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TrueView & YouTube Advertising

YouTube matters for engagement and hopefully encourages your audience to share your content, which is why videos should be added to your marketing mix.  Since YouTube users do search YouTube to find products, it is a viable channel for getting in front of buyers.  There are a number of options for users and networks to choose from on YouTube, and a good place to start is using the TrueView advertising model.  With this model, advertisers only pay when viewers choose to watch the ad.

With a TrueView in-stream ad, it can display before or during another video.  Although users can skip it after five seconds, those five seconds still give you time to do some branding.  The beginning of your in-stream ad is the place to show a logo and build some brand awareness immediately since they may not choose to view the full ad.  This ad is free for these five seconds if users do not choose to watch the whole thing, so it should include a very simple call-to-action and company logo at the very beginning.

With a TrueView in-display ad, advertisers pay only when the user clicks on the ad.  The ads appear next to other videos, either in YouTube Search or on the Display Network.  Here advertisers can target an audience and search terms for their videos.

There are different targeting options for your TrueView video ads as listed below and the best one depends on the goals for your specific campaign:

  • Affinity audience – These are people that are very enthusiastic about a specific category and spend a lot of time searching online in this area.
  • In-Market audiences – This group is further down the funnel and closer to making a purchase.  Google has identified them as shoppers.  If your video is a clear call-to-action about making a purchase, this may be the group to target.
  • Topics – This is contextual targeting.  All content falls into one of these topic buckets, and this is when your video can be shown on sites that are specifically related to your topic.  The problem with this platform is that you won’t know the type of user.
  • Placements – When you choose where your ad is shown, you are really narrowing down your audience, which can be good or bad depending on your goals.

Equally important is who you do not want to target.  If your product line is for women, you may want to exclude men as a demographic.  You can add this exclusion at the campaign level to ensure your ad is being seen by the right audience.  Over time, you may also want to add negative keywords and placements as you watch the performance data come in.

Here are some best practice considerations for your YouTube marketing:

  • Use remarketing.  You can build a list of people who have seen your video and show ads specifically to them.   Make sure your YouTube account is linked to your AdWords account to use this feature.
  • Test video lengths.  If you have a 30-second video, compare that to two 15-second videos where the message is split.
  • Regardless of the YouTube format you choose, use logos and links at the very beginning rather than waiting until the end of the clip since not everyone will choose to watch the whole way through.
  • Words matter.  Although YouTube is about visuals, make sure your video has a good eye-catching title.
  • Upload a compelling thumbnail.  This can get the viewer’s attention and make them interested in seeing your video.
  • Test the frequency capping.  Three or four per day is a good rule of thumb.
  • Consider bidding aggressively at the beginning to get that real-time data and a wide reach.

Those with a huge budget may be interested in a masthead, which allows them to own the YouTube homepage for 24 hours.  It’s great for remarketing, getting channel subscriptions, brand awareness, and new product launches.  However, a recent number I heard in a Google webinar is that it can be $825,000 for a 24 hour takeover.  In that case, it makes the option with TrueView very appealing.

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