Digital video is taking over the marketing world. According to Animoto, 80 percent of millennials consider video content when making a purchase decision, and 60 percent prefer to watch videos rather than read a company newsletter.
Brands are using YouTube more and more to capture leads, engage with prospects and customers, and grow their following. But like any other digital platform, it can be hard to get noticed among all the competition and noise. Coming up with good video content isn’t easy on its own, and even if you do, it’s hard to actually capture people’s attention.
Much like Google Ads, it can cost more than it’s worth to pay for YouTube views if you don’t know how to create and target them. If you can find a strategy that works, though, YouTube can be a great way for businesses to generate B2B leads.
What Is Google TrueView?
Google TrueView is an extension of the well-known Google Ads platform, designed specifically to advertise on YouTube. There are, however, a few features of TrueView that make it unique.
First, you only pay when someone watches your video all the way through. Rather than paying to have your ad served to a certain number of people, you pay when someone completes the video. You’ve doubtless encountered ads on YouTube that let you skip after a few seconds — if viewers skip the rest of your ad, they don’t count toward your ad spend.
Second, ad content can be completely custom. Unlike Google Ads, where your copy has to fit within a small, pre-set structure, a video can be whatever you want it to be. You can use traditional, catchy, TV-style ads, how-to videos, customer testimonials, or anything else that you think will catch your audience’s attention.
Finally, your ads aren’t just served on YouTube. Google has a wide range of sites that they call the Display Network, and your ads can be shown across the network to ensure a wider reach.
Where Do YouTube TrueView Ads Show Up?
In-stream ads appear before, during, or after YouTube videos. These ads are most commonly shown before video content, and viewers are generally given the option to skip the ad after five seconds have passed.
Bumper ads are served before a video like in-stream ads, but they’re not skippable. However, they’re restricted to only six seconds in length, so you’ll have to be catchy — there’s no time for longer-form informative videos. Bumper ads are generally designed for mobile users and are a great choice if you can distill your message to a short soundbite.
Discovery ads show up in browsing lists, search results, suggestions, and anywhere else that a user might be scrolling through a list of videos. Since discovery ads are served inline with other videos, the format of the title, description, and thumbnail will be the same as every other video. Users aren’t served these ads automatically — they still have to click.
For that reason, it’s important to have a catchy title and thumbnail. You’re also allowed three lines of copy to draw people in. As with inline ads, you’re only charged when someone actually clicks on and watches the video.
Best Practices For Advertising On YouTube
Length Is Important
If you serve a video ad in front of people, you’re asking them to make a time commitment. They can see exactly how long a video is as soon as it’s on screen, and if it’s too long, they’ll skip right away rather than waiting to see what it’s about. According to Wistia, the sweet spot for video length is around two minutes. Longer than that, and engagement starts to drop off pretty significantly.
It’s important to remember that Wistia’s data includes videos that people choose to watch, not just advertisements. For advertisements, the dropoff in engagement is likely even steeper.
Videos Have To Grab Attention
The first five seconds of your video is the only part that people can’t skip — after that, they have the option to jump past the rest of your video. That means you have to hook your viewer right away, convincing them to watch the rest of the video.
In the first few seconds of the video, it should be clear that you understand their problem and that you have a solution. If that message resonates with them, they’ll stick around for the rest of the video.
Don’t Wait On the CTA
Traditionally, we’re used to putting the call to action at the end of an ad, the bottom of an article, or the last line of an email. That’s not the case with YouTube advertising. Yes, you should have a CTA at the end of your video, but you should also scatter a few more throughout the video itself.
Ideally, you’ll place a CTA after each of the major points you make. These CTAs don’t have to be big enough to interrupt the video, but a YouTube card, strategically placed, is a great way to direct traffic to your site from YouTube.
Production Value Matters
You’re excited to jump into YouTube advertising, and you don’t want to sink a ton of money into creating videos if you’re unsure on ROI, but it’s worth it to invest in production. Whether you go with slightly nicer camera equipment, an annotated on-screen demo, or a contractor to shoot and edit videos, professionally produced videos give the impression that you know what you’re talking about.
YouTube is often overlooked as a B2B tool, but it can be extremely useful in demand generation. According to the Aberdeen Group, companies that use video marketing grow 49% faster than those who don’t — and the impact of digital video is only continuing to grow.
What Happens When Someone Clicks On Your Ad?
When someone clicks through on one of your Youtube ads, they land on your website. You probably won’t have any identifying information on them beyond the fact that they came from Youtube — besides that, they’re just an unknown visitor to your site.
To help track your clicks better, it’s a good idea to direct your Youtube ads to a specific landing page — maybe even one that you set up just for Youtube leads. You can also create multiple editions of the same ad on the Youtube end, giving each of them a different campaign name and putting them on different videos so that you know more precisely where your visitors are coming from.
Once they get to your site, your usual techniques will take over. Your landing pages will need to direct people to follow CTAs, read relevant articles, and submit contact info to be put in touch with the sales team. In this respect, Youtube’s TrueView marketing isn’t much different from your other marketing channels. The difference is in the way that you reach the right people to become future customers.
YouTube ads can be simple and cost-effective, but they need targeting, production, and constant adjustment to reach their true potential. If done right, though, YouTube could be a huge untapped source of leads for your B2B marketing strategies.
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