Remember when the 30-second Super Bowl spot was the king of video advertisements? Then, YouTube hit. The coveted Super Bowl placement still goes for more than $5 million, but pricing may be plateauing. These days, we’re in the middle of a digital video content explosion, and advertisers seem to be rethinking the value of traditional television’s captive audience.
After YouTube came Snapchat and a general shift to video by all social platforms. Surely and not so slowly, 30- and even 15-second video ads became far too long to the average consumer. Today, videos less than 10 seconds — and the six-second format in particular — are often preferred by advertisers.
Benefits of Short-Form Video
Put simply, short videos appeal to short attention spans. They get to the point and let your audience member get on with their content. Plus, when your key message is boiled down to six seconds, it tends to be more memorable than a message that took 30 seconds to communicate.
Short video is also the most efficient use of resources. For demonstrable bottom-line results, use an agile strategy focused on performance video. Instead of investing a lot in one big, linear video project, you can create several short videos that are hyper-personalized to your target segments. Then, analyze the performance of each video. Which format had the best click-through rate? Which call to action led to the most sales? This approach allows you to tweak your video assets in real time as you learn, generating powerful ROI.
4 Best Times to Use the 6-Second Format
Ready to incorporate short video into the mix, but not sure where to start? Here are four proven tactics to try:
1. Unskippable pre-roll
Using pre-roll video in your advertising program can be a risk. AdWeek reported that more than half of marketers are concerned about annoying consumers with their digital video ads, and an unskippable ad before a main video can be the epitome of annoying. However, pre-roll can be done well. If you’re going to serve your audience an unskippable video ad, make it short and relevant to them. Marketers overwhelming opt for the six-second format for unskippable pre-roll. They also consider them more effective than 15-second pre-roll or any skippable format.
2. Any auto-play video placement
Your design strategy for a 30-second video ad already rests heavily on the first few seconds. If your video is going to auto-play, there’s a good chance that the viewer will scroll by or navigate away long before the video is complete. Therefore, you must make sure it grabs the viewer’s attention and communicates the key message right away. Why not take this approach a step further by cutting the last 20 seconds of the piece, telling the full story in just a few seconds — the amount of time that most viewers will likely see?
3. Your audience’s Twitter feed
Six-second videos are a perfect fit for the fast-paced nature of Twitter. The platform announced that advertisers would be able to bid on six-second spots. Delivering your brand’s video in your audience’s organic Twitter feed can create a more meaningful connection. The content isn’t forced-view, so there’s not as much risk of frustration. Even better, this video placement is also a good bang for your buck: You’ll only pay if a user views the full six seconds.
4. Instagram stories
Did you know that one-third of the most viewed Instagram stories come from businesses? A short and sweet appearance in your consumers’ Instagram story feeds can be a great way to keep your brand top of mind without being intrusive. Here’s an added perk: In a world of auto-muted video ads, about 70% of Instagram stories are viewed with the sound on. Because users are mainly watching content from friends and influencers they care about, you’ll have the chance for your video to be heard, not just seen.
6-Second is the New 30-Second
According to many marketers, six-second video content is the next big thing. Short videos allow you to keep your viewer’s attention for the whole piece without leaving her annoyed — or, worse, making her reconsider choosing your brand at all. By implementing a performance-focused video strategy with multiple short videos, you can continuously improve your advertising efficiency and ROI.
Read to give the six-second format a shot? Try implementing short videos in digital advertising placements that are pre-roll or auto-play. For paid social media placements, start with Twitter and Instagram stories. You know your audience best. Maybe a Facebook story makes more sense for your consumers than Instagram. The bottom line: Six-second videos are an efficient and effective addition to your advertising strategy.