A few years ago you may have been able to find success in digital advertising by simply creating engaging video content. While big brands, small businesses and individual content creators were developing video – there was not always a huge emphasis on the details, strategy and deployment of that video to your target audience. With video content becoming a staple in the advertiser’s marketing mix, it has become more important than ever to stay on top of video trends, measurements and engagement tactics. No longer will you find success by just creating great video content, you will need to support that content with an advertising strategy that includes channel selection, ad unit selection, your target audience and more.
Naturally when an advertiser or user thinks about video, YouTube is on the forefront of their minds. With 300 hours of video content uploaded to the platform every minute and over 5 billion videos watched everyday – YouTube can be a great addition to your digital marketing strategy. In this article I will highlight some key tips for YouTube that you should be aware of to help elevate your digital video strategy.
Utilize Your Keyword Lists: You should treat YouTube just like you would Google when it comes to targeting users by key phrases they search. Because Google owns YouTube, advertisers have the capability to serve ads to users who are actively searching their target phrases while in Google and/or YouTube. Exporting your current keyword list for search campaigns and comparing that to the keywords you are tracking for organic search is a great first step. Once you have a trimmed down list of successful keywords that have been driving engagement, conversions and quality traffic – you can use that as a foundation to begin building your YouTube strategy. Don’t forgot to also put thought into the way your target audience may search on Google vs YouTube. Do they use different searches on YouTube, adding phrases such as “demo”, “walkthrough” or “tour”? Knowing how your audience is conducting each search is key to having a more detailed and strategic plan.
You Have Less Than 5 Seconds: A best practice for YouTube advertising is to create variations of your video content in: 30 second and: 15 second lengths. The real key however is understanding you actually have less than 5 seconds to win or lose your viewer’s attention. With a skippable feature in the ad unit, if the user is not sold, they can move on from your message within 5 seconds of your video playing – meaning they likely have made up their mind if they will continue watching within the first 3 seconds. To combat this, you can create a video script that leads with your call-to-action instead of building up to it. Here is an example:
Call-to-Action Build Up
“Hot weather and endless construction can make it tough on your car. Complete Autocare has your solution this summer to make sure your drive stays smooth. Receive a free oil change with the purchase of any 2 tires.”
“Get you free oil change today when you purchase any 2 tires from your local Autocare. Let us help you ensure your engine is maintained and your drive is smooth this summer.”
Show Your Logo: Branding is super important during the first 3-5 seconds of a user watching your content. Skippable feature or not, you still have the opportunity to leave an impression on a user within your target demographic. Brands and companies that wait until the end of the video message to showcase their branding are potentially leaving users with no impression – statistically and figuratively. This simple addition to your videos is well worth it – experiment with your video content and see where your logo looks the best in the video (top or bottom corners, front and center, etc.).
Reach vs Action: Having great video content without great targeting will not allow your ads a fair chance to perform well. YouTube can target users in many different ways – including two different bidding actions defined as “Reach” and “Action.” Bidding for Reach in YouTube will cast a wider net and allow your ads to be shown to a bigger user pool. The catch is, these users historically have not shown the intent to purchase or convert. This does not mean you cannot try to capture them in your funnel, it just means that YouTube has not recorded the user completing the entire journey from impression to conversion. Bidding for Action however will narrow that audience down and serve your ads to users who have shown a higher-intent to purchase/covert in the past. Bidding for Action may seem like an obvious targeting selection if you are tracking conversions or sales – however it is important to remember that Bidding for Reach will help to fill your funnel with new users as well.
All of these tactics have come in handy for recent YouTube campaigns I have helped clients manage. Your video content strategy should examine details from the planning stages of your video script to the measurement of your campaign. Implementing and considering these factors along with ensuring you are up-to-date with YouTube changes will strengthen your strategy.
Any questions? Please connect with us, so we may discuss.