Google has, through sheer marketing prowess, become the top search engine in the world thanks to its constantly updating algorithm which researches products and services. Customers are now researching and rechecking information more than 12 times on Google before they decide to purchase a product, making Google the ideal spot for advertisers. But it is not really as simple as running an advertisement and hope for leads to convert to sales.
Although the medium of the advertisement has changed, the rules of customer engagement remain as rigid as before. The time-tested strategy of grabbing the customer’s attention by eye-catching commercials continues to be an important factor even today.
So why is YouTube worth your time?
Online video content has been booming ever since YouTube first disrupted the market over 13 years ago. Since then, the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and YouTube Video have tried stealing some of YouTube’s overwhelming market share. There are countless platforms that offer video streaming services because people love to sit in front of their screens all day binge-watching as much content as is remotely possible after getting off from school or work.
To keep up with the customer’s online consumption habits, Google has been continuously revamping its search advertisement network, having recently integrated YouTube advertisements with Google AdWords. Users now have the ability to combine the search network directly with YouTube adverts.
This doesn’t mean that written content should be ‘written’ off. We are simply asserting that videos have become more popular because they offer both visual and audio stimuli. But it has been observed that marketers are increasingly hesitant to utilize YouTube’s video advertisement platform. Why?
Because there are more barriers to a video advertisement.
Just because we’ve established that videos are now the more dominant means of entertainment, doesn’t mean it is easy to jump into video advertisement. Producing good quality video content can take weeks, if not months, and require the use of experienced video editors who would charge you a good buck.
This is by far the biggest barrier to entry. There is simply far too many video editing software to learn before a good quality video makes it into the pipeline.
It’s not simple, it’s not cheap. The equipment alone can set back your company thousands of dollars and it won’t be until the first couple of months that you expect some serious returns on your ROI. No one is denying that the risk is high, but the success of YouTube content producers has proven that the ROI is worth it all.
This is a sharp contrast to AdWords search network, where the user only has to type a few words and follow Google’s step-by-step guided instructions, for their ad campaign to kick off perfectly. Both products have their own merits, but to dismiss video production simply because of the barrier to entry is to miss out on the benefits of YouTube’s massive success. According to numbers released by Google, product review videos in the past two years on YouTube add up to 438 million hours worth of video consumed on mobile alone. That is an incredible 50,000 hours of years’ worth of content.
Both YouTube and Google are search engines, but what sets the two of them apart is that YouTube only displays video content. But despite this alleged flaw, YouTube is seeing exponential growth. There are over 1.5 billion logged-in monthly active users on the platform. Each person, on average spends more than one hour of video content per day on their mobile devices, this is not to count their desktop usage.
Imagine your ad running across those 1.5 billion devices (which is an exaggeration, but bear with us): you will get access to a vastly superior network of individuals willing to spend on your product. To make video content even more enticing is the fact that video junkies have become very impatient with content services, preferring hyper-focused engagement levels that only videos can provide. One statistic is particularly concerning: only 45% of people can now read for more than 15 seconds without getting bored with an article and moving on.
This figure only goes to show you how compelling YouTube can be for audience engagement levels. Marketers who want to hold on to the large user base that YouTube has to offer are catching on fast.
One very prominent example is Dollar Shave Club. The popular men’s grooming company spent around $4,500 on its online advertising campaign which went viral, thanks in large part to the number of shares on social media sites. Dollar Shave Club went from zilch to meteoric $615 million market valuation. They were acquired for $1 billion in cash by Unilever.
Another case study: Daisy Jing
Daisy Jing, CEO of Banish, a natural skincare company became an accidental entrepreneur through her YouTube channel. Because of her popularity, Daisy was able to grow her business to over $3 million in revenue. Her channel, at the time of this article’s writing, has over 60 million views and 200,000 subscribers. This community is utilized by Daisy to help with her massive online business, which has grown above and beyond the definition of a simple fledgling ‘startup’.
Daisy and Dollar Shave Club prove that video content has become the future of online marketing. But if you still feel skeptical about video content, you can always look at the numbers produced by experts at Cisco, the world leader in IT and networking. Their researchers say that by the year 2021 rolls around, a whopping 82% of all online traffic will be driven through video services like YouTube. But given the saturation levels of video content on YouTube, is it still too late to hop on board the potentially disruptive bandwagon? YouTube’s views are still soaring and skyrocketing, and so is the diversity of its audience and engagement levels. This only means that now is the perfect moment to enter the market.
The trick however is to combine Google’s search network and YouTube’s TrueView to find better success than YouTube ads on their own could offer.
Why do people like YouTube so much
Keeping up to date
People go to YouTube because they want to stay up to date about the content they care about, whether it is the news, sports events, video games, or the latest movies. YouTube has become the de facto means of keeping users updated about the latest developments in any particular niche.
Learn new stuff
DIY videos and documentaries alike have gained rapid momentum in the past couple of years. Channels such as CrazyRussianHacker and Steve Ramsey have millions of subscribers between them. Put simply, who doesn’t want to watch a video about quantum physics or how a black hole can destroy a star?
This is where it gets really interesting. People watch YouTube videos to become aware of new products, learn about their latest features, and get an expert opinion before they decide to buy them out. It isn’t an uncommon sight to see companies sending freebies to popular YouTubers just for the sake of a review.
Google’s announcement: Custom intent audiences
Right at the beginning of 2018, Google announced the introduction of custom intent audiences for video campaigns on AdWords. The new change got everyone excited because YouTube’s size is increasing manifold!
The new audience type will allow products and services to reach users on different platforms by targeting relevant segments that frequently search for specific keywords related to the product’s specific marketing campaign. In Google’s own words, the new audience type is a way to, “Move undecided customers to action using the persuasive power of video.”
As an example, if someone searches for a video game on Google, your firm can target that person in your audience to show a video ad of your video game on the next video they watch. This highly customized, catered process of selective advertisement will maximize the returns on your investment and increase your product’s lead to close ratio.
If done right, companies can increase their ROI by as much as 6 times when they combine YouTube Trueview ads with custom intent when compared with YouTube ads alone.
So what is TrueView
TrueView is Google’s latest offering in YouTube advertising formats that allow marketing campaigns to reach users more effectively on YouTube. For instance, with in-stream video ads, your ad will pop up right before the user watches the video they clicked on. This will give them an opportunity to visit your site and engage with the ad if they are interested enough.
The second format, called discovery ads, help advertisers place their video content on three different pages: namely search results, watch page, and homepage.
For regular users, when they head to YouTube, they might see a banner ad directly on top of the homepage related to their recent search history. That is the example of TrueView!
The difference between custom intent audiences vs. generic audience types
Custom intent audiences work by mimicking Google’s search engine behavior instead of YouTube’s proprietary search engine algorithm. For example, if someone searches for a “Graphics card” on Google and proceeds to watch a random video about wild animals, your ad will still target that person for your Graphics card company.
Remember the buyer’s journey Awareness > Consideration > Decision? You have to make the customer aware before you can rope them into purchasing your product or service. Custom intent audiences work by eliminating that needlessly difficult task because they funnel the right kind of audience to your doorstep. People who have already researched your product type will be shown these ads, so you don’t have to create awareness. The audience that you are targeting is already aware of the product and service, you now only have to focus on the consideration and decision stages.
If you were to try peddling your product to the customer during the first stage, the likelihood of conversions would be less. But with custom intent audiences, the number of closed deals increases dramatically because of the strong proposition that your marketing campaign (the video) presented.
Setting up your first Google Search and YouTube campaign on AdWords
To set up a new campaign on AdWords utilizing custom intent and YouTube, go to the campaign manager and create a new campaign. Because you want to run ads on YouTube, select “video” as the campaign type. Among the four options, you will get:
• Website traffic
• Product and brand consideration
• Brand awareness and reach
1) Lead: If you simply want to collect leads that are non-brand aware, pick this
2) Website traffic: If you want to generate more traffic to your website, this would be a good choice
3) Product and brand consideration: this is a great option if you are targeting both brand awareness and directly selling the product with your ad.
4) Brand awareness and reach: you are only focused on branding and currently do not have any plans about selling.
The user will be guided to a step-by-step process. Once you have completed it, you will have to upload your ads directly to your linked YouTube account on AdWords to be able to use them. This requires you to link accounts in order to pull video content directly from your YouTube account to be able to use.
The Bottom Line
Online marketing is a dynamic niche that keeps on developing. It never really is a one-step process and can be described as a one size fits all campaign. If it were, then YouTube’s success would have plateaued long ago. It is not sensible to turn on a few text ads and expect your ROI to increase over the next months. But AdWord’s new features will allow you to combine all these efforts across multiple platforms like Google’s search engine and YouTube for making a maximum impact at every stage.
YouTube is seeing immense progress, and now is the perfect time for you to hop on board as an advertiser to take advantage of new audiences and grow your business to soaring heights. Yes, there is one entry barrier, video production capability, but you can make short work of it if you truly focus. Do not let this seemingly small barrier hold your product back from acquiring its true sales potential.
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