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Why You Should Take Advantage of Pre-Roll Advertisements

Originally published April 23, 2020  ·  Updated January 31, 2024
Why You Should Take Advantage of Pre-Roll Advertisements

Video advertising is becoming the dominant force in the digital marketing landscape.

From YouTube to Facebook, I bet you have, at least once, seen a video ad while watching your selected video content– whether it’s a post-roll or pre-roll advertisement.

Those video ads are such new opportunities for marketers to reach and engage consumers to abound in this rapidly evolving video ecosystem.

While traditional TV still dominates ad revenue, digital video is the fastest-growing video type by consumption.

If you’ve been a YouTube addict for a while, you may have seen ads as much as you have watched videos.

A common one is an ad that plays before you watch the video content with a “Skip Ad” button after five short seconds. 

That’s what you call the pre-roll advertisement

Now, we’re going to dive even deeper…

What’s the Difference with Post-Roll Ads?

Pre-roll ads have gained more traction from brand marketers to improve their several key metrics, including engagement and purchase intent. 

These types of ads are commonly found on social networks like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, and many other platforms.

What makes it different from post-roll ads, as you can tell, is that it plays before the users watch the video content that the user has selected to play. 

A post-roll ad, on the other hand, plays after the selected video has finished. Therefore, it can be more neglectful, for sure.

For businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve, pre-roll ads have so much to offer. Done right, it can be a goldmine for your digital marketing efforts.

The Benefits Of Pre-Roll Advertisements

In this digital world where endless content seems available at your fingertips, businesses leave no stone unturned to get their messages heard among the noise.

And pre-roll ads are one of the best in their class.

After years of being seen as an emerging tactic, pre-roll ads have firmly made it to the mainstream. 

Here are some salivating benefits that you’re going to reap once you tap into the pre-roll ads bandwagon:

Brand Awareness

If your target customers don’t even know that your brand exists, the likelihood that they’ll invest in your brand is slim to none. In this matter, pre-roll ads got you covered.

Since it appears before the selected video content for at least five seconds before the viewer can skip it, there’s typically a huge opportunity for your brand to get exposed even for a few seconds. 

This exposure then boosts the brand’s online visibility, which turns an obscure product into a viable option for purchase.

Purchase Decision

Often, customers first hear about the brand they’re going to purchase through social networks (like Twitter or Instagram) or TV. 

Once they’ve seen your pre-roll video ads, they become more intrigued to learn more about your brand and make a purchase.

What’s more interesting is that Millennials are most likely to trust pre-roll video ads (compared to any other video ads), with 57% of them claiming that these kinds of ads effectively build their trust when considering a purchase decision.

Brand Engagement

By connecting pre-roll advertising to content based on your potential customer’s interests, it can seamlessly improve your chances for engagement. 

A compelling pre-roll ad is supposed to spark the viewers’ interest in a brand instead of convincing them way too hard to purchase. 

So, once you are successful in getting them attracted to the ad from the get-go, they’ll undoubtedly watch the entire ad and continue to interact further with your brand.

That’s how you keep them engaged.

Also read: Create Audience Engagement to Get More Conversions With Videos

Brand Favorability

Using pre-roll ads as part of your marketing strategy allows the viewers to feel more confident about purchasing your products or services. That’s why this kind of ad can improve your brand’s favorability.

A well-crafted pre-roll ad also makes it easier for the viewers to remember and recall your ads or your brands. And if you’re lucky enough, they can tell their family and friends about your brand.

Lead Generation

One of the so many reasons that make pre-roll ads powerful is their ability to deliver your story to a target audience. Therefore, it’s so convenient for lead generation.

You can customize your target audience with pre-roll ads by their interest, age, gender, location, and more. 

With certain demographics to target, it makes your digital advertising campaign much more effortless and effective in driving more customers into the lead generation funnel.

Three Types of Pre-Roll Advertisements

Now that you know some of the perks of using pre-roll ads, we’re jumping into different types.

So, there are three main types of pre-roll ads that most marketers use to leverage their video marketing or digital advertising efforts:

Skippable Pre-Roll Ads

Let’s start with the most common one: the skippable pre-roll ads. This type of pre-roll ad allows the viewers to skip after 5 seconds once they click on the video content. 

So, the viewer can decide whether they want to watch the entire ad or just skip it over.

Non-Skippable Pre-Roll Ads

The opposite of the skippable ones, this type of pre-roll ad can not be skipped. The viewers have no choice but to watch the entire ad before they can enjoy the video content.

The usual length for this non-skippable ad is 15 to 20 seconds. It’s highly popular among prominent brands and national advertisers.

Bumper Pre-Roll Ads

Bumper ads usually have 6 seconds in length and are unskippable. It might be the bridge between skippable ads and non-skippable ones. 

You can manage this type of pre-roll ad through Google Ads as an add-on to the traditional TrueView video campaign.

Characteristics of A Good Pre-Roll Ad

Just like any other component in digital marketing strategy, pre-roll ads are quite tricky. 

They can only bore and disturb your viewers if it’s created poorly. However, they can be wonderfully effective when properly executed.

Now, the question is: how do you make a pre-roll ad that works?

Luckily, it’s applicable. Just take a look at these actionable tips below:

Concise and Balanced

Since pre-roll ads are less than a minute, the message you put into them should be brief and balanced. 

The first five seconds should be able to get the message across to the viewers. 

Try highlighting the viewers’ pain points in the first place. That way, you can catch their attention from the get-go and convince them to keep watching the ad all the way through.

Creative and Compelling

Just in case you don’t realize yet: viewers are way too familiar with pre-roll ads, so they are only tempted to watch the unique and compelling ones- and of course, skip the mediocre advertisements.

In this matter, you need to come up with out-of-the-box ideas to create a thumb-stopping pre-roll ad. 

Use the ideas that might perk up the viewers’ ears and spark their curiosity. Therefore you can seamlessly engage the viewers in a matter of seconds.

Provides Value

Here comes the harsh truth: your viewers don’t care about what products or services you try to sell; they only care about the information that benefits them. 

It’s crucial to create a pre-roll ad that provides real value to the viewers.

Providing useful information also shows that your business cares for and appreciates customers. That’s to say, putting some valuable data in your first few seconds of the pre-roll ad is a powerful way to keep them engaged and hang around for the entire ad.

Landing Page

Let’s say you’re successful enough to get the viewers to watch the entire pre-roll ad, but they don’t take any action to accomplish your marketing goal. Pointless, isn’t it? 

That’s why you need to put a landing page or a clear call to action to help them seamlessly move to the next buyer journey. 

With both a landing page and call-to-action, you can allow the viewers to learn more about the offer and tell them what they should do next after they finish watching the ad.

Also read: How a Landing Page Video Will Help Your Conversion Rates

Proper Targeting and Retargeting

Appropriate targeting and retargeting options should be observed for the following. It’s essential to tailor or adjust the pre-roll advertisement to your target audience. 

In other words, leveraging targeting and retargeting options helps you to run the pre-roll ads to viewers who really care or are excited to see them.

That way, it makes your pre-roll more productive, which in turn brings more customers sliding through your sales funnel

Here are some targeting and retargeting options you can take advantage of:

  • Location. It targets the viewers based on their country, region, or city. This option helps you focus your pre-roll advertising on the areas where you’ll find the right customers.
  • Demographics. It targets the viewers based on their age, gender, occupation, or household income. For instance, if the pre-roll ad is about cosmetics products, demographic targeting could help you to roll your ads mostly to women viewers.
  • Interests. It targets the viewers who usually watch videos of a certain topic even if they’re watching something else right now.
  • Topics. It helps you to reach out to a broader range of viewers that are intrigued by the topics you select. This option also allows your ad to play before the video content that has the same topic.
  • Language. It offers you an opportunity to target the viewers who speak the same language as the language you use in the ads.

Read more about the handy, actionable tips in creating a compelling pre-roll ad at: How to Make a Video Go Viral — 5 Tips for Brand Exposure

A Platform for Pre-Roll Advertisements

As mentioned before, you can create your pre-roll ad and place them on social networks as its platforms. 

In this case, each platform has its own “policy” toward the pre-roll ads placement. Make sure you understand them so you can design the ads that fit each platform.

  • YouTube

YouTube is probably the first thing that comes across your mind when it comes to pre-roll ads.

As the most popular video-sharing platform and the world’s second-largest search engine, YouTube has become a “main channel” for marketers out there to place their pre-roll ads.

YouTube offers 6 to 30-second long pre-roll ads that will be displayed directly in video player windows. That means that it’ll fill the entire window instead of banner ads at the bottom like overlays ads.

Read more: YouTube for Business — The Essentials For an Effective YouTube Strategy.

  • Facebook


Facebook has been a promising channel for video marketing campaigns over the past few years. 

This platform once banned pre-roll ads since the company wanted to focus only on a convenient, uninterrupted user experience.

But, as pre-roll ads started to rise above the clutter and the company had to keep up with its rivals like YouTube, this platform finally released pre-roll ads in January 2018.

Facebook limits its pre-roll advertisements to 6 seconds.

It’ll appear when a user intentionally seeks out specific videos, like search results or on a Page timeline.

  • Twitter

Similar to Youtube, Twitter allows you to run 6 seconds to 30-second long pre-roll ads with the skip option.

It’ll be displayed in silent auto-play mode on premium publisher videos wherever the videos appear in a user’s timeline, profiles, and search.

This pre-roll ads feature was once only available to all advertisers in the USA market.

But now, it has expanded to 12 markets, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

  • Vimeo

Vimeo keeps advertising down to a minimum for the users to create a beautiful and clean site.

That’s why it doesn’t have direct video ad features, like pre-roll, post-roll, and overlay ads.

Since Vimeo doesn’t support the format of pre-roll ads, the only way to run it on this platform is through a third-party player. 

You can embed code or insert the third-party links to the video ad and make it as a pre-roll ad on Vimeo.

Additional Tips For Your Video Campaign

It’s not a hot take; it’s now a consensus: no matter how brilliant your overall marketing campaign is, if you don’t include a video marketing strategy to it, then you won’t get the maximum result.

Here are some of the additional tips you can execute to optimize your video marketing campaign result and revamp your pre-roll ads efforts:

  • Keep It Short and Sweet. Your viewers are busy. They want quick, straightforward video content that solves their problem. So, providing them with a short, sweet, and interactive video is such an attractive way to catch their eyes.
  • Don’t Skimp on the Equipment. One of the most common mistakes that many video marketers make is that they’re going too easy on the equipment. The quality of sounds, images, and script play critical roles in the result. A video with high quality is more likely to be recalled by and easily remembered by the viewers.
  • Use Different Types of Video. Creating one video content for different marketing goals just won’t do the trick. You need to craft a video for one purpose, so it provides the viewers with a clear message and distinct call to action. 

In this matter, explainer videos, product videos, or live streaming videos are top-notch examples of videos that have a place within video marketing campaigns.

Read more: The Ultimate Resource for an Optimized Video Marketing Campaign

Pre Roll Ads Targets The Right Audience

As a part of a video marketing campaign, pre-roll video ads are such a powerful tool to reach and engage your target customers in a much more cost-effective way.

Pre-roll ads target the right audience by interest, online behavior, location, topics, and keywords.

And since it appears at the beginning of the video before the viewers watch their desired content, they have a choice if they want to skip it or not. 

What makes this kind of ad even more fascinating is that it creates a better video environment since it does not force viewers to watch the ad. 

Let your audience engage with your brand with a pre-roll advertisement. Check out our packages and book your free consultation by clicking the banner below:

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