From adorable pet videos to car maintenance and beauty advice, YouTube has become as much an entertainment channel as TV and is the second biggest search engine after Google itself! In fact, in the US, teenagers spend more time watching YouTube than conventional channels and monetising such popularity was a priority for Google when they acquired the platform in 2006. They didn’t waste much time and 10 months after buying it, the first in-video advertising appeared.
Why We Like It
At This Side Up, we are advocates of our clients implementing a diverse marketing mix to connect with their audience. As a search agency first and foremost, we are often heavily focused on capturing users showing active intent through Googling for products or services. What is important to also consider is communicating with people who may have never heard of your offering and so would never search for it. This is where Google display targeting and YouTube ads come into play.
Running video ads on YouTube is a more passive targeting strategy where viewers are presented with messaging they haven’t necessarily looked for but are shown because they meet certain targeting criteria, similar to what many are familiar with via Facebook. The great thing about this format over conventional display banners is, of course, the motion and sound aspect which better engages a viewer and allows for greater opportunity to convey messages.
Whilst it certainly isn’t considered a highly converting advertising format, the brand lift and ‘top of mind’ value that YouTube adds definitely has flow-on effects with greater brand recognition and future search lift.
Cost wise, it is super attractive with most of the campaigns we run coming in at around 10 cents per view*, meaning you can get 50,000 relevant eyeballs for only $500! That’s some great value right there.
*FYI a view is when a standard ad shows to completion or for 30s or more, whatever comes first.
But YouTube Ads Drive Me Nuts
Yeah, we feel you. I just want to watch Gordon Ramsey tantrum videos but that back hair removal ad keeps showing up… but seriously. Given your experience with ads you might be reluctant to put your brand in the mix.
Well, the thing is there’ a few things probably happening here:
- The ad has poor production value, is boring and is probably too long
- The advertiser hasn’t controlled the frequency so you’re seeing the ad too much
- The video placements don’t match your interests
Don’t let this stop you because with the right management and creative ideas, your ads can be delivered in a less annoying way so that your audience doesn’t get peppered with ads all day long.
YouTube ads can really be a delight to watch and that is the key to success of this platform. Check out this ad from Organic Valley, this is right on the money!
What’s more, the relatively new 6s ad format (called ‘Bumper Ads’) could be put to use. These new ad formats only last for a couple of blinks and much less annoying even though they can’t be skipped. We suggest running bumpers alongside longer in-stream vids for added reinforcement of your brand and message.
What’s the targeting like?
Traditionally, the choice of an ad played at the beginning of a video in YouTube was based on interest indicators from what visitors had previously searched for or watched on YouTube only, and it has to be said that it could be quite hit-and-miss. Here you are, about to watch your favourite song’s video clip or cooking demonstration, but not before you have been shown that ad for mascara. Whether you are currently in the market for makeup or not was another question.
Thankfully, targeting has really come a long way since the early days and many new options are now available to advertisers including ‘custom intent’ and ‘affinity audiences’, ‘life event targeting’ and ‘remarketing’.
Google’s recent announcement of a new programme that will let advertisers target YouTube ads according to people’s search history (custom intent audiences) outside of YouTube has certainly sparked a lot of interest, namely because of the integration of Google’s search data into the mix. Google have always guarded their trade secrets such as their algorithms but if there is one thing we can surely trust them for is it their talent at harvesting huge amounts of data and making it meaningful and actionable.
Have you been researching on that next holiday? YouTube will now have access to that data and you may now be served with advertisements from relevant tour operators, airlines, hotels, etc.
This new programme promises to offer much more precise targeting of viewers depending on all their internet searches and a much more accurate profile of a specific audience.
While regulators have concerns about privacy, this new strategy sounds like a positive move. It will make video advertising more effective for advertisers and give them a better return on investment, but it is likely to be well received by viewers too as they will be presented with videos on topics really relevant to them – and we know that this is a winning marketing strategy. Google users who don’t want their browsing history used in this way still have the option to turn off ads personalisation in their settings.
How do I get started?
First up, you’ve got to get yourself a YouTube channel and some video clips. Keep them nice and short, maybe even make 3-5 versions of a central piece of video. Try different lengths including options (for un-skippable bumper ads) and try not to go much over 30s as attention spans are short.
Once these clips are uploaded, the video URLs can be referenced in AdWords when the YouTube campaigns are created and targets set then lights, camera, action – we are away!
Google’s data is considered among the most powerful there is and their application to video advertising via YouTube is already very advanced but is pipped to only get better. Don’t get left in the dust by your competitors, get your brand on Youtube and reap the benefits of the added visibility of this advertising format.