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More than 2.5 billion people visit YouTube every month. It’s more than a website; it’s an entertainment and information ecosystem—a library for the 21st century. The ubiquity of YouTube has made it a focal point for brands eager to reach the billions of people who watch videos every week, driving a 46% YoY increase in revenue to $28.8 billion in 2021. For most younger generations, YouTube is television, making it a core component of successful brand advertising campaigns.
With more than 32% of the world’s population actively engaged with the platform on any given day, it represents a tremendous targeting opportunity. Combined with Google’s robust advertising tools, YouTube brand advertising allows companies to reach specific audiences based on demographics, viewing activity, frequency, or engagement data. Let’s take a closer look at how effective strategies can help generate the most from your YouTube advertising budget.
YouTube offers several unique advertising formats that form the foundation of an effective branding campaign. Which of these formats you use will depend on who you want to reach, when you want to reach them, and what action you want them to take. From brand awareness plays to broader calls to action, there are several opportunities to reach people where they are on any given day:
Because there are so many different types of ads, it’s important to know what actions you want your users to take when they view an ad. Pure awareness will play well with skippable ads, bumpers, and in-feed ads, whereas calls to action that drive users to a specific account or website, will work well with non-skippable ads, in-feed ads, and masthead ads. Many brands opt for a combination of all five ad types using unique media.
Another reason many brands turn to YouTube to reach their audiences is the number of targeting and segmentation options available. Traditional brand awareness campaigns on television or other visual media were limited to demographic data provided by the broadcaster. YouTube’s algorithm is designed to do the same, but with much greater precision and based on demographics and behavior. The result is greater granularity in targeting.
There are several ways you can target your ads on YouTube, including:
Remarketing is one of the great equalizers in online advertising, allowing brands to reach an already warm audience that has engaged with brand content previously on a website, social media channel, or other channels. YouTube’s remarketing tools allow brands to use Google Ad pixels to pull user information from website traffic, uploaded lists, or YouTube channel activity. Instead of showing ads to anyone who meets the criteria, you can cross-reference specific demographic criteria with behavioral targeting, including activity on your brand channels and website.
Remarketing is a valuable resource when you have a large existing audience to draw on. Whether you’ve been active on YouTube, producing original content for your channel, or have significant traffic data already feeding into Google’s ad platform, consider running a parallel campaign with videos targeting people who have already engaged with your brand.
A good brand video does several things: it defines your brand purpose, it’s creative and engaging, it works within the context of the technology and platform, and it’s immediately accessible. YouTube may be as ubiquitous as television, but it’s not the same format. Content is shorter, people can quickly jump between videos, and an algorithm surfaces content to match peoples’ viewing habits. Brand videos that don’t fit the type of content being viewed that are overly long fail to deliver something memorable in the limited time given to them in most formats, or that blend will fail.
Amazon’s Super Bowl ad in 2021 was well-received at the time but did exceptionally well on YouTube, where it has garnered more than 78 million views in a little over a year. Its first 5 seconds show the product, the brand, and the benefit in quick succession, and then it goes into its premise, drawing on the recognizability of a celebrity and a humorous premise.
Toyota’s supercharged Supra commercial is nearly 5 minutes long but has garnered more than 15 million views in about a year. Using the long format effectively to explore the different ways that the GR Supra standards apart, it reached the top of the list of popular ads in 2021.
What makes an effective brand ad? It’s not just the targeting. The ad itself needs to stand apart. Here are five specific things to remember when crafting YouTube ads.
Ads that work are memorable, engaging, and focus on a specific call to action that viewers will take with them. Done right, your ad will build awareness of your brand, be shown to the right people at the right time, and ultimately guide them to act.
The expansive reach, exceptional targeting, and high conversion rates of YouTube make it a highly effective channel for brands of all sizes to share their stories with a broad audience. Whether you’re crafting a new brand campaign or are evaluating your current efforts for ways to increase awareness, YouTube should be a key part of your mix going forward. Eager to learn more about how YouTube can support your brand advertising efforts? Contact Overskies and ask to speak with one of our brand specialists.