YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine on the internet, beating all except their parent company, Google. They get billions of searches a month and have become one of the most effective places to market. The ability for advertisers to get highly specific and targeted with their ads, as well as being a platform for video, is a big advantage that YouTube holds over the other search engines. The ability that video holds over text or image to humanize and connect with our potential customers cannot be understated. Let’s take a closer look at the ads themselves and then how to create effective ads on Youtube.
YouTube offers a wide variety of formats to advertise with:
Skippable In-Stream Ads – These ads play in the video player and allow viewers to skip after 5 seconds. Generally paid through CPV bidding, which is when someone watches 30+ seconds (or the full video if shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with video, whichever comes first. You can also use Target CPM, Target CPA or Maximize Conversions, these are paid based on impressions.
Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads – These ads play in the video player and must be watched in their entirety to view the intended video, they are 15 seconds or shorter. Paid through Target CPM, pay based on impressions.
Video Discovery Ads – Shows up as video links in discoverable places, such as the home screen, next to related videos, search results, etc. They appear as thumbnail and text, just like other videos on the platform. These are paid through CPC, so you pay when someone watches your ad by clicking the thumbnail.
Bumper Ads – These play in the video player, aren’t skippable and are up to 6 seconds long. Use these when you want to reach people with a short and memorable message. Paid through Target CPM, pay based on impressions
Outstream Ads – These ads are mobile only and appear on websites and apps that are Google Video partners, not on YouTube itself. They appear as videos playing with the sound off, with the option of turning the sound on. They can take a number of forms, for web placements, they are banners. For apps, they are banners, interstitials, in-feed, native, portrait or full screen. Charged on Viewable cost per thousand impressions (vCPM), a view counts as 2 seconds or more of watch time
Masthead Ads – Available on reservation basis through a Google sales rep. Plays on mute at the top of the YouTube Home feed. Available on Desktop, Mobile, or other supported placements like smart TV’s. Paid on CPM basis. Best used when you want to reach a lot of people in a short amount of time
Overlay Ads – On computer only, these are image or text ads that appear in the lower 20% of the video player while the intended video is playing
Creating Effective Video Ads
It’s not all about the gear, you can make effective ads on a budget. All you need to get started is a video editor, a way to film and some creativity (and maybe a decent mic, don’t underestimate the value of good audio). There are a number of video editors that are more than capable of making quality ads, ranging from free to expensive high-end software. Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is a great free editing software to get you started, with the option to upgrade later. There are also the industry standards like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. As far as capturing film, today’s phone cameras are more than capable of capturing decent enough video, but if you want to up your game you can always invest in a nicer camera. This can get as expensive as you want to go, but there lots of affordable options. You can look into DSLR’s or mirrorless cameras to capture high quality video for a more professional look without spending many thousands on cinema cameras. There is a bit of a learning curve with higher quality cameras, so be prepared to spend some time learning the equipment.
There’s a bit of a balancing act when it comes to creating fruitful YouTube ads. You need to consider the intended audience & the format that you’re using, you need to test different aspects of the ad, and use what you learn to continue to create better ads. Knowing you audience is crucial to connecting to them with your ads. Beyond market research (which we covered here), you need to consider YouTube specific aspects to understanding your audience. What kind of videos are they watching? How much time do they spend on YouTube? What kind of behaviors do they show, such as how many channels they are subscribed to and what kinds of subscriptions are they? Really knowing your ideal customer will give you lots of insight into how to make an ad that will catch and hold their attention. It will also give you hints as to which formats would be the most effective in getting your message in front of the right people’s eyes.
When choosing the format you want to use for your ads, you should take into account your goal with this campaign and your intended audience. After you’ve chosen which format you want to use, it’s important to tailor your ads to the format you plan on using. It’s a mistake to recycle material for different ad formats, what makes for a great bumper ad would make for a terrible Masthead ad. Bumper ads are great for presenting a short and memorable message, where as Masthead ads can have a more flushed out message, but because they show on mute, the opening visuals need to be very attention grabbing. The differing structures of the different formats have their strengths and weaknesses that you should be aware of when making your ad.
As with most advertisements, testing is a critical part of the process to making your ads as effective as possible. Marketing is challenging and nobody gets it right on the first try. Try different things and keep track of what’s working and what’s not. Experiment in A/B testing different CTA’s, different thumbnails, different copy text, different formats, etc. Combine this experimentation with your market research to optimize your ads and continually improve your ads.
With the vast audience that YouTube generates daily and the potential to connect more effectively to your audience via video, running YouTube ads is an excellent way to attract more business. Don’t let a lack of gear or a fear of being on camera stop you from taking advantage of this platform. Get creative, think about your audience, and keep improving your ads.
Direct Placement, LLC is a digital marketing agency that offers a variety of digital ads and services. Our trained and certified team of Account Managers and Internet Marketing Advertisers is dedicated to helping your business achieve its advertising goals. They will work diligently with you to help ensure our advertising efforts are tailored to your specific needs. Contact Direct Placement, LLC today or visit our website to discover how we can start transforming your business one click at a time! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Blogger for more online marketing related content.
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