Why We Love YouTube Advertising and How You Can Learn to Love It Too!

There are plenty of reasons to love advertising on YouTube, but we’ll start with the obvious: it’s an inexpensive, yet effective way to reach your target audience, and that potential audience is huge! In fact, consumers aged 18-49-years-old regularly watch YouTube in place of broadcast TV or any of the cable networks. Altogether, over a billion hours of YouTube content are watched collectively every single day and there is a very good chance your customers or clients can be targeted on YouTube through advertising.

Getting Started with YouTube Advertising

First, you’ll need a video that you want to promote. This can be anything from a professionally shot video to something done on your iPhone. It doesn’t have to be an expensive production to be effective, but it does need to speak to your intended audience and contain engaging content that will motivate potential customers to take action. The ideal video length depends on which kind of ad you are promoting — there are two basic ad units available.

Type 1 – Longer, Skippable

Most of the video ads you’ll see are 30-60 seconds, but there are no set limits. Keep in mind that as the length increases, the likelihood of people watching your entire ad decreases. This category includes “skippable” format ads which allow consumers to “skip” to their intended program after 5 seconds of watching. The good news for advertisers is that you only pay if someone watches 30 seconds of the ad (or for shorter ads, the entire ad). If they skip the ad before that, then the view is free — and that is a great no-cost branding opportunity. When you do pay, the cost per view is roughly 8 to 15 cents.

Type 2 – 6-Second, Non-skippable

There is another type of ad unit that is not skippable, and the advertiser must pay for every single view. These ads are six seconds; just long enough to get across a brief message about your organization or product. These are wonderful for brand-lift and they have been shown to be quite effective, despite their brevity. These ads are paid for in terms of cost per thousand (CPM) bidding — how much you are willing to pay for every 1,000 views. The six-second ad unit is often used together with a longer spot, or with other companion six-second spots to drive home your message.

Free Extras

YouTube ads also come with a couple of free extras to increase their value. First, there is a companion banner ad that stays up to the right of the player to remind people about the ad they watched. The ad can be a graphic or just text and you can specify a URL or YouTube channel to handle clicks on it. There is also a call-to-action overlay. This is text-based and can include a short message and a link to a website or YouTube channel.

Targeting Ads on YouTube

One of the best things about YouTube ads is the targeting. There are plenty of options to get to the right audience. One of our favorite ways to target YouTube ads is with remarketing lists. You can reach people who have previously visited your website or YouTube channel with a message to bring them back to complete the desired action.

Other options include targeting by demographics, tacking your ad on to specific videos related to your product or service, and in-market and life event audiences. In-market audiences are groups of people that Google considers to be actively looking for a specific type of product such as financial services, electronics, or apartments for rent. Life event audiences include categories such as people who are getting married or who were recently married. These are just a few examples, but several other options exist within these categories.

Analyzing Results

YouTube advertising generates quite a bit of worthwhile information to help you understand your audience and optimize your ads. The analytics will include information about the percentage of people who watched to each section of the video, and how many people clicked on the call-to-action overlay to reach your website.

How to Get Started

YouTube advertising is set up through the AdWords interface, so it does take some expertise to properly set up your ads and monitor them. Not to worry — the digital team at Millennium is here to help! Contact us today and we can help you get the most out of your YouTube!