YouTube is one of the most visited websites of all time. It seems like we visit YouTube for some reason or another at least once throughout the day.

The rise in importance of YouTube has led to a rise in importance of YouTube’s pre-roll format. This advertising format determines which brands are successful in reaching out to their customers and which brands are getting lost in noise.

Advertisers have only five seconds to convince viewers to keep watching. According to recent statistics, however, 94 percent of viewers skip pre-roll ads after the five second mark. So how can something ignored by audiences still be useful to marketers? Why are pre-roll ads becoming an important marketing strategy?

Creativity and relevancy are key aspects to consider when trying to connect with audiences on YouTube. A quality pre-roll ad can be a very effective marketing strategy.

Get Their Attention in a Creative Way

A successful pre-roll ad doesn’t just encourage the viewer to buy something. The ad has to engage YouTube viewers and play into the way YouTube users watch videos.

A lot of brands use the five seconds to squeeze in as much information as possible. Others attempt to catch the attention of viewers through stale techniques like shouting “Don’t click that button!” These techniques usually don’t convince viewers that the rest of the ad is worth their time.

Brands that acknowledge the annoyance of the interruption and form the first five seconds can be very successful. Pre-roll ad “self-awareness” has become a very effective technique in maintaining viewer attention. Some ads have shown cute cat videos or have the “skip button” creatively woven into the message.

Be Relevant

Pre-roll ads are unsuccessful if they aren’t relevant to the content of the videos they roll over. If an ad for bicycle tools played before a viral video of a cat, the ad’s content does not align with what the viewer is interested at that moment and is unsuccessful.

Pre-roll ads should be relevant to the videos they play over in order to hook viewers. For example, a bicycle tools brand could analyze engagement metrics for DIY repair tutorial videos to understand what types of projects are most popular and then create ads for products that are needed for these projects.

Check out some of Motiliti’s sample Pre-roll reel.