Advertising on YouTube: the do's and don'ts

You want to advertise on YouTube. But where do you start and what can you do with it? In this blog we will go through the main steps and points of focus of starting with YouTube within your marketing strategy. Before you get started with YouTube, it is important to realize that YouTube, with a few exceptions (think of Vloggers), is not an isolated channel to reach your target audience

You want to advertise on YouTube. But where do you start and what can you do with it? In this blog we will go through the main steps and points of focus of starting with YouTube within your marketing strategy.

Before you get started with YouTube, it is important to realize that YouTube, with a few exceptions (think of Vloggers), is not an isolated channel to reach your target audience. It is almost always part of a larger whole: a link in the marketing mix.

YouTube as a channel

YouTube is the second largest search engine (after, you guessed it, Google) a very interesting channel to reach a target audience. We say 'a target group' here because the targeting possibilities are now very extensive. Depending on your industry, target group, objective and marketing strategy, the targeting can be fully customized.

Incidentally, Google claims that YouTube ads lead to better results in the field of sales than TV commercials. We also see a clear shift from TV to online video advertising, including on YouTube. At this moment, however, it is still best practice to use a combination of these two channels.

Preparation YouTube advertising

For starters, consider why you want to advertise on YouTube. What is the message you want to communicate? And to whom do you want to communicate that message? By giving meaning to possible paths (for example using the REAN model), insight can be created into the online customer journey across multiple channels. Think in concept and message and ensure that the creation of the video (s) takes place from this starting point and not the other way around. In addition, connect other creations to the video and ensure a good landing page and follow-up (for example with retargeting).

Videocracy video for YouTube advertising

A YouTube video is often the opposite of a TV commercial. With a YouTube video, the trigger is in the front of the video. This means that a TV commercial is not one-to-one for a successful YouTube campaign.

Do's and don'ts in a video for YouTube Advertising
  • Start with a striking trigger in the first five seconds
  • Think about the different elements in a video, and where they stand. So think about the skip button, cards and any overlays
  • Make sure that the logo is always clearly visible
  • Consider the layout of your YouTube channel on which you want to place the videos
  • Pay attention to the description and tags of a video (also useful for organic findability)
  • When possible, provide a concept that goes viral with the superbowl advertisement from GoPro

Determine the right KPIs for the YouTube campaign

YouTube advertising is often used to increase brand awareness, to launch a new product or to increase the bond with the brand. But how do you make this transparent?

YouTube is a channel that is in the reach phase of the REAN model. This means that it can never be counted as a performance channel. Yet this mistake is often made. This is a shame because you do not deduct the channel from the actual added value of this channel in the marketing mix. This is much more like branding goals such as brand uplift, viewabilty and interaction with the video or the YouTube channel (think of likes and subscribers).

There are several ways to make this transparent. Some examples are the use of YouTube Analytics, defining soft conversions in Google Analytics or assigning engagement scores to actions or behavior of the target group.

YouTube advertising in a multi-channel marketing campaign

When using a YouTube campaign, it is also important to look at the follow-up. The possibilities for this are very extensive.

The best practice for YouTube advertsing is to remind the people who watched the video via Search, Social or Display. In this way you have the opportunity to reach people through various channels with one uniform message to further strengthen the power of the message.

Do you want to go further? Then you can also build a campaign with various videos that can follow each other on the basis of the behavior of a viewer of the video or on the basis of the type of interaction with the video. A good example of this is a case of Adidas in collaboration with Google which in a creative way dealt with the use of YouTube during and after the World Cup in 2014.

For a large-scale YouTube action, always take sufficient budget into account and think about how you will measure the result. In addition, the potential depends on the possible reach for the brand, product or message.

Valuable tips for YouTube advertising

Last but not least, some quick tips that contribute to an optimal campaign.

  • Ads placed with popular videos have a better result, this is due to the positive association that people have with such a video.
  • Do not forget about mobile in your strategy
  • Provide frequent communication (but not too frequent)
  • Do you have sufficient budget? Famous people or celebrities always do well
  • Enable affinity targeting!
  • Also think about customer match when setting the targeting of YouTube campaigns
  • Do you advertise with specific products via YouTube? Think of Trueview for Shopping.
  • Consider certain holidays or seasonal influences and start advertising in time

Finally

With this blog we hope to have given you some guidance on the first steps in setting up a YouTube campaign. In the following blogs from this series we will dive further into the different ad formats and the targeting possibilities within YouTube.

*) This article is also published on the website of Traffic Builders.