Do you use YouTube as an advertisement platform? Would you like to get more exposure for your brand, goods or services to millions of engaged prospects?
If you are a business owner or a brand manager who has not yet embraced the power of YouTube advertising, you are missing out on great exposure and significant return-on-investment (ROI).
Harnessing the power of YouTube ads requires just a few simple tactics aligned with a marketing strategy. Nearly one third of all people who access the Internet are bound to be active YouTube viewers, and many of them spend hours not just watching videos but also viewing ads, clicking on banners, leaving comments, joining groups, engaging in conversations, etc.
YouTube is such an iconic Web platform that many people forget its beginnings as a social video sharing site. YouTube has grown tremendously over the years, and it has solidified its social networking features despite the fact that most people do not think of it as a social media platform.
Until mid-2015, YouTube and Google+ enjoyed a very close integration until the search engine giant decided to break up its proprietary social networks into separate components. These days, a Google+ account is no longer required to comment on videos or to make a collection of favorite YouTube clips, and this has resulted in a more open platform.
YouTube has a lot to offer in terms of Internet marketing potential. The following five tactics can be incorporated into an effective online marketing strategy that takes full advantage of the YouTube potential.
1 – YouTube Ads
Brand managers and business owners should not ignore the power of YouTube advertising. Here are the basics:
The two main categories of YouTube ads can be split into those that can be skipped and those that cannot be bypassed.
The ads that cannot be skipped can only last between 15 and 20 seconds; although they may seem to be forceful, they actually have a very decent rate of engagement when compared to its rate of abandonment.
The YouTube ads that give viewers a choice to be skipped are called TrueView ads. Aside from their optional viewing feature, these ads can run in-stream and in-display. The TrueView in-stream ads ideal for videos, games and apps displayed in 300 x 60 pixels, last up to three minutes, and can be set to navigate to a landing page or brand website when clicked on. In-display ads work as overlays that result from YouTube search results; these ads can last as long as desired, have a choice of four thumbnail images, can feature a headline plus a description, and are intended to show viewers a brand video.
YouTube advertising has matured to a point that allows online marketers to make recommendations. As such, most in-stream ads run between 15 and 30 seconds. Even though in-display TrueView ads can last as long as desired, most of them run under three minutes. As a general rule, newcomers to YouTube advertising should keep video lengths to under three minutes; long enough to gather analytics.
2 – YouTube Ad Creation
Although there are many Internet marketing agencies operating within the online video ad creation section, most of them will ask you to create a script. You should not be worried about this; after all, you are the expert behind your brand, product or service.
If you need guidance in creating a raw script, the marketing agency will likely suggest the following:
Start off with a short description of what you have to offer. Think about a problem that your company or product can solve; the explanation of the problem should be followed by a transition into how the problem can be solved, which is the reason you are in business. Next, it is time to get visual with features before going into a call to action, dissipating objections, and sealing the deal with proof.
If your advertising budget is really tight, you can always use www.youtube.com/videoadbuilder. This is a true do-it-yourself with a user-friendly interface that will guide you step-by-step to create a video ad you can be proud of; all you need is a smartphone or tablet and a desire to create not just a visual ad but also a promotional campaign.
3 – Setting Up YouTube Ad Campaigns
Once you have gone through the video ad creation process, you should decide on whether you want to force viewers to watch your entire ad or if you with to give them the option to skip.
The non-skippable video ad campaigns can be set up from within AdWords, and it requires a daily budget. Targeting options are important, but you really want to let AdWords find new viewers for you in your first campaign. It is important to choose the in-stream video ads option to upload a video of a length between 15-30 seconds that cannot be skipped.
If you wish to give viewers an opportunity to skip longer videos, find and choose the Skippable Ads options before moving on to other aspects of the campaign such as language, thumbnail images and devices. You should keep in mind that YouTube is a highly mobile platform, which ties in with the following two tactics.
4 – Establishing a Mobile and Local Search Presence With YouTube
When creating a YouTube video for advertising purposes, it is interesting to note that many clips end up becoming very popular despite being their low production values. Quality is always important in advertising, but the subject matter is even more imperative. In many cases, videos are found by viewers who are searching locally and from their mobile devices.
If you own a business with a local imprint, you should first claim a Google My Business before you get into YouTube advertising. The bottom line is that Google gives mobile search preference to local businesses that have fine-tuned their Google My Business listing. Let’s say your video ad campaign resonates with viewers who remember your product or service and later search for it on their smartphone. If a rival local business has an active and updated Google My Business dashboard, that search result will be highlighted instead of yours.
The first aspect to keep in mind when creating a locally optimized YouTube Ad is that it should be geographically tagged, which can be accomplished from the Advanced Settings section of the YouTube Video Manager. The business should then be linked in the description. Finally, the video should be associated with the Google Places section of the Google My Business dashboard.
5 – The Right Here – Right Now Generation
Google is already a dominating force in terms of Internet search and video, which is why you should pay attention to YouTube advertising and Google My Business as stated above.
You should also be paying attention to Google’s next Internet technology push. Searches from mobile devices are multiplying at a very fast pace, and this is something that Google is paying very close attention to.
Google assumes that when you reach for your smartphone to search for pizza, you want to see results that are near you and that are actively doing business. A pizza shop interested in the best possible ROI for advertising purposes is the following:
1 – Google My Business must be up-to-date
2 – Google+ activity should be recent and engaging
3 – YouTube videos must display a certain freshness
In other words, a pizza shop that uploads fresh videos to its YouTube channel while updating Google My Business is bound to capture mobile searches. For example, a short video showing a pizza being made with a seasonal, locally-sourced product will go a long way in terms of engagement and SEO if it is properly associated with Google My Business.