4 Reasons You Should Use YouTube Advertising

YouTube ads are a little-known secret among advertisers. We tell you why it's worth trying out, and tips on how to get started.
June 11, 2014

Most business owners are aware of Google AdWords, Facebook advertising, LinkedIn advertising and more. But have you heard about the merits of YouTube advertising?

At first glance, video advertising seems to be a branding play, but it's much more than that: You can actually drive conversions with YouTube advertising. Not convinced? Here are four more reasons to try out YouTube advertising.

Lots of volume: YouTube is the No. 2 search engine in the world and gets over 6 billion hours viewed per month—and that number will only increase.

Low costs: With YouTube ads, in some cases you're only paying a few cents per view for the in-stream or in-display ads. That's a big bargain for generating brand awareness. Even better: You're not charged for a view unless the viewer watches 30 seconds of the video or finishes the video, whichever comes first.

Sales: In my experience, YouTube ads can generate sales for you at a cost-effective price—even better than other more widely used channels like Facebook or the standard Google AdWords.

Saturation is lower: The time to get into YouTube ads is now. Scalable channels like this tend to get saturated fairly quickly, and that means costs will probably go up in the next year or two.

Tips on Building a YouTube Campaign

If you like what you've heard so far, and are considering a YouTube advertising campaign, use these tips for crafting your strategy.

  • Make sure your ad captures the viewer's attention in 8 seconds. Keep it simple to understand.
  • Make sure you understand the different video advertising options that YouTube offers.
  • Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Analyze videos that grab your attention and are persuasive in making a sale.
  • Make sure your frequency cap is at an adequate level. The frequency cap simply allows you to "cap" how many times your video shows to a unique user over a defined period of time.
  • Create different targeting groups and test to see what works best. The targeting group is perhaps one of the most critical parts of creating a YouTube campaign because it can either cause you to make a lot of money or lose a lot of money.
  • Don't forget to optimize your landing pages.
  • Be sure to look at assisted conversions using your analytics, too. Google Analytics shows you assisted conversions, and it's completely free.

Test It Out

If there's one thing you need to do when starting with YouTube advertising, it's testing out the different ad formats. For me, TrueView "in-stream" videos have proven to be strong conversion drivers on different companies we've managed YouTube ads for. As mentioned earlier, it's cost-effective and actually drives sales at a scalable level.

I recommend taking advantage of YouTube advertising while it's still in its early stages. It has become a top customer-acquisition channel for some of our clients. The opportunity for growth is abundant, and, if you are patient enough, you just might see some impressive gains on your campaigns.

Eric Siu is the CEO of San Francisco-based digital marketing agency Single Grain. He also interviews entrepreneurs on his podcast, Growth EverywhereHe is also a member of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. 

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