If it’s been said once, it’s been said a thousand times: video is the future.
With increased bandwidths, more affordable data, and the continued proliferation of mobile, the latter prediction has already become an undeniable reality. Video is easy to consume and, if it’s done properly, has an entertainment and edutainment value that escapes more traditional media, like text and even audio clips.
The popularity of sites like YouTube means that businesses have an extremely powerful marketing channel available to them in the form of YouTube ads – something not to overlook.
The Best of Both Worlds
YouTube essentially combines two types of platforms into one. On the one hand, it’s a search engine. In this capacity, people search for content using a keyword or key phrase, and YouTube’s search algorithms kick in and do their job, returning relevant results.
On the other hand, the platform acts like a social media site. Communities develop around channels, and comment sections can be lively, informative, or even controversial: one thing they are not is boring. With over 2 billion logged-in monthly users, YouTube ads reach a massive and thoroughly engaged audience.
The reach and diversity of the YouTube user base is an impressive drawcard to the platform; but its attraction is augmented by it enabling Google Ads users to finely segment the user base for the purposes of targeting.
This means that unlike TV or other forms of mass media, advertising on YouTube is not “spray and pray”. A business owner or marketer can ensure that the money they spend on YouTube isn’t wasted on an irrelevant audience. In fact, the ability to target on the platform is every bit as fine-grained as you’ve come to expect from Google Ads.
A Variety of Options
The choices of advert type only enhance the appeal and go a long way to providing advertisers with a solution best suited to their intentions and budget. In terms of the ad type, YouTube provides four options:
- Skippable in-stream ads
- Non-skippable in-stream ads
- Video discovery ads
- Non-video ads
Skippable ads are those that appear before or during a video (pre-roll, mid-roll), and allow a user to skip them after the first 5 seconds. When using skippable YouTube ads, an advertiser only pays for the impression if a user watches the first 30 seconds or, if the video is less than 30 seconds in total, the entire video. The advertiser will also have to pay if a user clicks through to the promoted site.
Given the possible length of the skippable ads (between 12 seconds and 3 minutes), an advertiser is given an opportunity to develop a narrative or persuasive argument. If a user doesn’t skip the ad, it could mean that they’re interested in the product/service/information; this, in turn, increases the likelihood of the advert generating revenue.
The implication is straightforward – advertisers only pay for skippable ads if the user is a potential lead (as measured by their engagement with your video).
These ads, as their name suggests, can’t be skipped and are billed on a per-impression basis. Whereas all impressions incur a cost, the advantage is that users are forced to watch it, which is great for campaigns in which your objective is to create brand or product awareness.
Here, you’re not expecting someone to click through, but instead are aiming to plant seeds for future campaigns directed at audiences further down the marketing funnel. Non-skippable YouTube ads can be either short, six-second-long “bumper” ads, or up to 15-second-long videos.
Although highly effective for educational or awareness campaigns, bear in mind the fact that without a choice to skip the ad, your video has to be interesting and watchable to gain audience approval.
YouTube’s video discovery ads are much like adverts appearing on search engine results pages, with the exception that they click through to a video rather than a promoted website. The advantage of these videos is much the same as typical Google Ads in that they only appear on a results page if certain keywords/key phrases have been used, and they are only billed if clicked.
This again ensures that your ad spend is reaching a targeted, relevant audience that could produce customers and revenue.
Display and In-Video Overlay Ads
Non-video YouTube ads are great for advertisers who can’t afford to produce a video but would still like to take advantage of the platform’s large user base and targeted advertising.
There two types of non-video YouTube ad: display ads and in-video overlay ads. Display ads appear at the top right-hand side of a laptop/pc screen and contain a call-to-action. In-video overlays “float” over the top of monetised videos and clicks through to the sponsored landing page.
Get in Touch with the Experts
As a marketing channel that can address the needs of campaigns directed at different portions of the marketing funnel, YouTube ads have immense potential to generate quality leads. This, combined with a massive user base and highly targeted advertising, means that companies not maximising their use of the platform are surely missing out on a great opportunity to drive customer interaction.
Being a leading digital agency, iLEAD et al is perfectly positioned to run successful YouTube ad campaigns, whether you opt for video or non-video assets. Get in touch to learn more.