A Quick Guide To Making Effective Pre-roll Videos

Pre-rolls. Also known as those annoying little ads that pop up before YouTube videos. But also also known as a great way to advertise your company, product, or service... as long as you follow the rules.

Rule #1. Remember that no one wants to see your ad.

[blog_videos_section anchor="rule1"][video_section_lite_video_item video_id="qCp9-tEHa8U" text_title="Alton Brown" text_desc="Champagne Saber Time"][video_section_lite_video_item video_id="OTRmyXX6ipU" text_title="Bad Lip Reading" text_desc="NFL 2015"][video_section_lite_video_item video_id="wsRk0TXYXuA" text_title="Bored Shorts" text_desc="Kid Snippets"][/blog_videos_section]

They’re on YouTube to watch entertaining videos like this or this or this. Not to be marketed to.

Rule #2. Don’t waste their time.

[blog_videos_section anchor="rule2"][video_section_lite_video_item video_id="oOBKKCb4HKM" text_title="Hertz" text_desc="Don't waste their time."][video_section_lite_video_item video_id="KFq2NoEslc0" text_title="Hertz" text_desc="Don't waste their time."][/blog_videos_section]

Say what you need to say in the first 5 seconds. Or, better yet, figure out a way to be so creative and so engaging they want to keep watching. If you get your point across quickly and make them not click “Skip,” that’s a double win.

Rule #3. Entertain them.

[blog_videos_section anchor="rule3"][video_section_lite_video_item video_id="Yyjicqumojw" text_title="GoLocalise" text_desc="Entertain them."][video_section_lite_video_item video_id="H6wKnalism4" text_title="Linode" text_desc="Entertain them."][/blog_videos_section]

People are on YouTube to be entertained. So why wouldn’t you give them something to laugh at? Aim to make your pre-roll as interesting as the video they came for.

Rule #4. Have a clear call to action.

[blog_videos_section anchor="rule4"][video_section_lite_video_item video_id="eogsgeqYqL8" text_title="Firefly" text_desc="Have a clear call to action."][/blog_videos_section]

What should they do after this video? Click on it? Go to your website? If you manage to capture their attention (yay!), you don’t want to lose them due to lack of direction (boo!).

[blog_insiders_block bgcolor="#f1f1f1" background_img="http://www.epipheo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/EpipheoLifestyle-37.jpg" title="Become An Insider" text="Sign up for our monthly-ish updates on Epipheo, our products, and more. Get free video-making resources, too."]

Rule #5. Repurposing another video as a pre-roll is the worst idea you could possibly have.

[blog_videos_section anchor="rule5a"][video_section_lite_video_item video_id="n4XGEwdDi74" text_title="Flagship Video" text_desc="A long video is less effective."][video_section_lite_video_item video_id="L_Ho38DWXqc" text_title="Pre-Roll" text_desc="A much better pre-roll version."][/blog_videos_section]

You can’t just post your flagship video on YouTube as a pre-roll. I mean, you can, but you shouldn't. Your flagship video was created for your website. When someone’s on your website, they’re already curious about you. And you communicate differently to people who are interested in you than you do to people who aren’t (yet). The point? You need a new video. One that is built specifically for pre-roll.

A lot of pre-rolls aren’t good. With these rules, yours can be.


[blog_consultation_block bgcolor="#1f1f1f" background_img="http://www.epipheo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/pre-roll-cover-image.jpg" title="Pre-rolls and more" text="Pre-rolls are an important part of a video marketing campaign. But it's not the only part. Let's talk about what's possible."]