How to drive impact with YouTube ad sequencing

Jemma Notley
Jemma Notley

Digital Account Manager 24 Mar 2021 3 min read

Charities are often looking to diversify their digital marketing channel mix, reach new audiences and reduce over-reliance on one or two channels, whilst creating impactful campaigns that drive action. This is why YouTube ad sequencing could be a great option for charities.

What is YouTube ad sequencing?

In a nutshell, ad sequencing gives you the ability to communicate your message over a series of ads, in a specific order. It allows you to build a narrative and move audiences from awareness to action.

The power of ad sequencing lies in storytelling, which has always been at the heart of effective marketing.

In the digital age, storytelling can be easily lost as we strive to make shorter and snappier content, built to grab attention, stop scrolling and prevent skipping in an increasingly cluttered and personalised space.

Ad sequencing gives us the power to tell impactful stories, at the moment when people are already consuming content.

YouTube commissioned research into five possible video ad sequence structures and the findings found that sequenced ads result in increased brand awareness, ad recall (e.g. how memorable your ad was) and purchase intent when compared to a single 30-second true view ad.

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How sequenced ads drive impact

In many examples of ad sequencing the view rate increases as users move through the sequence; they’ve engaged with the first element of the sequence so when they see more they recognise it and move to consideration and intent.

Tackle brand and performance goals together

Some non-profits may be hesitant to invest in YouTube advertising, seeing it as a ‘top-of-the-funnel’ channel, only useful for driving brand-based goals. However, with ad sequencing, you can get results for both brand and performance goals in the same campaign. This makes it a great option for building and developing audiences.

How could charities use ad sequencing?

Ad sequencing is being used by large retailers and film distributors, however, you don’t need huge budgets to make the most of this feature in Google Ads. Here’s a couple of examples of how a non-profit could utilise this feature - these are just illustrative, depending on your objectives and donation products, there are endless possibilities.

Fundraising Appeal

For a specific fundraising appeal the Tease, Amplify, Echo sequence (illustrated above) could be used to introduce an issue, provide more detail, drive urgency and build a case for support and finally drive an individual to act by donating.

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Users who skip two ads are removed from the sequence, so you don’t have to spend your budget on people who are not engaged.

Challenge Events

Challenge events like RideLondon and the London Marathon are a vital source of income for most charities, but the marketing landscape is crowded. Ad sequencing on YouTube can really push digital marketing campaigns up a notch and engage users. Combine messages on making a difference, being part of the team and specific types of events (or individual events) to create a buzz and excitement about getting involved.

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Ad sequencing for challenge events

Data is your friend

As with all digital marketing, the beauty is in the data. YouTube reporting breaks down metrics for each step of the sequence so you can see how each element performs at a granular level. It’s important that using channels like YouTube is an iterative process - test, learn, repeat. Identify what gets people to not hit the dreaded skip button and focus on what viewers are connecting with by evolving your story telling.

Testing different types of sequencing also helps evolve your campaign strategy, focusing on longer and shorter sequences, the order videos appear in and different narratives.

Think Creative!

To make the most out of sequencing you need creative that is fit for purpose. Think about how people use YouTube and the type of content that your ad might be sitting within.

It’s tempting to just re-purpose a TV ad, or other video content, but in our experience this doesn't always work. Traditional linear TV content is consumed in a very different way to online video and the creative assets therefore need to work in a different way.

It also doesn’t need to be a multi-million pound production! Simple videos can be just as impactful as large expensive productions, as audiences can relate and appreciate the authenticity.

Subjects should be framed tightly and the pace should be swift. Most importantly a sequence should be built to grab and hold attention. You can use a combination of different ad formats including in-stream and bumper ads.

What Next?

For your next campaign think about how YouTube ad sequencing could help bring your cause closer to potential supporters and drive more action.

Here at Torchbox, we have unparalleled nonprofit experience across a range of digital marketing channels. If you’d like to talk to us about your next campaign then get in touch.

Jemma Notley
Jemma Notley

Digital Account Manager 24 Mar 2021 3 min read

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