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Every month 2 billion people use YouTube (about a quarter of the world’s population). More people access YouTube every month than live in China!

Not surprisingly, the only website bigger than YouTube is Google. So considering the enormity of this tech giant, using YouTube ads to promote your business is attractive… but it can also be an intimidating task to undertake.

You shouldn’t neglect this important marketing tool, but you do need to know how to use YouTube video ads successfully. So is managing this website really worth the trouble, or is it all just hype?

Why YouTube ads?

For every business, no matter the size, the answer is yes! Engaging YouTube ads are a worthwhile marketing investment. Here’s why.

The audience is huge

YouTube’s daily audience sits at a whopping 30 million users. In the U.S., 73% of the population uses YouTube, making this website the most popular social media platform in the country (yes, even more popular than Facebook).

Most U.S. users are between the ages of 15 and 25 (81%). But as Generations X and Y get older, YouTube’s demographic does too. Now, 67% of Americans between the ages of 36 and 55 use YouTube as well as 58% of Americans aged 56 and over.

YouTube’s reach is widespread

Obviously, YouTube reaches quite a few people. But when you consider YouTube video advertising, remember your media will go far beyond run-of-the-mill content discovery ads.

YouTube ads ultimately become a part of the Google ecosystem. That means they’ll appear on partners’ websites within the Google Display Network (depending on your campaign and settings). This network includes some of the biggest players in telecom, including Disney.

Per-click cost can be low

YouTube video advertising is surprisingly affordable. The cost depends on your video settings and format, but you can expect to pay about $0.20 per view or click with a $10 daily limit.

The targeting capabilities are first-rate

The targeting capabilities of YouTube ads are spectacular. Video advertising on youtube lets you drill down deep to fully capture your target market. If you want, YouTube even lets you target your ads based on users’ search history.

With such sophisticated targeting, there’s no uncertainty about whether or not your YouTube video ad will be seen by your ideal customers.

How do I create high-impact YouTube video ads?

Tip #1. Create a measurable goal

Every great marketing plan begins with a clear, realistic goal. First, decide what you want to get out of your YouTube ads. Select one goal and pick a measurable Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to track your progress.

With a clear goal set, create your plan of attack. Make sure you measure your KPI along the way to track your progress.

Tip #2. Know your audience

At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of who your customer is. But before you embark on a YouTube video advertising campaign, refresh your memory and reacquaint yourself with your customers.

Look at market research from the last 12 months or newer, and narrow your analysis to the top 25% of your customer base. Who are these people? What motivates them to buy? What types of YouTube ads are your customers most likely to respond to?

Craft your campaign to capture these targeted users with well-curated YouTube ads.

Tip # 3. Understand your options

There are many ways to customize your YouTube ad to meet the needs of your campaign. You have three formats to choose from:

  1. TrueView: skippable ads appearing just before a video plays
  2. Bumper: 6-second, non-skippable ads appearing just before a video plays
  3. Non-skippable: 15 to 20-second ads appearing just before a video plays OR mid-stream if the video is longer than 10 minutes

You also have a few types of videos to choose from. You could opt for a run-of-the-mill commercial to promote an existing product. Or, you may want to use an explainer video to introduce a new product or service. Make sure your video type aligns with your goal.

Also, consider making your YouTube video ad preferred. Preferred ads are only run on the most popular YouTube channels (top 5%) and have been proven to increase ad recall by 112% and purchase intent by 53%. Such a significant impact could result in a huge boost to your ROI.

Tip # 4. Include an incentive

Incentives are everything in modern marketing. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a website, blog, video or any other promotional material without some sort of call to action (CTA) or call to value (CTV). Your YouTube ads should be no different.

Create a CTA or CTV to directly benefit the user. The more you keep these about them, the more likely they are to click. And even though CTAs and CTVs are most closely associated with boosting leads and increasing conversion, they also give you a measurable KPI to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign. Bonus!

Tip # 5. Add captions

Closed captions are important on two levels. First, if a user is hearing impaired or unable to use their audio when viewing your video, captions enable them to get your message whether they can hear your YouTube ad or not.

But captions are also a great way to boost your SEO by weaving all-important keywords into your caption copy.

Tip # 6. Include YouTube Cards

Ever watch a YouTube video and a convenient little box pops up mid-stream, allowing you to click through easily for more information about a product or service? Those are called Cards, and you should add them to your YouTube video ads.

YouTube cards complement your CTA or CTV. They make clicks and conversion convenient, increasing the chances you’ll gain a sale from your YouTube ad.

Tip # 7. Check your progress

Remember the KPI you defined when you first began thinking about a YouTube ad? Once you’ve established your YouTube video ad campaign, start checking your KPI regularly to track your progress and re-strategize, if necessary.

Once the campaign is complete, take a step back. Do a full analysis of your KPI to learn whether or not your YouTube video ads were a success.

Reaching your goals, especially when you first begin to use YouTube ads, may not happen right away. Regardless, this medium is worth the investment of time and money, especially once you know how to use it.

While you understand the fundamentals of how to create a killer YouTube ad campaign, it’s critical to have a great video to run with the campaign. At Explainly, we specialize in killer video production and we’d love to hear about your project! Contact us today for a free consultation.


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