How Small Businesses Can Use Video Ads to Turn a Profit
Have you ever noticed that most blog posts about social media ads start with obligatory statistics? We’d like to say we’re going to throw you a curveball in this post about launching a profitable YouTube ad campaign but, alas, we’re not. You know why? The proof is in the pudding, people. By the end of this year, 80 percent of the world’s internet traffic will be video. People watch 5 billion videos on YouTube every day, and 300 hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Whereas conversions on Facebook sit at about 10 percent, YouTube’s average conversion rate is 14 percent. The social media juggernaut – which is the 2nd largest search engine – has over 1 billion users whose video-watching habits are increasing by 50% year after year.
Whew. Now you get it, right? So we can skip that whole “Why YouTube?” part, right? And although many big corporations are dropping equally big bucks on this type of advertising, that doesn’t mean small businesses should spend their money elsewhere. As long as you have clearly defined goals and know how to measure them, YouTube ads can be an excellent choice for small businesses.
What’s the Catch?
After seeing those stats, you’re probably wondering if this is too good to be true. It’s not but, at the same time, there is a bit of a catch in that creating actual video content that’s engaging and has the potential to be shared can be time-consuming. We will cover that in our next article but, for now, let’s take a look at how to make your YouTube Ad campaigns run like a well-oiled machine.
Getting Started With Your YouTube Channel
The first thing you need to do is to create a YouTube channel for your company, and possibly multiple channels for each department. Before you go ahead and accept the site’s conditions, however, you want to make sure you’ve chosen your name and category well. Both these things will affect your overall branding strategy and SEO rankings. Be sure to include your brand name so that people can find you and any relevant keywords, if possible. And although keyword stuffing is always a no-no, you should include some of your keywords in the first 70 characters of your description, as this will improve your rankings. Don’t phone this part of the process in so that you can start making the video, as a carefully crafted and well-branded bio will help drive traffic to your channel. Lastly, follow Google’s directions on how to link your YouTube channel and AdWords account.
Choose Your Bidding
This isn’t as fun as an auction but, hey, the last time you went to one of those you bid on a support peacock. What this comes down to whether you go with a CPV bid (what you’re willing to pay every time someone watches your video) or a CPC campaign (triggers charges when a click occurs). What you bid isn’t necessarily what you pay per view, as you will be charged one penny above the second lowest price. Support peacocks aside, it’s just a bit of healthy competition. As with all things, it’s about keeping a balance of increasing your bids to get more traffic but low enough that any fluctuations in competitors’ pricing won’t wipe out your budget.
Hit the Targeting Bullseye
This is where the magic happens, as YouTube has quite a few different options in choosing who will see your ads. And they somewhat recently added the ability to target people based on their interests. Of course, before you do this you’ll want to do your due diligence on who your target audience is so you can align this with who you target on YouTube. Some ways you might want to target on this video site are:
It goes without saying that you want to choose a topic that fits your niche, as you don’t want to show your ads to those interested in beauty products if you’re selling sports equipment. You can drill down from here, going into subcategories. It’s a good idea to get specific but you also don’t want to choose so many that you’re throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. Once again, testing several categories is a good idea.
Much like with Google Ads, you can bid for certain keywords or key phrases that people will typically type into the YouTube search bar. Your ad will appear in the case of exact matches.
By User Interest
As we just mentioned, you can now target people by interests, such as those who love DIY projects, those who read certain kinds of books, those who love a specific type of TV show, and so on. Most Marketing experts will tell you to start with one or two interests so you can see the metrics on these before expanding your targeting.
By Other YouTube Videos
This is fairly similar to using Facebook’s “lookalike audiences” features, as you’ll be targeting videos that you find relevant to your campaign. You do this by copying and pasting the URL to the video into the placement target. Be sure that the video(s) you choose are getting enough traffic to justify making this part of your campaign.
As a consumer, you’ve surely been targeted this way via Google or Facebook, but, as a Marketer, don’t discount the value of targeting this way on YouTube as well. With this highly effective approach, ads will be shown to an audience of consumers who have already expressed interest in your company by visiting your website.
It’s Time To Choose Your Ad Type
As with everything YouTube Ads-related, this is a matter of testing out certain types to see what works best for you. Every ad campaign you run should have a different objective and, as such, the ad type should be chosen based on these goals. YouTube Ads can appear before the video, as the video plays, or after the video. They can also be skippable or non-skippable.
These are thumbnail image ads that typically appear in the upper right corner of the search and watch pages, so they catch the attention of those looking at the “related videos” section. What’s been great news for marketers is YouTube took the yellow border they used to place around these ads off, allowing for a more native and, thus, more valuable ad.
Available on YouTube’s desktop platform, these ads appear in a semi-transparent state over the bottom 20 percent of your targeted videos. Your messaging can appear as images or texts.
These ads are displayed at the top of the search results page on YouTube. Much like a Google Ad, they’re shown above organic results with a small, yellow icon that says “Ad”. These are an ideal way to capture new viewers who are searching for content in your niche, as well as capturing content from competitors.
These are the ads that most people are probably most accustomed to seeing, as they are advertisements that are shown before the user is allowed to watch a video. You can show a small banner ad next to your in-stream ad for no extra fee. These vary as to whether they are skippable or non-skippable. If the user is able to skip the ad after five seconds, the ad can be up to 60 seconds in length. If the ad is non-skippable, the ad can be up to 15 seconds.
What’s Your Ad’s 20?
You’ve done most of the hard work. Now you just need to figure out where to put your YouTube Ad. In other words, where do you want your viewers to go after they click on the ad? You can either send them to your YouTube channel or one of your videos. If this is a new lead that you’re trying to engage, sending them to your YouTube channel is probably your best bet. That way, they can peruse your videos and get a feel for your company’s brand. Of course, you’re going to want to – say it with us – test on a regular basis to determine what’s working best.
Although YouTube has made their ad process fairly intuitive, you might be overwhelmed by the notion of running your whole campaign. Contact us to get help from end to end, including measuring the results and optimizing your campaign for future success. Make sure to visit our blog again soon for our next post on creating engaging videos to use in your YouTube campaigns.