Part 1: The Intro to Video Ads & YouTube.com
You might as well admit that you’re addicted to video [to the tune of Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love] and so is everyone else. I started this post with the intention of diving into many platforms within this single post. However, after getting through YouTube, I thought maybe I should chunk-this-up into bite-size pieces. As such, here is the first installment of Video Marketing in 2015. Stayed tuned each week as we explore a new platform.
Why Video Marketing in 2015
First, a little background on why video marketing is so important this year. Because it’s hot! Duh! Need proof? What if I told you that 59% of U.S. internet users are viewing video from their desktop or laptop, a slight decrease from 62% in 2013? Not surprisingly, there’s been an increase in viewership on tablet and mobile devices, as well as smart TVs. Tablets account for 27%, smartphones for 23% and smart TVs for 13% (HUB Research, 2014).
To put those percentages into perspective, according to comScore, almost 196 million Americans watched online videos from their desktops in December between home and work. YouTube.com ranked at the top with almost 164 million unique viewers…..in just one month! (Keep reading to learn how you can capitalize on this.)
What else do you need to know? Perhaps that video ads watched on each device can vary. Not surprisingly, mobile phones are used for watching shorter video content, whereas tablets and desktops both show similar habits for longer-form content (Ooyala, 2014).
This last bit becomes important for knowing where to place your video ads. According to FreeWheel, users were more likely to watch video ads on smartphones and desktops 70-71% of the time while watching video content that was less than 20 minutes in length. However, that number drops to 43% when viewing shorter content on tablets.
While I’ve not outlined everything that you need to know about video, let this serve as your starting point for an online video marketing strategy. As a marketer, what are you doing to reach these viewers, sharers and consumers of video content? If you said nothing, you are wrong.
Best Platforms for Video Advertising
Outlined in this and subsequent posts are a few of the top platforms for video advertising and marketing this year to help you get rolling. But remember, not each platform is perfect for every brand. Consider your audience and follow them. This is not exactly a build it and they will come era anymore.
YouTube.com Video Ads
A Google property. Need we say more? But we will…..
- 1 billion unique visit each month
- 6 billion hours of video are watched each month
- 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute
- More than a million advertisers use Google ad platforms, the majority of which are small businesses
YouTube advertising is fairly simple to start, especially if you already have a Google AdWords account. Go to the Campaigns tab, click New Campaign and choose Online Video. Once inside this section, you’ll be able to link AdWords to YouTube.
Advertisers have many of the same options as Google AdWords Display offers. You can segment by age, gender, topics, user interests, specific placements and retargeting lists, as well. One great benefit is that retargeting lists will automatically be created on users who view your videos. You can easily segment them based on different content they’ve watched. As with most AdWords campaign, you can also target by geography and keywords. Overlaying targeting can create a refined audience. Just be careful you don’t get too refined or you’ll limit your exposure.
YouTube.com Video Formats:
Here we’ll delve into the two different kinds of TrueView video ads, as well as video ads created from the Ad Gallery. With TrueView, videos are pulled from your YouTube account so there’s no need to create new content. Advertisers only pay when a user clicks on the video or continues watching when the video loads while they’re browsing content on YouTube.com. TrueView video campaigns run on a CPV – Cost per View – basis where you bid for each time the video is viewed or continues playing when it first loads.
- Ads are shown on YouTube Watch pages or the GDN before short- or long-form videos
- Can be skipped after 5 seconds
- Advertisers are only charged when the viewer watches 30 seconds or more of the video, or at the end of the video if less than 30 sec. This means advertisers can have free views if the user leaves before hitting the end or the 30 sec. mark. This also means your best content / CTA should be up front so you’re capturing their attention quickly.
- Ads are shown next to YouTube videos, as part of a search result or on pages of the GDN
- Advertisers are charged when the user clicks the ad to play the video
The Ad Gallery can be very beneficial if you don’t have a graphic designer or are limited on resources for creating ads. This option can be found within the Ads tab of your account.
- Ads are shown on the GDN and have the same targeting options as a regular Display campaign.
- Bidding can be on CPC, CPM or CPV basis
YouTube.com Ad Spend:
There is no minimum spend and you can set your budget at whatever you want. Nice, huh! This makes it appealing even to businesses that need to want to capitalize on video advertising but have a restrictive budget.
When you link your AdWords and YouTube account, you’ll get a deeper level of reporting. This is my favorite part. Beyond costs and clicks, you can see:
- the percentage of users who viewed 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the video
- Impression Share and Conversion data
- Earned Action data, such as earned views, subscribers, playlist additions, likes and shares
Going another step further, Google will automatically change the columns to suit your goals. Click Columns and you’ll get a drop down to select your columns or choose your goals, such as Views, Audience, Branding and Conversions. Advertisers can also segment data by format, network, device, click type, time and conversions. There’s so much data! It’s great for making changes on the fly and working toward reaching your goals.
Lastly, these video ad views DO count toward your overall video views, thereby increasing the number of views on your YouTube channel.
While this may all seem daunting, please understand that you don’t have to take film classes and become a video guru to make video advertising successful for you. Most smartphones now have cameras that are better-quality than the old fashion camcorders that sat perched on your shoulder. No, these need to be good quality, but what’s more important is that they need to be consistent with your brand and speak the truth. Users will know a bogus message when they see it. Stay truthful to your message, your brand and your audience. With any luck- and some great optimization –perhaps your commercial will be the next viral video!
Go out. Get started. And, if you’re already doing this, share your experiences below.
Stay tuned. Next week I’ll be covering Facebook video advertising.