Why Viewers Click the “Skip” Button and How to Avoid It

“Never have I ever hit the skip button on a YouTube ad.”

Everyone in the room takes a shot.

We’ve all done it. We’re all eager to do it whenever an ad comes between us and our YouTube binge.

So why do marketers still spill their dollars on video ads that the audience can’t wait to skip?

It’s because TrueView has come up withq2 a win-win solution for both the advertisers and the audience.

It lets the audience skip an unwanted ad after 5 seconds, and lets the advertisers pay only by ‘completed ad views.’

This results in a better experience for the audience and ensures that the advertisers’ money is spent on interested viewers only.

Still, as a marketer, you’d like to decrease the number of skips and create more engaging video ads that are ‘unskippable.’

Here are some of the factors that are a turn off for your video ad audience and how to fix them.

Product centric ads

Chances are that your audience is already impatient and mildly irritated due to the ad interruption.

So, avoid appearing salesy right away. There’s nothing more off-putting than a cold product pitch thrown at you when you’re in a hurry to be somewhere else.

However, it’s perfectly okay and fruitful to introduce your brand theme and colors from the get-go.

It makes the audience curious to stick around until the brand reveal and increases recognition and recall.

Overwhelming ads

When you have a short timeframe, the obvious thing to do is to create highly stimulating content that engages the audiences instantly.

However, it can prove to be counterproductive.

Call it a marketer’s paradox. But when the audience is anticipating the content they clicked on, any other message that interrupts and requires high cognition to understand is considered ‘annoying.’

So avoid action-packed video ads that tend to overwhelm the audience.

Unfamiliar ad format

Speaking of high cognition, content with an unconventional format is also prone to get skipped.

Video ads that have a layered narrative or require more mental effort on the audience part may not do the trick.

Keep things creative but narratively linear and straightforward to keep viewers engaged in that tiny window.

Poorly targeted ads

Video ads that are irrelevant to your audiences or don’t cater to their needs are highly skippable.

Modern audiences are used to more and more personalized content and have little patience for content that they don’t find relatable.

More so, if they’re digitally savvy and feel like you could’ve done a better job at setting your target audience.

So, choose your target audience carefully for each video ad campaign. Avoid targeting an excessively broad audience as it dilutes your message.

Retarget users that have already exhibited an interest in your products by watching your videos, visiting your website, or engaged with your organic content.

This way, you can ensure that you put your content only in front of the people who want to see it.

Customized videos work

Digital marketers have been trying out different ways to customize their videos to a tee. Take dynamic ads, for instance.

These are programmed to pull information out of user databases and use them to give each audience member a personalized experience. Think Facebook’s Friendiversary videos.

While the basic experience remains the same, audience names, locations, department name, and other stats can be customized in these ads.

This makes the audience feel like the videos and their content is created especially for them and prove to be more persuasive.

Interactive ads are another trick up video marketers’ sleeve. These are essentially built on a ‘choose your own story’ format.

Viewers have clickable options to carve out their own narrative. It gives the audience a sense of control and boosts engagement.

However, referring back to point no. 3, its best to test out whether these ad formats work for your audience.

Unrealistic ads

The digital media audience especially that of YouTube, likes to keep things raw and real.

Avoid using models and sets that show unrealistic beauty and living standards. This is not to say that you can’t show people being happy and satisfied with their lives.

Just use real people to vouch for your products or service through compelling ‘true stories.’

That is much likely to amp up your relatability factor and keep the audience from hitting the dreaded ‘skip’ button.

In a nutshell

To reduce the number of skips on your video ads, keep the experience intuitive, relatable, and realistic.

Avoid overwhelming your audience with your message and use targeting techniques to only put your ads in front of the audience who have a need for it.