Broadcast yourself. Be seen where everyone is watching. That’s YouTube’s motto. It’s fair game too – as of June 2020, 3.8 million Kiwis (over 18 years of age) were logging in to YouTube per month. Crazy huh? That’s more than half our population! And in September 2020, YouTube officially overtook TVNZ1, becoming NZ’s most viewed media platform. These figures have only gone from strength to strength since then, given 82% of all global internet traffic now comes from video. And since 72% of all videos are being viewed on YouTube alone, making it the second largest search engine in the world (after Google itself), this makes Google Ads YouTube advertising a fantastic platform to deliver two fundamental elements for successful marketing: brand reach and engagement. Keen to get started? Our YouTube advertising Auckland specialists can take your content to new heights, boosting brand visibility and engagement now and into the future.
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Trackable alternative to TV for all attention spans
Today, one of the key factors to marketing success is an ad’s ability to command attention – how well an ad can attract it and keep it. Therein lies the challenge…
The average person now has around 6-10 connected devices – and because so many devices demand our attention, our attention span has become shorter than that of a goldfish. How many times have you turned on the TV and then instantly started scrolling through social media on your phone? Playing a game on a tablet? Alerted to a message on your Apple watch or email on your desktop? Consumption of television has completely transformed over the past 15-20 years. Gone are the days of it being the only place you could go for on-screen entertainment at home, it’s now simply viewed as a larger connected screen, and is a core reason why YouTube has completely taken the advertising world by storm.
YouTube not only has multi-screen reach, consumers now use YouTube, on their TV, as ‘normal TV’ – the millennial version of free-to-air. Given this, and the fact viewers are watching content THEY specifically choose, our eyes are now on screen 15% more than when watching free-to-air. Combine this with the ability to create trackable ads for all types of attention spans (6, 15, 30+ seconds) and you’ve got a solid foundation to achieve cut-through with your marketing efforts.
Reach people based on their interests & habits, intent and actions
There’s no doubt about it. YouTube inspires consumers to take action. In fact, 70% of YouTube viewers say they bought a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube. Why is this? On the one hand, you’ve got a platform that serves highly relevant content. On the other hand, as a business wanting to run video ads, you’ve got access to highly detailed audience targeting tools.
Regardless of marketing objective, there’s a video solution and audience type to complement it. For example, if you’re wanting to maximise reach and increase awareness, you can reach people based on their interests and habits. If you want to build consideration and engagement, you can reach people based on intent such as specific life events and what their online behaviour has shown they are ‘in-market’ to buy. And for driving online action and sales, you can reach people based on action – talking to those in the decision making stage via remarketing, using your customer lists and specific keywords (remember YouTube is not only a video platform, it’s a search engine too!). Layer this with detailed demographic targeting such as age, gender, location, income, employment and parental status and you’ve got an extremely valuable advertising tool.
Reach as many relevant people as possible within your budget
Given YouTube views have surpassed views of NZ’s main free-to-air TV channel, it’s not surprising YouTube now has a 1.1X more effective return on ad spend than TV, making it a super lucrative advertising option. When it comes to your budget and YouTube, you can set your daily budget or use a total campaign budget, so you have complete control over your advertising spend. The beauty with YouTube is its ability to target all three stages of the marketing funnel, meaning you can control which budget goes where and change it at any time. However it’s important to note that depending on your Google Ads YouTube advertising strategy, whether you’re driving reach and awareness, engagement and/or action, the bidding model chosen, ad formats and measurable impact will differ, which will impact the overall cost. More on this below!
How do YouTube ads work and how will they add value to your business?
So we’ve explained the core benefits of YouTube ads – the ‘why’, but now let’s understand the ‘how’ – how they work and how they’ll add true value to your brand or business.
How do YouTube ads work?
Is YouTube advertising the right campaign type for my business?
Complement your YouTube advertising with Google Search Ads
What about Performance Max?
How do YouTube ads work?
YouTube ads work by displaying video ad content before, during, or after videos on the platform. Ads are created via Google Ads – the advertising platform used by Google and its associated networks (and by us, your YouTube advertising Auckland experts!). There are six core types of YouTube video ad formats which are charged/measured differently depending on your goals. Let’s go into each one in more detail.
Skippable in-stream ads: It’s highly likely you’ve seen one of these before – they are the most common type of ad on YouTube. They appear before, during, or after the main video and allow viewers to skip the ad after five seconds. You won’t be charged if someone does this, you’ll only have to pay if someone watches the ad for over 30 seconds (or the full length of the video if it’s less than 30 seconds) or if they click on the ad. These video ads have to be over 11 seconds in length and can be used for all marketing objectives that we spoke about at the start of this page.
Non-skippable in-stream ads: These ads can’t be skipped by viewers and are limited to 15 seconds in length. They are charged on a CPM basis, meaning you pay a set price per 1000 impressions – think of it as simply paying an amount which you decide for every 1000 times your ad shows on YouTube (impressions are only counted if the video thumbnail is shown for more than 1 second and at least 50% of the thumbnail is visible on the screen). This type of video ad can only be used with the awareness and reach objective which makes it ideal for top of the funnel, brand awareness strategies.
Bumper ads: These are short, non-skippable ads that are up to six seconds long and appear before the main video, charged on the same CPM basis as the above and can also only be used with the awareness and reach objective.
In-feed ads: These are clickable thumbnails with an image and 3 lines of text that appear on YouTube’s search results and watch pages. You can promote any length of video content and they can be used with the consideration and engagement objective. You are only charged when someone clicks on the ad (therefore showing interest and engagement to learn more).
Outstream ads: These are mobile only ads run across Google’s video partner networks – think of these ads like you would a Google Display Ad, except it’s a video that instantly starts playing without sound when someone is scrolling through content on a webpage or switching pages and the user has to click on the video to enable sound. Payment occurs on a CPM basis similar to the above formats however the impressions have to be deemed ‘viewable’ which means 50% of the ad screen space is visible for two seconds or more of continuous video play.
Masthead ads: Another ad format you would have seen, often used by companies with large marketing budgets. When you go onto the YouTube homepage, it’s the ad that covers the entire top of the screen. They can be placed across all screen types so the potential reach and impact is huge. They have to be reserved through a Google sales rep and are charged on a CPM basis. Very popular with movie studios releasing their latest film or other large multinationals (simply due to the price, they aren’t cheap!)
Aside from ad formats, the other core component to a successful YouTube ad campaign is the creative. This is something we can’t stress enough – it’s arguably the most important aspect. As attention spans have become shorter, the art of storytelling has had to adapt. And as people are watching more and more content on mobile, videos have to be made with that in mind too – think bigger text, close cropping (on faces etc), bright footage and fast pacing. Your challenge as a business is to capture attention early (have an immediate hook), generate interest as the story unfolds (product/service should be shown naturally and with purpose in terms of placement early in the video plus the ad must be relatable and create an emotional connection with the viewer) and then ensure a satisfying finish (give clear directions on where to go next). We work alongside a few fantastic videographers who can help you craft a great story. Get in touch to get started.
Is YouTube advertising the right campaign type for my business?
The short answer is yes! We know what you’re thinking though. Seems pretty scary this video ad stuff. Or just too hard and expensive. But remember, the nature of content on YouTube is so diverse that no matter what your product/service is, we’ll be able to provide you with a custom YouTube advertising solution in order to achieve your goals.
The value of YouTube lies in the fact it can talk to people at every stage of their decision making journey, from awareness, through to consideration through to purchase or enquiry and hold their attention, especially if the creative is done well. If 82% of all internet traffic is now coming from video, why not get on board? Fish where the fish are. The key is ensuring you have great creative/stories for each stage of that process and identify the best marketing objective within the Google Ads platform to amplify that message and achieve your specific goals. Creating videos is also easier today than it ever has been and doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Complement your YouTube advertising with Google Search Ads
What should we look at when determining success on YouTube? The key lies within having a multi-layered approach, running YouTube ads alongside Google Search Ads. Why? YouTube is known to have a ‘halo effect’ on brands, meaning when consumers have positive experiences with highly visible brands, they cognitively form a brand loyalty bias in favour of the brand and its offerings. Essentially, this halo effect feeds your marketing funnel, to the point where advertisers that run YouTube video ads in addition to Search ads see an 8% higher search conversion volume, 3% higher search conversion rate and 4% lower cost per acquisition. The way we can measure this is by monitoring three things:
Your paid search activity pre, during and post your YouTube campaign running – to then determine a new standard or reverted standard for your business within Google Ads.
Measure the sales impact by understanding the assistive role YouTube plays in the conversion pathway i.e. by tracking inter-channel behaviour within the Google Ads platform and via Google Analytics, we can see the touchpoints where YouTube has helped a conversion occur.
Run a Google Search uplift study – combining uplift in brand awareness, consideration, favourability and purchase intent (via conducting surveys) and uplift in search activity via organic (free) and paid tracked keywords (via the Google Search Console and Google Ads platforms).
In addition to this halo effect, Google has also identified consumers navigate the complexities of endless choice and information through what has come to be known as the “Messy Middle”. The Messy Middle is a place of exploration and evaluation, as consumers look for information about a category’s products and brands, and then weigh all the options, before committing to purchase. Their research showed the value of brand exposure throughout this phase, demonstrating an advertiser’s presence during the Messy Middle via media and video advertising on YouTube and other channels was crucial to brand success.
So ideally, this multi-layered approach would involve capturing the halo effect and influencing the messy middle first by running an awareness and consideration video ad strategy, then once we’ve determined a high level of maturity via Google Search, you could look at running video ads purely to drive conversions with harder call to actions such as shop now, order now, get quote, download etc as well as integrating your shopping feed into the ad if you are an e-commerce business.
What about Performance Max?
Performance Max is Google’s new “all-in-one” campaign type, it shows ads on Google Search, Display, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and Discover Feed placements and has also replaced Google Shopping campaigns altogether.
The pros are that it’s able to leverage machine learning to find new audiences and figure out the best split of channels (adding more people to your sales funnel as it’s targeting different stages on different platforms), as well as using more targeted creative (tests different combinations of headlines, descriptions, images, videos and more), to get the most conversions possible. The potential downside is that we don’t have as much control over it as with other campaign types (such as a YouTube Campaign). However we have seen some impressive results from the format so please get in touch if you are interested in seeing how this campaign type can add further value to your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who do I pay when running YouTube ads?
You pay Google directly from a credit card connected to your Google Ads account. If we are assisting you with your Campaigns, you would also pay Conversion Marketing separately to create, optimise, manage, strategise and report on your YouTube campaigns.
How much does a YouTube campaign cost?
Depending on ad format and campaign type, you will pay via CPM (cost-per-mille, otherwise known as cost-per-impression), cost-per-view or cost-per-click – or a combination of these. The budget is ultimately set by you and we can help you determine how much it should be to yield results (differs depending on industry).
Who will see my YouTube ads?
Your ads will be seen by those who meet the targeting criteria set within your campaign, enhanced by Google’s machine learning technology (data signals).
What is a data signal?
A data signal is a piece of information that helps Google understand a user’s interests and preferences. This data is collected through various means, such as a user’s browsing behavior or search history. Using these signals, Google can then display more relevant ads to the user based on their interests and behaviour.
If I don't have any video ads, who will make them for me? Does a professional need to do it?
You can create videos yourself, either shot on your phone or via a video camera. There are many video editing programs available to beginners today (such as Adobe Premiere Pro) with tutorials on how to use them. Alternatively you can engage the services of a videographer, we work with a few extremely talented video production companies that can assist you in creating fantastic video ads.
How long should YouTube ads be?
It depends on the overall strategy you’re going for as to what ad formats will be best to use. Skippable in-stream ads must be over 11 seconds, non-skippable in-stream ads max 15 seconds and bumper ads max 6 seconds. The key is conveying your message as efficiently as possible and does depend on the brand/industry/overall message but on average skippable in-stream ads are typically around 30 seconds – 1 minute in length.
Can I control the content that my YouTube ads show within/next to?
To an extent, yes. When setting up a campaign, there is an option to exclude your ads from content that is labeled a certain way (i.e. G, PG, MA (mature audiences) or content not yet labeled), think violent movie trailers for example that may be labeled MA and which you may not want your brand being associated with. You can also choose to avoid showing on content that is considered sensitive such as tragedy and conflict, sensitive social issues, bad language, sexually suggestive and sensational/shocking. Lastly you can choose to avoid content by type such as live streaming YouTube videos.
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