Often, when people think of using social media to increase their business they’ll think of Facebook and Twitter, and will usually never consider YouTube. Developing a Youtube advertising strategy is a very valuable communication channel for businesses and one that shouldn’t be dismissed.
Believe it or not, every day, there are one billion YouTube views globally. In the UK alone there are 1.25 billion views every month. These are huge figures, and so your videos and video ads have the potential to be seen by billions, which is great for brand awareness.
Let's explore how you can use this often forgotten social media channel in your marketing campaigns for free and look at the ways YouTube advertising can benefit your business.
Creating a Channel
Just like Facebook, YouTube will allow you to create your own page, or in this case ‘Channel’, completely free. This is fully customisable and viewers can find all of your videos in one place. You can write about your business and include a call to action, such as links to your website, to help engage the user. People often forget that YouTube is just the same as any other social media channel and allows you to engage with customers. You can add friends, subscribe to channels, and 'like' and 'favourite' videos. When a user comments on your video you can comment back and interact with your customers.
Increasing the number of videos you publish and so building up the amount of videos you have and engaging with users will make you look like an industry leader, which will help build consumer confidence and credibility in your brand. Similar to writing and producing blogs, videos are just as valuable.
YouTube as a search engine
Perhaps surprisingly YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google. Rather than reading reviews or looking at blog posts online, when someone wants to find out more about a product, they can simply enter it into YouTube and view lots of reviews, with people viewing and using the product. This automatically means users can see the product in a real life situation, rather than trusting the word of a faceless review. This can be valuable for a business if you produce videos about your products. For example, let's say you sell a certain make of iPhone cases. Someone who is already interested in the product might search for the iPhone case on YouTube, so they can see what other people said and look at the product in more detail. Your product video will appear and the viewer is likely to have more confidence in the product. You can include a call to action in the description, linking the user straight to the product on your website just when they’re most interested in purchasing.
How will I be seen?
Rather than posting videos of your products on your website where viewers have to actively be aware of the videos and find them, using YouTube to promote your products and posting your videos means you can reach a much wider audience. Anyone who searches for your videos can find them. If someone knows your brand name and searches for it your videos will appear. Therefore more people will find you, who you might never have reached before.
You can also optimise your video description for SEO. By using keywords related to your business and video when someone searches for these keywords in Google search, your video has the chance to appear in Google search results, without the user even going to YouTube, allowing you to reach an even wider audience.
Your video might also appear in related searches. For example, if your video is on iphone4 cases, and someone is watching a video of an iPhone 4 review, your iPhone case video might appear in related searches on the right hand-side.
If you were to post a funny or interesting video, say of the latest advertisement you’ve created for your business, then it has the potential to go viral. This is rare, but if it happens, then you’re really getting your brand out there, with the potential of being seen by billions.
Why it’s better than TV advertising
YouTube advertising is better than TV advertising. TV advertising is intrusive. They are ads that people don’t necessairly want, they interrupt what you’re watching and could be completely unrelated to you. For example, a teenage boy isn’t going to be interested in hair colour for women. YouTube advertising is about offering content that users are interested in, when they’re actively searching for it.
The way people watch TV is changing too. With the advances of technology such as Sky+, viewers can completely skip the ads anyway, often fast-forwarding when they can, or if that’s not possible, changing the channel or leaving the room while the break is on. As well as this, more and more people are turning to their desktops and mobiles to view TV online rather than on the normal TV set. Again, allowing them to skip TV ads completely.
YouTube allows you to give users the content they want, when they want and when they’re interested, rather than interrupting a programme on traditional TV.
Using YouTube Advertising
What it is
YouTube advertising is different from using YouTube as a social network. YouTube advertising allows you to create video ads and then stream them in another video before that video starts or during the video, similar to an ad break on TV. Viewers are able to click on the ad to find out more. Your ad will only run on videos from trusted YouTube partners.
The different ad types
You can choose two different formats for your ads. Standard in-stream ads, which must be between 15 and 30 seconds long, or TrueView ads, which can be longer than 30 seconds. TrueView ads, allows viewers the opportunity to skip after 5 seconds, but you only get charged if the viewer watches the ad to the end or watches at least 30 seconds.
There are many benefits to advertising on YouTube, making it a really important advertising channel.
Your ad won't just get played on any random video. YouTube advertising offers targeting, enabling you to choose your target audience, whether it be location, topic or demographic, and show your ads on videos that relate directly to that audience. So if you sell hair colour for women in the UK, you could target just women in the UK. You can even choose what device you want your ad to show on.
Including a click through link means users can be taken straight to your YouTube channel or website.
YouTube also enables you to track your ad. Unlike TV advertising, you’ll be able to see how many people have viewed your ad and how many conversions you’ve got, as well as seeing what users think of your ad, allowing you to see how well it’s working and make changes if necessary.
Why it’s better than TV advertising
Whilst TV advertising can be intrusive and annoying, YouTube advertising is very different.
You ad is targeted at your target audience, meaning you’re showing your ad to the people who are going to be the most interested, giving you a much higher chance of conversions.
A TrueView ad gives users get the chance to skip the ad if they don’t want to watch it, which is something a viewer on TV doesn’t have the option of. This means you’re not wasting any money on people who aren’t interested, you’re only paying if they watch to the end of the video. TV advertising, is paid for regardless of who sees it.
Finally, YouTube advertising has a clear call to action. Viewers can click on the link and go straight to your website, allowing viewers to interact with your brand just when they're thinking about it the most.
YouTube advertising is something you might not have considered before, but is worth the effort and can really help with brand awareness, consumer confidence and credibility. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.