If it’s not already, YouTube should be an essential part of your marketing mix. The platform allows for expanded reach and offers the tools to refine targeting and measurement specifically for your needs. By including YouTube in your marketing mix, you can grow your brand and subsequently measure that growth across multiple channels. First, we’ll review YouTube’s reach and recent boom. And then, we’ll discuss how you can leverage YouTube to grow your brand.
Why YouTube is a Big Deal
With over 2 billion users and 100 million active viewers each month, YouTube has a stronghold as the 2nd most popular social media platform (behind Facebook), as well as the 2nd most popular search engine (behind Google). Additionally, YouTube, and video streaming in general, has seen rapid growth during the epidemic. Overall, watch time on YouTube has grown 80% year-over-year, and usage among 13-39 year olds has increased at least 12% from January to March.
Additionally, unlike many other platforms, YouTube captures viewers when they are engaged in content and shows ads in the exact frame where users are awaiting their selected content. This advertising strategy has proven extremely effective: a 2015 study from Google showed that, when a user was shown a TrueView ad on YouTube, they were 10x more likely to engage with the brand in the platform. And, when a user watched the video for at least 30 seconds or viewed it in entirety, they were 23x more likely to engage with that brand in the platform.
With millions of actively engaged users every month, YouTube clearly has the potential to grow your brand, so let’s dive into how to shape that possibility into reality.
A Strategic Approach to Audiences: Take Advantage of YouTube’s Full Funnel Potential
As an advertiser, if you are focusing your Google advertising efforts on Paid Search alone, you can only react to consumer demand, not drive it. With YouTube, you can take control by adjusting your strategy from targeting a “what” (like a search query) to targeting a “who,” using thousands of user signals. Targeting a “who” means there is no more waiting for a user to search for a relevant topic. Instead, you’re proactively identifying users pertinent to your brand based on their previous behavior or interests. Plus, you’re able to reach these users when and where they are actively engaging in content.
Strategically leveraging YouTube’s wide array of audiences is the first step to creating intent for your brand. So, the question is, how do you approach audiences strategically? Our recommendation is to keep the conversion funnel in mind. With YouTube’s ability to proactively create demand for a brand, it can be used at any conversion funnel level – to drive awareness, consideration, or conversions. Using broader audiences like detailed demographics or affinity will help you expand reach and gain impressions and views efficiently for your awareness campaigns. As you move down the funnel, you’ll also want to narrow the audiences that you’re targeting. Narrower audiences allow for more specific goals, such as driving add-to-carts or conversions, and helps you to achieve those goals efficiently.
Using TrueView to Achieve Your Goals
With Youtube, you can leverage many campaign options and advertising formats. Here, we will discuss how you can leverage Google’s skippable, in-stream option, TrueView. With Youtube’s ability to hit every level of the conversion funnel, there is a different TrueView solution for:
Awareness (TrueView for Reach)
Consideration (TrueView In-Stream)
and Conversion (TrueView for Action)
Each of these formats will appear before, during, or after content on Youtube, and each is skippable after 6 seconds. The differences between these formats lie with how the campaigns are set up:
TrueView for Reach optimizes toward reach & impressions
TrueView In-Stream optimizes toward views
TrueView for Action optimizes toward conversions or your conversion action set
Optimizing TrueView for Action
Now that you have a basic understanding of YouTube’s advertising capabilities, let’s talk about how we can transform potential into conversions with TrueView for Action and strategic audience targeting. Below, we’ve listed some insights and tips we have when approaching your TrueView for Action campaign:
Split your campaigns by brand familiarity. It typically takes a lot more effort to identify a new customer than to convert an old one. That’s why we recommend separating new and returning site visitors into different campaigns and managing those audiences with different budgets and efficiency goals. Someone who’s never been to your site or heard of your brand will likely take longer to convert than someone who is familiar with your brand or has converted before. Holding these two groups to different standards will help ensure that your investment is spread out and filling higher levels of the funnel.
Add conversion action sets. Once you have your audiences broken out, you might also want to consider managing your higher funnel audience to a higher funnel action on the site, like email signups or add-to-carts. With TrueView for Action, you can create conversion action sets for your campaign using any conversion actions on your account. Generally, YouTube can take 2-3x longer to convert than traditional search. So, allowing your campaign to optimize to broader indicators of interest can help you continue to nurture audiences as they are learning about and considering your brand.
Make the most of TrueView for Action enhancements. Google has been gradually rolling out improvements to TrueView For Action, including these options:
Expand your reach to Google Video Partners using Video Action campaigns. This is a great option if your TrueView for Action campaigns, which are YouTube-only, are hitting a wall as you try to scale.
Include lead forms with your TrueView for Action campaign. Get people to sign up for your product or service right when they’re watching your ad.
Add site link extensions to your video campaigns. Promote different pages of your site related to your video ad.
Match your audiences with the video and vice versa. The combination of targeting the right audiences and using the right video can make your campaign. If your home decor brand targets recent searches for couches, but you’re only featuring your bedding in the creative, you likely won’t see success.
Retarget Youtube Viewers in SEM. Make the most of YouTube by retargeting viewers in other channels. Create audiences based on the YT video ads they watch and retarget them in Search and PLA to take advantage of the demand you helped create.
The Sooner, The Better
If you’re hoping to grow your brand in Q4, then you’ll want to start integrating these YouTube best practices with your strategy as soon as possible. The sooner you begin, the more time you’ll have to optimize performance and test what works best for your brand. Plus, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll begin filling your marketing funnel. If your brand is searching for a partner to help you set up or strengthen your YouTube advertising strategy, do not hesitate to reach out to Adlucent’s team of experts!