YouTube is incredibly popular; Alexa consistently ranks it as the second most trafficked site globally. Additionally, its content shows up frequently in Google (which happens to be the top site).
Most people think of YouTube as a great SEO opportunity for visibility or a place to host videos they plan on embedding on their websites. But YouTube video advertising has evolved dramatically over the last several years, opening up new opportunities for marketers.
Unlike paid search, which is often managed heavily against last-click attribution, most forms of YouTube advertising are used to either build or reinforce brand awareness. Yes, YouTube ads can contain a call to action (a bit like late-night infomercials), but more often than not, the consumption of video advertising by your target audience is more “upper-funnel.”
(By the way, many marketing touch points you already love are more upper-funnel than they get credit for. For example, even PPC search qualifies as an upper-funnel touch point for all the folks who don’t convert to one of your preferred marketing behaviors or objectives during the search-driven session. Those bounced or abandoned visits often educate the visitor about you, your products or services, simultaneously exposing them to your brand.)
Let’s delve into my favorite ways of using YouTube advertising in conjunction with other forms of marketing as well as in a standalone environment.
Remarketing to website visitors
You spend a lot of time, energy and advertising dollars in PPC search and social. Plus, your sales team is out there. Yet most website visitors leave without taking any of the actions you’d like them to take — either they aren’t ready, or you didn’t get the message right.
Banner and text ad retargeting/remarketing of audiences is great and easy, but if you didn’t get the message right when someone was at your site, it may take a video to tweak this message in order to get that visitor’s attention.
Fun with Google Tag Manager (GTM)
If you want to bid more aggressively on folks who visited an important page (such as your “contact us” page), then create a special audience for those visitors, and boost your bids by setting up a different campaign aimed at these people.
Customer Match (aka Custom Audiences/Audience Match)
People in your customer list may not be reading your newsletters, but that doesn’t mean they won’t pay attention to videos. In the same way that you selected a remarketing list from your “Shared Library/Audiences,” you can create a new audience using uploaded email lists.
If you’re lucky enough to have a very large email list, consider uploading segments (instead of uploading the entire list into one audience), particularly if you want to provide each segment with a slightly different message or call to action.
Plus, if you run these custom audiences separately, you can adjust your bidding strategy as well. Doing this can be important in terms of recapturing lapsed customers or in capturing a bigger share of wallet for important customers.
If you can find YouTube channels whose viewership characteristics match your target audience (mostly based on topic, but possibly on other factors as well), you can add those channels to your placement targeting.
A great example of a popular yet niche channel is Business Insider — it’s sort of cool that, rather than contacting Business Insider’s sales reps to buy video ads on their site, you can target their viewers by purchasing ads on their YouTube channel.
Individual video-based placement targeting
Using the above example of Business Insider, you may not want to target all the viewers of all their content. Some of their most popular videos have little to do with business — but even among those that are business-related, some may be geared toward viewers who may not be in your target audience. So, rather than targeting an entire channel, you may want to place an ad against a video that has relevant content and a decent number of views.
The best part of individual video targeting is the level of control and granularity. To reach scale, however, you’ll need to aggregate a lot of popular videos together. And if the content is not evergreen, their popularity may already have faded.
If you want Google to do the work, you’ll get more scale as they aggregate all videos using particular keywords into a placement for you. But what you gain in simplicity and scale, you’ll lose in terms of targeting.
Mix and match
If your audiences are large enough so that the Venn diagram of their intersection is large (and valuable), you can combine these targeting methods with different ads or different bids, as well as layer in other traditional demographic targeting options.
You may be saying to yourself that you don’t have video advertising assets and can’t afford the video production costs associated with producing video ads. But each business and brand has its own acceptable levels of production value.
Even Fortune 500 companies are increasingly opting for authentic-looking videos that are easier to pull off with (relatively) inexpensive production techniques. These brands have paved the way for you to do video advertising that you can afford — both in terms of production costs and in terms of CPV (Cost Per View).
So go shoot some video, and I’ll see you on YouTube!
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.