A Guide for Better YouTube Advertising

It’s not breaking news that video has taken over in recent years. Some experts estimate that a staggering 60% of all web traffic is related to video streaming.

With this data in mind, the logical question that follows is: How do I catch my old marketing strategy up with the times?

Many businesses are turning their attention, and marketing budget, toward YouTube ads. In terms of cost-efficiency and reach potential, the world’s largest video platform is a viable option for companies of all sizes and production capabilities. Not to mention, you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who don’t view YouTube videos regularly.

If you’re considering adding YouTube to your marketing plan, here’s what you need to know:


1.      The Setup

Before you can start getting the eyeballs of potential customers on your ad, you need to set up an account. It sounds easy enough (and it is), but it’s important to note that a business account is different from the YouTube account you might be using personally.

Make sure you’re selecting “use a business or other name” when setting up your page. This will help you avoid any potential account-related issues down the road.


2.      Build Out Your Profile

You want your channel to reflect positively on your company. Incorrectly sized imagery, or no imagery at all, might be worse than if you didn’t have anything at all.

Upon initial setup, you’ll have the option to add your company’s branding in two areas – the profile image and the cover photo. Be sure to use high-resolution image files and double check to make sure it translates well to a mobile viewing experience.

Once you have your imagery in place, create playlists to help keep your future videos organized. This will also help users navigate to see the content they’re seeking from your company.


3.      Learn the Types of Ads

Those who are new to the world of YouTube advertising need to first learn the different types of ad options available on the platform. Here is a brief description of each:

1.      In-Stream Ads (skippable)

These ads, also known as pre-roll or mid-roll, are shown before the video a user selects or in the middle of it. They’re able to be skipped after 5 seconds, but advertisers are only charged for the views of users who watch for longer than 5 seconds.

These ads use YouTube’s “TrueView” feature. This term, which you’ll hear frequently, simply means you only get charged when a user watches or interacts with your content.

Keep in mind that it’s crucial to keep the type of ad format in mind throughout the creative process. Most industry experts recommend mentioning your brand’s name within the first five seconds of a video spot, and keeping a visual reminder, like a logo, on-screen throughout the video.

2.      Non-Skippable In-Stream

Most people skip ads when given the chance (you probably do it, too). Because of this, YouTube provides an option to show videos without a skippable feature. They’ll play for 15 whole seconds, so make sure your content is able to hold the audience’s attention for this amount of time!

3.      Non-Video

Not all YouTube advertising needs to be video. As a platform with 2 billion users, just getting your name out there via display ad can be a viable option that drives results.

These static ads appear on the sidebar and allow you to include text, an image, and a CTA linking to your website.

Not all businesses have the capability to produce a high-quality video. If you’re still looking to find a way to get your brand on YouTube without setting anything in motion, this is the way to go.


4.      Gain a Following by Uploading Regularly

Many brands take advantage of the paid portions of YouTube marketing but never really generate any type of following. Content marketing can be extremely effective if your brand lends itself well to video content. For example, a popular local brewery might give a virtual tour of its facility or take users “behind-the-scenes” throughout the beer-making process.

After uploading your content, promote it on your other social media channels to drive users to your YouTube channel. This is a no-cost (or very low-cost) way to grow your business digitally and because of that, there is virtually no risk involved.

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for content, try a “storytelling” approach with your videos. You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to create a five or ten-minute video that’s worth a watch. You believe in your brand’s mission for a reason – you should be sharing it with your audience so they can get on board, too!


5.      Include CTA’s

Getting your video content in front of potential customers is great, but you should also be encouraging them to take the next step – whatever that may be.

YouTube gives its advertisers the ability to place CTAs (or any other number of “clickable” elements”) directly on video ads. These little buttons pop up and help take viewers where you want them to go. For example, if you’re running a video for a local pizza company, you might include a CTA button linking to the menu to make placing an order as easy as possible.

Play around with the different CTA button options and consider running an A/B test to determine which ones are most effective for your strategic goals.


Wrapping Up

Even if you’re not familiar with YouTube as a marketing platform, don’t worry – it’s one of the more user-friendly systems out there and can drive significant results once you get the hang of it.

If your business needs help developing content or direction in putting together a compelling, comprehensive plan, get in touch today.