YouTube is arguably one of the biggest platforms on the internet for marketers to advertise on. Hundreds of hours of content are uploaded every single minute to YouTube’s service and around a billion videos are watched every single day. It’s estimated that over 30 million unique visitors browse the website each day, making it one of the most popular video platforms available. With so much traffic each day, it makes perfect sense to use YouTube as one of your main forms of advertising especially if you offer a product or service that appeals to the masses.
But advertising on YouTube isn’t simple. In fact, it can often be more difficult to grasp the basics of a YouTube advertising campaign than compared to something more traditional such as Google PPC. Another growing issue is that there are more and more companies that are further optimising their YouTube ad strategy, making it difficult for newcomers to get into the space to have a chance to stand out.
So to help you understand YouTube advertising and to navigate such an overwhelming platform, we’ve put together a list of handy tips that will assist you in optimising your YouTube advertising strategies.
It all starts with your content
Most YouTube advertisements can be completely skipped after the 5-second mark. Unless your content is compelling enough for your users to stay the entire 5 seconds or more, you’re probably not going to get much attention from your video content. In order to optimise your video advertising content, you need to understand how to appeal to your audience and have them stay for the entire duration of the ad, or to condense your ad into a simple message that can interest them in just 5 seconds.
This requires you to have a very deep understanding of your audience. It should feel natural, it can’t be forced and it can’t purposely be sensational or ridiculous just to be annoying and stay in the back of their minds. Remember that YouTube can be an expensive platform to advertise on, so it’s vital that you put a lot of effort into the production value of your video content to ensure that it connects with your audience. This can often differ from traditional advertising principles, so it’s often a challenge to repurpose your existing skills and advertising mentally to suit the YouTube platform.
Here are a couple of tips on how to optimise your content for YouTube:
- Treat the first 5 seconds as a hook so that it reduces the chances of your viewer skipping your advertisement
- Alternatively, fit your advertisement in 5 seconds so that it can be displayed in its entirety to your audience. This can be challenging but it will ensure that the entire message or narrative of your advertisement is shown
- Create a relatable experience to draw in the viewer’s attention
- Use the full potential of the medium by understanding current trends and how people interact or engage with businesses
- While it might be difficult to convey in such a short video, creating a narrative in your advertisement can be easy to follow and convince people to watch the entire advert
Picking the right ad format
There are multiple different types of YouTube ad that you can pick from and it‘s vital that you understand and utilise all of them for maximum brand exposure. Here are the current types:
- Display ads – These are desktop-only ads that appear next to the video being watched above the recommended video list.
- Overlay ads – These are desktop-only ads that add a small overlay that covers the bottom half of the video and can include images and text.
- Skippable video ads – These appear on most platforms including TV, mobile devices and even video game consoles. These are ads that can be skipped after 5 seconds and can be placed anywhere in the video.
- Bumped ads – These are short 6-second videos that have to be watched before the video and will play on desktop and mobile devices.
- Sponsored cards – Sponsored cards can display relevant information in the video such as products or services featured in a video. They can be displayed on desktop and mobile devices and their sizes can vary depending on their use. These have to be manually clicked in order to take the user to the specified page.
It’s important to partner your advertising content with the right ad format for maximum exposure. As you can see, it’s not only video advertising that is compatible with YouTube, as even traditional adverts that rely on images and text are also supported. This means that you can import existing advertising campaigns to also make use of the YouTube platform, but we feel it’s important to experiment with the different ad formats so that you can take advantage of the unique video advertising opportunities that are presented by YouTube. To learn more, check out this article – Picking the right YouTube ad formats and video ad types.
Understanding YouTube targeting options
Much like any other advertising platform, YouTube allows you to use targeting options to reach specific audiences. This is to prevent your advertisements from reaching people who are either uninterested in your services and products or wouldn’t understand what you’re offering.
YouTube offers a lot of flexible options to help you control who will see your ads. You can start with demographic targeting which should be familiar if you’ve used other advertising platforms. YouTube allows you to target specific ages, household incomes, genders and even parental status. You can then add additional layers to your targeting options, such as targeting specific countries, cities or even postal codes. This makes YouTube advertising and effective option even for local businesses that want to promote their store.
For more advanced users, it’s possible to target specific operating systems such as Android, iOS or Windows, and device models if you want to be really specific. You can even target specific mobile carriers, internet providers and detect if the user is using WiFi or a data connection. Lastly, you can also target interests that the user has shown, such as for movies, music, video games or pet lovers.
Be as simple as possible so that they will draw in the audience. Without relevant keywords and search terms, it won’t appear in the search pages. Make sure that the thumbnails for your video are clear as well as being visually appealing. It will appeal to your audience and you’ll have an audience that will continue to click to find out what you’re selling.