With 1.8 billion users watching videos on YouTube each month, the platform offers nearly unmatched video marketing opportunities. These loyal viewers collectively watch about one billion hours of videos each day, which has drawn 51% of marketers to the advertising platform.
And these marketers are seeing significant benefits from advertising on YouTube. According to Google Ads, 70% of bumper ads significantly increased brand awareness in 2016, with an average lift of 9%. In addition, 90% of these ads drove ad recall globally, with an average lift of over 30%. In short, YouTube advertising works, but you must keep the following best practices in mind in order to find success.
Do: Select the Most Effective Ad Format for Your Target Audience
You need to select the most effective ad format for your target audience to improve reach and engagement across the board. Although there are six different types of YouTube advertising options, TrueView and bumper ads are favored most by marketers.
TrueView ads are particularly popular due to their ability to play before the video or appear as a sponsored suggested video for the In-Stream and Discovery modes. Viewers also have the option to skip these ads after a few seconds. Grammarly, for example, receives 54.4% of their social media traffic from TrueView ads. As this company has shown, when you utilize the right ad formats, you can optimize the amount and quality of traffic you drive to your site and other online channels.
Don’t: Trap Your Viewers with Excessively Long Video Ads
Extensive YouTube ads can cause your target audience to lose interest or even become annoyed, which can harm brand loyalty in the long run. Most often, your target audience will want to proceed to their intended content without delay, so when your ads are long, the risk of skipping increases.
Therefore, 30 seconds or less is an optimal length for video ads to maximize the success of your YouTube advertising efforts. Six-second bumper ads can meet this need, as well as 20-second pre-roll ads. Ensure the ad keeps your target audience engaged from beginning to end, or consider shortening the ad even more to strengthen your message.
Do: Combine Ad Formats to Improve Audience Engagement
Even if you favor one ad format over the others, you should diversify your approach to maximize your results. With a combination of ad formats, you can effectively extend the reach of your marketing efforts.
In multiple third-party studies, YouTube found that using bumper ads to remarket to TrueView views, for example, led to a higher lift in ad recall compared to TrueView alone. Combining the two ad formats resulted in an average higher lift of 42% for the skipped views and 104% for the paid views. Leveraging this dual approach can help viewers better remember your ads and the products or services promoted in your videos.
Don’t: Forget to Take Advantage of YouTube Targeting Options
To have the greatest impact, your YouTube ads must reach the right audience. Fortunately, the platform makes this easy with its advanced targeting features. These features allow you to determine who should see your ads by selecting demographics, keywords, topics, interests and other identifiers. When you reach your target audience, your ads can offer the greatest return on investment and increase your marketing success across the board.
Do: Add Interactive Elements to Your Advertisements
You can boost the effectiveness of your ad campaigns by adding interactive elements, like hotspots, branching and 360 video, to your video ads. In fact, interactive video ads boost viewing time 47%, according to Mobile Marketer. The TrueView ad format allows you to provide a link to a shopping cart or show cards that display your products. You can also integrate effective calls-to-action (CTAs) into your video ads to encourage viewers to click through to your website.
Start Running Ads on YouTube to Improve Your Marketing Success
YouTube is here to stay, and video ads are promising to produce measurable results now and in the future. And as the platform continues to grow, be sure to utilize the best practices listed above to make the most of YouTube advertising and achieve your marketing goals.