With other advertising costs always escalating, YouTube can provide a low cost way to increase brand awareness and reach potential new customers.
Before we begin, here’s a few statistics about YouTube to give you an idea of the potential volume of traffic and revenue we could be talking about here:
- There are on average 1 billion YouTube mobile video views every day
- As of 21/04/14 1 billion people are using YouTube
- YouTube’s estimated revenue for 2014 is $4 billion
- 4 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day, and 6 billion hours’ of video being watched every month
- 323 day’s worth of YouTube videos are watched on Facebook every minute
In The Beginning…
All the way back in 2011, YouTube advertising was still in its relative infancy, with ads first being shown in 2007 . They started off by allowing, in the UK at least, a mere 20 companies to trial adverts across 200 videos. Advertisers included the BBC (of course), Warner Bros, and Chelsea Football Club.
Even back then YouTube claimed their feature advertising was 5-10 times more effective than any other form of display advertising. Strong words. Young it may have been, but by 2011 YouTube advertising was making some serious waves and its potential was becoming clear to the video advertising naysayers and doubters.
Marketers were becoming more aware of the power of YouTube, and seeing good CTRs and conversion rates from a somewhat unexpected source. Google teamed up with Compete around this time and found that users who had seen an ad on the YouTube homepage were four times more likely to visit the advertiser’s site, watch their video, or carry out a brand search.
The Situation Today
Fast forward to 2015 and we are all about video advertising in all manner of formats. YouTube is said to have 1 billion monthly users, watching billions of videos every day.
Now, here’s the interesting bit.
Google released their Q1 earnings last week (Thursday 23rd April). According to Zacks.com:
“Paid clicks were down 1% sequentially, but up 13% year over year, helped in part by growing volumes of TrueView ads on YouTube. These ads are counted as clicks only when consumers choose not to skip them. YouTube is gaining traction in both traditional and emerging markets so Google’s ad quality improvements appear to be contributing to the increase.”
CFO Patrick Pichette refuted the idea that CPCs are declining because advertisers don’t want to spend as much on mobile ads as they do on desktop ads, even though more and more search traffic now comes from mobile. Instead, Google reported that the reason average CPC was down 7% year on year was because YouTube ads don’t make as much money as regular ad clicks yet. To support this, they also reported that clicks were up 13% year on year. Analysts had expected 15%, but Google often miss the mark on these predictions and no one ever seems worried!
So, basically we have the big bods at Google telling us that the common thinking is that businesses are unwilling to spend on mobile advertising, even though we reached the Mobile Tipping Point in 2014….
They are also telling us that their revenue is down because YouTube clicks are cheaper for now, and that they have contributed to a 13% increase in clicks year on year.
To top it off they’re also saying that more and more users are watching entire YouTube TrueView promotions. TrueView means you only pay when someone actually watches your video. This means your budget is better spent on real potential customers.
You might not want to trust everything that Google says without question, they’re kind of known for being a bit naughty with other elements of their business such as privacy, ranking manipulation, favouritism…or so I’ve heard.
So, to add to the case for YouTube advertising, we also have third parties telling us that users are 1.4 times as likely to watch YouTube ads on smartphones, 1.8 times as likely to share them, and, worthy of note, watch at an increased rate with the volume off, often because they’re watching a video somewhere they shouldn’t be!
So businesses (ie your competition) aren’t fully embracing mobile yet, clicks are up, cost is low, and users are more likely to watch and share. Worth a look I reckon…
YouTube generates more than half it’s traffic from mobile, so if YouTube is good, mobile is good too.
But We Do Boring Stuff!
YouTube advertising can work for any business, not just exciting and more visually based ones. Advertising costs are low, and if you already have a video you are ready to start advertising right away. If not, have a look at what is already available on YouTube in your vertical for ideas.
Two great places to start are Appliances Online (AO), and Blendtec.
Let’s start with the Appliances Online YouTube Channel. AO sell everything from fridges to washing machines, cooker hoods to steam mops. Appliances are a dull but necessary subject for most people, and certainly the sort of purchase you want to see, look around, and hear about before you buy. What AO have done that could possibly be described as exciting, is use their YouTube channel in a brilliant way.
AO have 4,499 videos on their channel at present, mostly reviewing a huge range of their ‘Best Buys’and other products, but also a lot of ‘How To’ guides, competitions,and other bits. The videos are professional, sometimes fun, and very informative.
For an online company who may struggle in a market where uses like to see and get a feel for items, AO have pretty much nailed it, and YouTube has helped them reach 1.5 million Facebook likes.
The Blendtec YouTube Channel has managed to make kitchen blenders fun, with the lid still on. Sometimes. The Blendtec company are known best on YouTube for their exceptional blend (pun intended) of fun and developing brand awareness, trust, and confidence.
Blendtec basically take really hard objects, usually the latest technology that some of us would LOVE to have, and stick them in their blenders. From the few videos I have seen, I’m pretty sure a Blentec blender could blend the bad guy from Terminator 2 in about 1 minute.
Apple geeks, look away now.
This video alone has had 546,739 views so far, and 178,000 Facebook likes at time of writing.
I Want YouTube Video Ads!
If you decide that YouTube advertising might be for you, here’s a few bits to get you started.
A few pointers when creating YouTube:
- Keep ads under 15 seconds
- You have 5-8 seconds to grab the user’s attention
- Emphasize quick cuts and large text call-outs
- De-emphasize sound
- Give users the option to skip your ads; it actually increases engagement
- Place a call to action at the end of your video ad
- Use targeting wisely to find a balance between granular targeting & acceptable viewing volume
- Test a variety of ads
Have you tried advertising on YouTube? Share your experiences with us in the comments!