All the attention on online advertising has recently been focused on Facebook. And for good reason due to the platform’s high engagement with its users and its capability for laser sharp targeting of its audience.
 

So whilst your competitors are busily setting up their ad campaigns on Facebook, it’s time to look again at the potential for YouTube to achieve your marketing objectives.
 

Let’s not forget that YouTube still receives the most visits per month of any other online video platform, or that $6 billion dollars was spent on YouTube advertising last year, and that over 30 billion ads are viewed each month.
 

Why Paid Video Promotion?
There are literally billions of videos online, and the key is to design a solid plan to promote your content and ensure its viewed by your target audience. Unless you already have an existing subscriber base or an engaged social media following you, you’ll need to seed your content when it launches.
 

Many brands are using paid advertising on YouTube to ignite sharing and accelerate audience building. In fact a survey of the Top 100 global brands has seen an increase of video views of over 100% over the past 12 months due to paid promotion. So if it’s good enough for the big guys ‘n girls, it good enough for you business. And it doesn’t need to cost a bundle – just a few dollars a day to get started.
 

One of the side benefits of paying to promote your video is the number of “free” views it will generate through your viewers sharing it with their friends and colleagues. Of course that will only happen if you optimise your video.
 

Here are some simple tips to optimise your video
• Make the first five seconds count. After this the user can skip your ad. You need to convince them to stay!
• Keep your video short. Aim for 30-60 seconds.
• Show, don’t tell, your viewers what you’re all about.
• Use call to actions. Tell users exactly what you want them to do after watching your ad such as click to your website.
• Create a static call to action in your end-card and give users time to take action in the last ten seconds of your video.
• Give your video ad a real title. Ad titles are visible to the user, so don’t call it an “ad.”
• Upload a compelling thumbnail. Use clear, interesting and creative thumbnails to entice users to click on your video.
 

There are three main advertising formats you can use for video adwords and in most cases it is usually best to select all three formats for your video.
 

TrueView in-stream
• TrueView in-stream ads play before the start of a YouTube video.
• Viewers see five seconds of your ad and then can choose to keep watching or skip it.
• You pay a “cost-per-view” if they choose to watch at least 30 seconds of your ad.
 

TrueView in-display
• In-display ads appear as a thumbnail and text on YouTube watch pages.
• You pay a “cost-per-view” when a user clicks through to your ad and begins watching your video.
 

TrueView in-search
• With in-search ads, your video appears in a special promoted section of the video search results pages on YouTube and Google video results.
• You pay only when a viewer chooses to watch your video. This is good when you want to surface any video in the search results for a high-frequency query.
 

Targeting Your Ads
Don’t waste your advertising budget by trying to reach everyone. Zero in on your target audience who are most likely buy your product or service.
• Demographics
• Topics
• Interests
• Keywords
• Placements
• Remarketing Lists
 

A/B Testing
There are two ways to use A/B testing for a better ROI. You can use the same video with different ad text and thumbnails to compare how the ad variations perform. This tests which ad works best for your video.
 

You can also create one ad with your video, ad text, and thumbnail, and associate the ad with multiple targeting groups. This tests which audience you video works best with.
 

Campaign Tactic for New Video
Best practices for your paid campaign is to start with a “blast” TrueView campaign that reaches a broad target audience in the first three to five days after uploading a new video. This is an economical way to quickly build the number of views and it encourages in video sharing.
 

Then switch to a more targeted approach. Use remarketing to reach users who’ve already visited your channel and continue to earn new views at an optimized cost.
 

Grow New Subscribers
If your objective is to grow your subscriber list, you can create a remarketing list of all users who have previously viewed a channel video. Then you create another list of all the users who have already subscribed and delete them from your fist list leaving only those viewers you have yet to subscribe.
 

Analysing Your Results
As with all paid promotions, you need to fully analyse the results in your adwords account. Look at the total number of impressions of your video and the number of actual views. This will give you your conversion rate ie. the number of people presented with your video compared to the people who actually watched it (at least 30 seconds).
 

You will also the see the “Cost per view” and the number of those that took action such as clicked to your website (Click Through Rate). Look if you can improve you CTA to increase the conversion rate of clicks.
 

You can also analyse the Retention Rate to see if your viewers left your video before your Call to Action or if they stayed through to the end.
 

Paying your viewers to watch your video is a solid strategy to grow the awareness of you business and send your target audience to your website.
 

Gerry Tacovsky
Video Marketing Strategist
Vimaco