t have to make a mini movie or spend a lot of time and resources to build something long and lasting. You simply have to fill six seconds of time with a catchy, on-brand message. 

Seem doable? 

A lot of brands think so, which is why the ads format on YouTube has proliferated. There are a lot of options now — and if you spend much time on YouTube, you’ve probably seen a lot of variety in the ads also. It’s becoming a hot space. 

We’ll cover some of the basics of this ad format and then spend the majority of the episode diving into what makes a great YouTube ad by studying some of the best ones out there. 

Your YouTube ad options for videos

YouTube offers three types of video ads

  1. Skippable video ads that viewers can skip after five seconds. These ads come before, during, or after the main video.

  2. Non-skippable video ads must be watched before your video can be viewed. These are a maximum of 15-20 seconds long

  3. Non-skippable video ads that can be up to 6 seconds.

Specifically for this blog post, we’re going to focus on the six-second ads. These appear in the pre-roll — the ad that shows right before your video starts.