29 Reasons Why Your Video Ads Suck!

Okay, so this is the next part in the series of posts where we talk about one metric that sucks for your ads, and we start improving it.

Till now, we have talked about CPM and CTR, and in this week’s Baweja Buzz edition, we are going to talk about thumbstop ratio.

Now, if you are wondering what thumbstop ratio is, let me talk you through it.

The thumbstop ratio is a metric used to evaluate the initial engagement level of a video ad. It is calculated as follows:

Thumbstop Ratio = (Number of 3-second video views / Number of impressions) * 100

Here’s a breakdown of the definition:

  • 3-second video views: This is the count of how many times the video has been watched for at least 3 seconds.
  • Impressions: This refers to the number of times the video ad is displayed on users’ screens, regardless of whether it was clicked or watched.
  • Thumbstop Ratio: This percentage reflects the proportion of impressions that resulted in a viewer watching at least 3 seconds of the video.

So, the thumbstop ratio essentially measures the percentage of times people have watched at least the first 3 seconds of your video ad compared to how many times the ad was shown. A higher thumbstop ratio indicates that a larger portion of the audience found the initial few seconds of the video engaging enough to keep watching beyond the 3-second mark.

So, now you understand why having a good thumbstop ratio is important, right?

Now let’s discuss the reasons why you might have a poor thumbstop ratio:

  1. Unengaging Content in the First 3 Seconds: The opening moments of a video are critical for capturing attention. If the video doesn’t immediately engage the viewer with something interesting or eye-catching, they may scroll past without watching further.
  1. Poor Grasping Visuals: Visuals that fail to stand out, or are not aesthetically appealing, or are too aesthetic that they blend in might not capture the viewer’s interest. The first few seconds need to have strong, compelling visuals to make viewers want to keep watching.
  1. Obvious Ad Content: If the content immediately comes off as an advertisement, viewers might be inclined to skip it. Many users prefer content that provides value or entertainment over something that feels like a straightforward pitch.
  1. Lack of a Clear Hook or Story: Videos that start without a clear narrative or hook may not intrigue viewers enough to keep them watching. The beginning of the video should pose a question, problem, or scenario that compels the viewer to watch more to get the answer or see the outcome.
  1. Ineffective Use of Thumbnails: Sometimes, the video’s thumbnail does not accurately represent the content or fails to grab attention, leading to lower initial engagement. (Trust me, a lot of people have videos on autoplay.)
  1. Low Video Quality: Poor video resolution or production quality can turn viewers off within the first few seconds. Amateur is good, but not something that is horrible in quality.
  1. Inaudible or Jarring Audio: If the video’s audio is hard to hear, of poor quality, or too aggressive (like loud noises or shouting), it can be off-putting.
  1. Slow Pacing: A slow start or lack of dynamic pacing can cause viewers to lose interest quickly and move on. This is especially true for the Gen Z and millennial audience.
  1. Lack or Excess of Branding or Identity: If viewers cannot immediately identify the brand or the message, they might not be interested in engaging further, especially if they seek content from sources they recognize and trust. Or you might overdo it and woo away people.
  1. Inappropriate Length: Even in the first few seconds, if a video feels like it’s going to be too long without offering immediate value, viewers might not commit to even the initial engagement. Look for Mr. Beast videos/reels for inspiration!
  1. Non-optimized Content for Silent Viewing: Many users watch videos without sound, especially on social media. If your video requires sound to be understood and doesn’t have captions or visual storytelling, you might lose viewers who are watching on mute.
  1. Incongruent Messaging: If the message within the first few seconds doesn’t align with the audience’s expectations or interests, they may not continue watching. And trust me, 3 seconds is more than enough to judge the same.
  1. Overused or Cliché Concepts: Viewers are often looking for fresh and original content. If the video uses concepts or visuals that feel clichéd or overplayed, it may not hold their attention.
  1. Lack of Emotional Appeal: Videos that fail to evoke an emotional response may not be compelling enough to keep viewers engaged. Emotions drive sharing and engagement, so it’s important to strike a chord quickly.
  1. Complexity Early On: Introducing complex ideas or messages too early in the video can overwhelm or confuse viewers, leading them to disengage.
  1. Misalignment with Platform Culture: Content that doesn’t fit the informal, personal nature of social media may feel out of place and fail to resonate with viewers. But this is very subjective and specific to a niche, so you need to have situational awareness.
  1. Ineffective Storytelling: The absence of a clear and engaging story or message within the first few seconds can result in a lack of interest.
  1. Poor Lighting and Composition: Technical aspects of the video, such as lighting and composition, play a role in visual appeal. If these are lacking, the video may not catch the viewer’s eye. Ecommerce owners, make a note of it!
  1. Lack of Movement or Action: Static images or slow-moving visuals might not be as effective in grabbing attention as those with more dynamic action or movement.
  1. Inconsistent Branding: If the video doesn’t reflect the brand’s image or values within the first few seconds, it may not engage viewers who have specific expectations based on the brand’s reputation.
  1. Lack of a Call-to-Action: While a call-to-action (CTA) is typically at the end, hinting at what you want viewers to do after watching can pique interest and give purpose to the viewing experience.
  1. Ineffective Use of Text and Graphics: Overloading the video with text or using confusing graphics can distract or deter viewers.
  1. Ignoring the Power of Faces: Human faces, especially those showing emotions, can be powerful in capturing attention. Not using them effectively can be a missed opportunity.
  1. Not Optimized for Mobile Viewing: Since many users access Facebook on mobile devices, videos that are not optimized for small screens can lead to poor engagement. This is, I think, a no-brainer, tbh.
  1. Lack of Contrast and Color Theory Application: Proper use of color and contrast can make a video more visually appealing and attention-grabbing.