YouTube isn’t just one of the largest social networks in the world. It’s also the world’s second-largest search engine, playing second fiddle only after Google. Although YouTube has millions of users who watch billions of hours of content, brands are still overlooking video content.

Instead, brands prefer other paid avenues like Google Ads or social media ads. But it’s the beginning of a new decade. 2020 is about taking bold, new risks.  Now isn’t the time to play it safe, which means you should consider new ad formats and platforms to expand your reach. 

That’s why it’s time to try YouTube ads.

But it’s difficult to do YouTube ads if you’re new to the video space or if you have a very limited budget. This means brands have to be more creative than the competition. If you want to stand out online and see ROI on your YouTube ads, you need to use the platform in a strategic way.

Why YouTube Ads?

But why should brands care about YouTube ads in the first place? Aren’t other paid ad platforms good enough? The thing is, YouTube delivers 77% more ROI than TV commercials. Plus, video generates 66% more qualified leads than other media, like text ads. 

YouTube Ads have so many benefits for brands, including:

  • Reach more customers: With 2 billion active monthly users, you’re likely to find your target audience on YouTube. 
  • Niche targeting: Target more than just demographics with YouTube Ads. Reach users based on their interests, browsing history, and more. Be as general or granular as you like to find the right audience. 
  • Save money: Depending on your campaign settings, each YouTube Ad view costs 5 – 10 cents. That’s cheaper than many paid ad options. 
  • Measure results: While you should always track your metrics in a separate analytics platform, YouTube Ads includes some really great features in its reporting. See how long users watch your video, at what point they drop off, and your campaign costs. You can use this data to not only measure results, but tweak your content to get more exposure. 

Win With These 5 YouTube Ads Best Practices

But you don’t have to spend thousands to get results. Optimize your YouTube Ads campaign the right way to balance ad spend with results. 

1. Keep it short

Two-minute commercials might work for TV, but they won’t perform well on YouTube. These users aren’t there to watch your content. You’ve got to keep things short so you aren’t holding users captive. When in doubt, keep the ad between 5 – 60 seconds long (and 60 seconds is pushing it). 

Don’t worry about it being too short. The purpose of a YouTube Ad is to pique interest, not to explain your entire business. Grab people’s attention right now and fill them in on the details with your landing page. 

2. Capture attention quickly

You might have 60 seconds for your video ad, but it’s unlikely that users will stick around that long to watch it. Users can skip YouTube in-stream ads after 5 seconds. That means your brand has just 5 seconds to convince someone to continue watching. Your content has to be even better than the organic content they intended to watch. 

Treat the first 5 seconds of your video script as gold. During the first five seconds, be sure to mention:

  • Your company
  • The product or service
  • What it does
  • Why people need it

The YouTube home page on a laptop

Grammarly does a great job of this with its ads. The script starts with, “If you write anything on your computer, you need Grammarly.” In one sentence, it says what the brand/product is and why people need it. After that, the ad explains how the product works. Use a similar format for your script to engage users early. Otherwise, they’ll just skip your ad. 

3. Be interesting!

Users watch a lot of ads on YouTube. They don’t want to listen to one more business brag about its products. You need an ad that’s interesting and entertaining to stand out. Liberty Mutual does a fantastic job of this, creating storylines and characters for their short and humorous ads. 

Try to tell a story. You can create something interesting in just a few seconds with the right content strategy. 

Get inspiration from other brands, like Lume or No BS Skincare. Even if your brand is more buttoned-up, YouTube Ads is the time to be down to Earth and entertaining. If you don’t think your product or service is compatible, remember Blendtec: this company didn’t create videos touting their features. They did something irreverent and interesting to sell something as mundane as a blender. 

4. Repurpose your winning creative

It’s no secret that creative is one of the most expensive and time-intensive factors for YouTube Ads. Fortunately, you can save time and boost ROI by repurposing old creative for YouTube. 

Do you have content that’s already performing well? Make some small edits to videos you’ve made in the past and use them for YouTube Ads. You can even take your best-performing blogs and convert them into videos to cut down on production time. If you can save time or money at this phase, that will only increase your ROI. 

5. Maintain an active YouTube channel

Don’t join YouTube just for the sake of making ads. If people are engaging with your ads, that probably means they want to engage with your organic content, too. Organic and paid strategies work hand in hand; if you want success on YouTube, you need an active organic channel to complement paid strategies. 

Create videos based on successful blogs, interviews, client testimonials, how-tos, FAQs, and more. If you post just one video a week, you can see a significant lift in not only your organic channel traffic, but also your paid traffic. Keep users around longer with content that goes beyond your ads. 

The Bottom Line

The world is gravitating towards multimedia content in 2020, and that means brands need to embrace multimedia ads. There’s no magic formula for perfect YouTube Ads, but when you follow these 5 best practices, you can make better ads that get results. Keep testing and iterating until you find what clicks with your audience. 

But if you don’t want to DIY your YouTube campaign, consider hiring a PPC pro. Contact Logical Media Group now for a free brainstorming session for your business. 

Chris O'Neill

Chris O'Neill

CEO at Logical Media Group

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