YouTube offers a unique opportunity to connect with your audience in a personal and targeted way—and the ability to do so at massive scale. Nevertheless, there are some best practices and good use cases of how to best launch a marketing program on YouTube. Take a look at some of the YouTube Ad Opportunities to discover how your brand can converse with this vibrant community.
Homepage Video Ads are an up-front way to connect with users when they visit the site. The Homepage Video Ad is a great way to create awareness and reach a wide audience with your marketing message.
Advertiser Objective: Omniview television studio was looking to raise awareness for a season premiere of their #1 show geared towards Men 18-24.
What the advertiser did: Omniview created a custom trailer to run as a Homepage Roadblock on YouTube a week before the season premiere. The unit included compelling title card, a 60-second video trailer, and a 300x35 banner ad. The creative was produced in such a way that the content felt organic to the homepage. Watching the trailer felt like you were watching a piece of entertainment rather than an ad.
Results: The Homepage campaign drove a high number of video views for the season premiere's trailer. Consequently, the community provided feedback on the trailer through comments, rating and favorites. Omniview witnessed a dramatic uplift in organic video views of other videos that they had uploaded to the site as a result of their homepage promotion.
Advertiser Objective: Fujikawa Tech launched a new cell phone last Fall. They were looking to leverage YouTube as the world's largest focus group and test out TV creative before a larger media buy.
What the advertiser did: Fujikawa Tech ran their video creative as a Homepage Video Ad to see if it resonated with the Internet's 6th largest population.
Results: Fujikawa drove a high number of video views through their promotion. YouTube users were highly engaged with the video—so much so that the video appeared as the most viewed video in the YouTube Science and Technology category for the week. Fujikawa was able to see all of the demographic details about how the video performed from YouTube Insight.
YouTube InVideo Ads provide marketers with the opportunity to reach users as they watch video content on the web. Through an unobtrusive, yet highly engaging ad unit, the YouTube InVideo Ad establishes an above-the-fold presence on partner watch pages and acts as an invitation for users to learn more.
Click-through rates are very strong when a companion is used in tandem with an InVideo overlay. The 300 x 250 companion grabs the user’s attention and invites them to learn more.
Use buttons or clearly marked sections in your ad to point users toward additional content. This works best when the “Watch Video Now” button is on for several seconds before the overlap minimizes. 10 seconds is a good benchmark for the length of animation.
Think of the overlay as an invitation to your content, not your entire message. Creativity and user engagement are critical.
Rotate creative on a regular basis. The highest click-through and click-to-play rates are in the first 5 days of a campaign.
YouTube Video Ads on search pages allow users to discover a brand’s video content in relevant environments, with prominent above-the-fold placements.
The opening image should be simple and engaging. Standard banner images are not always the best way to hook the viewer.
Stay away from an opening image that feels like an ad. Make users believe they are getting an experience, not a commercial.
Calls to action and complicated messaging usually don’t belong here. Titlecards of an actual frame are most effective.
The longer the message, the higher the possibility users will tune out. 60 seconds is a good benchmark.
Entertain, inform and be relevant. Users will view the majority of a video if they are interested and engaged.
Avoid focusing solely on being educational; two minutes of talking heads doesn’t work well.
Plan for user tune-out near the end of the video and deliver your message early.
If it’s appropriate, a call to action can be very effective. If your marketing objective is to increase visits to your channel or participate in a contest—encourage your audience to get involved.
Advertiser Objective: Avalon Auto launched the newest model of their luxury line of SUVs, the "Crescent," targeted towards Affluents.
What the advertiser did: Avalon ran an awareness campaign using InVideo Ads, Video Ads on search pages, and display media across YouTube. The InVideo Ads contained a 30-second spot with compelling video creative, ending with a call to action to click on the 300x35 companion banner. Video ads and display ads also ran throughout the site, enjoying a high share of voice on every piece of real estate. All of this supporting media linked to a Brand Channel that Avalon had set up specifically for the Crescent launch.
Result: By creating buzz and having a presence specifically targeted at Affluents on the site, Avalon Auto was able to not only drive video views, but also offer their target market further engagement with their content and brand.
Advertiser Objective: Twitcher Games, a leading casual video game company wanted to raise awareness for the upcoming sequel to their best selling puzzle game during the two months prior to its release.
What the advertiser did: Twitcher drove awareness among gaming enthusiasts on YouTube by running a compelling InVideo Ad that clicked through to a Flash-based interactive site with a demo of the puzzle game.
Results: In addition to delivering a strong number of impressions to a relevant audience base, Twicher's InVideo Ad witnessed a click-through rate of 10 times standard display.
Brand Channels allow marketers to create a brandable and customized interface on YouTube where they can connect and create persistent relationships with their customers. Brand Channels act as a distribution outlet for video content and as a destination for users to engage with your brand.
The design of your channel page should reflect your brand identity.
The success of your channel is largely dependent on the content that you upload.
YouTube Contests are a core way of driving user interaction and deep engagement with your content and can easily be integrated into your brand channel, creating one destination to reach your users with a unified message.
Frequently, publicity and recognition can be as valuable or more valuable than financial prizes. The following list identifies several different types of prizes that have been awarded to previous YouTube contest winners.
Frequently, contest sponsors will combine a financial prize with another prize that provides some type of public recognition for the winners or winning videos.
Phase I: Announcement and Submission
Phase II: Voting
Phase III: Results
Driving Traffic and Engagement with Contest
Advertiser Objective: LeFey Cosmetics, one of the oldest make up manufacturers in the country, underwent a re-branding campaign to re-invent and re-invigorate their brand. Using their new brand image, they wanted to re-connect with, excite, and engage their loyal core demographic of Women 25-54.
What the advertiser did: LeFey chose an integrated approach, utilizing the YouTube Homepage Roadblock and supporting media to drive traffic to the centerpiece of their campaign—a video submission contest housed in their custom brand channel. LeFey hoped to reach the right person, at the right time, with the right message, targeting uploaders during submission and their core consumer during viewing and voting. Offline marketing was conducted as well, with the brand channel's contest and URL information appearing on billboards and product packaging.
Results: By folding together a 360-degree campaign, LeFey was able to successfully drive awareness of the program on the site, both through advertising and PR. The homepage campaign successfully drove up video views and channel visits. In addition, the contest witnessed hundreds of submissions, thousands of brand channel views and hundreds of thousands of views of the submitted videos to the contest. LeFey was able to leverage the power of YouTube's video creators to create compelling video submissions.
Advertiser Objective: MoonRun Films sought to build excitement for a new superhero film release for the four weeks leading up to the premiere. The characters were popular cultural icons, and the storyline was particularly action-packed and engaging. MoonRun wanted to create a marketing campaign that was just as compelling and engaging as the movie itself.
What the advertiser did: Armed with a plethora of compelling video and audio content such as trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, outtakes, interviews, and sound effects and narration, MoonRun integrated a video remixer into their Brand Channel to serve as the centerpiece of the campaign. This engagement platform provided users with tons of content to watch and the ability to further interact with the brand by allowing them to mash up their own movie content.
Results: Their homepage campaigns drove the video views of their trailers and raised awareness of the mashup tool on the site. Targeted InVideo and Video Ads drove movie enthusiasts to engage more deeply with the brand channel. These enthusiasts became advocates for the film on behalf of the studio, and used the video remixer thousands of times, producing hundreds of video submissions. As a result of these user-generated videos and general buzz for the film on the site, MoonRun was able to drive hundreds of thousands of organic video views as well.