Video advertising is a powerful tool that can help you build your brand, drive engagement, and boost sales. However, with so many ad formats available, it can be challenging to know which one to use and how to use it effectively. That’s where video ad sequencing comes in. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of video ad sequencing and show you how to create a successful campaign with this technique.
What is Video Ad Sequencing?
Video ad sequencing is a technique that allows you to tell your brand story through a series of videos in the order that you determine. This technique enables you to build interest, reinforce a message, or create a unifying theme. Video ad sequencing is a great way to engage your audience by telling a compelling story that captures their attention and keeps them engaged.
According to a 2018 US Google/Ipsos study, video ad sequences showed a significantly higher ability to drive key message retention compared with single, 30-second, skippable in-stream ads. This finding highlights the power of storytelling through video ad sequencing and how it can increase brand awareness, ad recall, and purchase intent.
Video Ad Sequencing Structures
There are several structures you can use when creating a video ad sequence campaign. Here are five of the most popular:
Tease, Amplify, Echo
This sequence starts with a short video to spark curiosity through rising action or conflict. Then it moves on to a longer video with more information to deepen engagement. It ends with a shorter video that reminds viewers of the story and urges them to act.
The Mini Series
This sequence breaks videos into separate chapters that introduce the conflict, present the climax, and resolve the story.
The Direct Shot
This sequence uses four to six videos to present the same idea from different angles, and is great for customizing content based on what the viewer is about to watch.
The Follow Up
This sequence starts with a long-form ad that introduces the concept and ramps up the story. Then it shows a succession of shorter ads to resolve the conflict and drive to a CTA.
The Lead In
This sequence starts with a short video that teases the story, then ends with a long-form video that completes the narrative and amplifies the message.
Which sequence should you start with?
It depends on your campaign goal. Explore the average lift of each sequence over a single 30-second TrueView YouTube ad viewed multiple times. You’ll notice some variance across metrics, but it’s a safe bet to prioritize Tease, Amplify, Echo, The Mini Series, or The Direct Shot when testing sequences.
Tips for Creating a Successful Video Ad Sequence Campaign
Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating a campaign with video ad sequencing:
Test, iterate, repeat
As with any advertising campaign, it is important to test and iterate to find the best approach for your target audience. Test different sequences and, within them, the order of videos, narratives, and personalized content. Not sure which sequence to start with? Pick a campaign goal and review the relative performance of each narrative structure. Keep in mind that what works for one campaign may not work for another, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Don’t be afraid to try long sequences
While traditional wisdom suggests that shorter is better when it comes to video ads, the study found that longer YouTube video sequences (three or more ads) had a significantly higher impact than single 30-second TrueView ads on ad recall and purchase intent, with an increased average lift of 96% and 133%, respectively. Consider starting with three or more videos to tell your story, and test different lengths of sequences to find what works best for your target audience.
Get creative with your asset library
When creating a video ad sequence campaign, don’t limit yourself to your most recent creative assets. Explore your entire asset library, including old, new, and planned content, with narrative structures in mind. Consider the full funnel when tackling different parts of the funnel simultaneously within a given sequence or across sequences. The more creative assets you have at your disposal, the more options you have for crafting a compelling story that resonates with your target audience.
Use machine learning to save time
Google is testing a machine learning-powered “Bumper Machine” that automatically cuts videos as long as 90 seconds into multiple six-second bumper ads, which you can then edit. Advertisers can use it to save time and generate ideas when experimenting with video ad sequencing creative. While this tool is not yet widely available, it is a great example of how machine learning can be used to streamline the creative process and help advertisers make the most of their video ad assets.
Video ad sequencing with Target CPM bidding is a powerful tool for telling your product or brand story through a series of videos. By using different narrative structures, marketers can build interest, reinforce a message, or create a unifying theme that resonates with their target audience. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to video ad sequencing, marketers can test different sequences, experiment with the order of videos, and get creative with their asset library to find the approach that works best for their campaign goals. With the help of machine learning tools like the Bumper Machine, it is easier than ever for marketers to experiment with video ad sequencing and find the approach that delivers the best results for their brand.